Ukraine will continue to conduct offensive operations “in several directions” on the war’s southern front, it said on Tuesday.
Russia’s forces have suffered heavy losses there, as well as in the east, the Ukrainian government’s Centre for Strategic Communication said, in a statement that framed this as a metric of success, alongside the Ukrainians’ claim yesterday to have made military advances.
“The strategic goal of Ukrainian troops is to liberate all occupied territories. At the same time, success at the front is measured not only by advancing, but also by inflicting maximum losses on the enemy and undermining its defense system in the rear,” it said.
The statement claimed that Moscow’s forces were hemorrhaging personnel in battles along the front line, comparing Russian casualties to those it sustained in the months-long fight over Bakhmut, an eastern city once known by both sides as the “meat grinder.”
“As of now, in the hot battles in the east and south, Russian troops are suffering the same heavy losses in manpower and equipment as they did near Bakhmut,” the statement said.
What Russia says: In Moscow, defense officials claimed that Ukraine’s attempts at offensive actions on the front line had been “unsuccessful,” however.
“Over the past day, the Ukrainian Armed Forces continued unsuccessful attempts of offensive actions in the South Donetsk, Zaporozhye [the Russian name for Zaporizhzhia] and Donetsk directions,” the Ministry of Defense reported on Tuesday, claiming that Russian troops had “repelled” Ukrainian infantry units, killed hundreds of Ukrainian servicemen and destroyed tanks and armored fighting vehicles.
On state television on Monday night, war correspondent Georgy Mamsurov – who reports for state TV channel VGTRK and is embedded with Russian troops in Ukraine’s occupied south – told Channel One’s “60 Minutes” program that Ukraine’s losses were far greater than those seen by Moscow, saying that “the Armed Forces of Ukraine are constantly pulling up their reserves, throwing them into this Zaporizhzhia meat grinder.”
Mamsurov also spoke about Piatykhatky: one of eight southern settlements that Ukraine claimed to have taken in recent days. Some Russian military bloggers have characterized as a “grey zone”.
“We all learned over the last couple days the name of the settlement of Piatykhatky,” Mamsurov said. “On the map you can see that the village of Piatykhatky is in a serious (geological) depression and whoever is currently occupying this settlement is in the most vulnerable position, because around this settlement are heights. They are occupied on the north side, by AFU troops, and these heights have artillery and large-caliber machine guns, armored vehicles. They are working from there. But from the south side, those are our positions.”
Mamsurov said Russia could “blanket” any Ukrainian troops entering Piatykhatky “with aviation artillery.”