DW correspondent in Kyiv Fanny Facsar said Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the east of the country “seems to be working.” Facsar said there has been “fierce” fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces trying to maintain control of villages in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. “[From] what we’re hearing that at this point… the Russian forces seem to have a headway there, while, at same the time, Ukrainian forces seem to advance as well because the weapons, actually from the West, do arrive,” Facsar said. “But the question is really, whether this momentum that seems to be now rather working for Ukrainian forces, whether they can maintain this momentum,” she added.

The British Defense Ministry said Russia was “investing significant effort” near the eastern Ukrainian cities of Izium and Severodonetsk to isolate Ukraine’s forces. According to a UK defense intelligence report, Russia’s main goal is to “envelop” Ukrainian troops to isolate them from support from the west of the country. Meanwhile, Ukraine foiled an attempt by Russian forces to cross a river in Donbas, the report said. “Conducting river crossings in a contested environment is a highly risky manoeuvre and speaks to the pressure the Russian commanders are under to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” it added. “Russian forces have failed to make any significant advances despite concentrating forces in this area after withdrawing and redeploying units from the Kyiv and Chernihiv Oblasts.”

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