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Ukraine said it successfully attacked a land bridge to Crimea which was annexed by Russia and has also made advances near Bakhmut, a town in the embattled east.
On Saturday morning, the Chonhar Bridge, which connects Crimea with the mainland region of Kherson, was attacked and damaged, the Ukrainian army’s strategic communications department said. The Russian occupation commander of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, previously also reported Ukrainian missile attacks on the railway line, but claimed that all 12 projectiles had been repelled. The information could not initially be independently verified.
The Chonhar Bridge, a key supply route for the Russian army, had already been attacked and damaged by the Ukrainian forces in June. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the Ukrainian army was advancing “gradually but surely” in the south towards the cities of Melitopol and Berdyansk, on Telegram. Also, referring to the heavy fighting on the front in the eastern Donetsk region, she said,”Today we advanced further on the southern flank around Bakhmut.”
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Russian troops captured Bakhmut a few months ago after extensive fighting with high losses and Ukraine is now seeking to claw back occupied land in a counteroffensive. On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he has visited the front line near Bakhmut on the occasion of Special Operations Forces Day. He thanked the soldiers there for their commitment, Zelenskyy said on Telegram. He also published a video in which he can be seen shaking hands with several fighters and presenting them with awards. Zelenskyy wrote that he had also been informed by commanders about the situation in the heavily contested section of the front. However, he could not give any details at the moment. “I thanked the guys for their strength and heroism, for their professionalism and extremely professional defense of Ukraine,” he said in his later video address, recorded this time in Donetsk. Russian troops conquered Bakhmut a few months ago after extended fighting. Since then, they have occupied the city, which had about 70,000 inhabitants before the full-scale Russian war began, in February 2022.