Russia pushing towards two Ukraine towns

The invaders intensify shelling of Ukrainian positions in Zaporizhzhia

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Moscow’s forces are pushing towards two towns in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, where fighting intensified this week after several months of a stagnant front, Russian state media reported Sunday.

Russian-installed official in the region Vladimir Rogov said offensive actions were concentrated around two towns: Orikhiv, around 50 kilometers south of Ukrainian -controlled regional capital Zaporizhzhia, and Hulyaipole, further east.

“The front is mobile, especially in two directions: Orikhiv and Hulyaipole,” Rogov was quoted as saying by the Ria Novosti news agency.

He said there was active fighting in those areas, according to the agency.

“The initiative is in our hands.”

The Russian army later claimed for a second day in a row that it had taken “more advantageous lines and positions” after “offensive operations” in Zaporizhzhia.

It claimed to have hit Ukrainian positions in the village of Lezhyno, outside the regional capital of Zaporizhzhia, which has not fallen to Ukrainian forces.

AFP was not able to verify this information.

In its daily report on Sunday, the Ukrainian army said “more than 15 settlements were affected by artillery fire” in Zaporizhzhia.

Meanwhile, Russia has suffered 180,000 killed or wounded in Ukraine so far, while the figure for the Ukrainians is 100,000 military casualties and 30,000 dead civilians, according to estimates released Sunday by Norway’s army chief.

“Russian losses are beginning to approach around 180,000 dead or wounded soldiers,” Norwegian Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen said in an interview with TV2, without specifying how the numbers were calculated.

Norway, a country bordering Russia, has been a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization since its founding in 1949.

“Ukrainian losses are probably over 100,000 dead or wounded. In addition Ukraine has about 30,000 civilians who died in this terrible war,” the Norwegian general said.

Moscow and Kyiv have not provided reliable accounts for their losses for months.


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