Ukrainian troops have reclaimed territory occupied by Russia as the nation’s troops seek to reverse momentum in the war, according to the US.
A US Department of Defense spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday that Ukraine is defending parts of the country “very smartly, very nimbly, very creatively”.
“We have seen indications that the Ukrainians are going a bit more on the offensive now,” they said. “We have seen them now in places, particularly in the south near Kherson, [where] they have tried to regain territory.”
The US official added that Ukrainian forces had been planning counter-attacks and were now “moving in that direction”.
“The Russians have not achieved any of the strategic objectives that they set out to — or certainly not without loss,” he said, adding that Ukrainian forces have successfully held off Russian attempts to seize the capital by closing in on Kyiv’s suburbs.
Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that Russia had partially captured the towns of Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel on the outskirts of Kyiv.
However, Ukraine has now retaken 80 per cent of Irpin, according to the Ukrainian newspaper Kyiv Independent, while battles continue in Bucha and Hostomel.
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It follows reports that Russian forces targeted Kyiv’s suburbs with phosphorus bombs on Tuesday night as the Kremlin ramps up attempts to storm the capital.
Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushin said Russia launched white phosphorus bombs in Hostomel and Irpin, two small surbubs to the northwest of Kyiv with a combined population of less than 75,000. The use of such weapons against civilians is banned under the Geneva Conventions
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