Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia enters its fourth week as the country makes significant gains in the Donetsk region. In one of its earliest victories, Ukraine successfully recaptured a cluster of villages in eastern Ukraine.
One of the villages, Neskuchne, was reclaimed by around 70 Ukrainian troops, according to a report by The New York Times. The village had been under Russian occupation since last spring, and the Ukrainian soldiers had to face 150 Russian soldiers from the 60th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade. Despite being outnumbered, the Ukrainian troops, mainly volunteers from the 129th Territorial Defense Brigade, launched a slow and painstaking operation to liberate the village.
The advancement of Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been slower than expected, with officials warning that it could take up to 10 weeks to achieve significant progress. This is partly due to Russia’s fortified defensive line in the occupied territories, which includes minefields, anti-vehicle barricades, and trench labyrinths. Ukraine’s troops are also operating with fewer resources and manpower compared to the Russian forces.
The liberation of Neskuchne involved a combination of foot movements and artillery attacks using small drones. Ukrainian soldiers had to “liberate house after house,” initially underestimating the number of Russian troops present in the village. Over the course of the operation, additional soldiers from a nearby brigade joined the fight, providing support to the 129th brigade.
The resilience of the Ukrainian troops paid off as Russian soldiers began retreating from Neskuchne by June 9, according to The New York Times. The battle resulted in the deaths and injuries of more than a dozen Russian soldiers, while six Ukrainian soldiers lost their lives.
Following the success in Neskuchne, Ukrainian troops continued to recapture three other settlements, as reported by the BBC. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar stated that soldiers made advancements of 300 to 1,500 meters in southern Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War.
The reclaiming of these villages demonstrates Ukraine’s determination to repel the Russian invasion and regain control over its territory. Despite facing significant obstacles and inferior resources, the Ukrainian troops have shown resilience and bravery in their fight against the Russian forces.
The international community closely watches Ukraine’s counteroffensive, with many countries expressing support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. As the conflict continues, it remains uncertain how long it will take for Ukraine to fully regain control over its occupied territories. However, Ukraine’s determination and persistence in the face of adversity give hope that the tide may be turning in favor of Ukraine in this ongoing crisis.