The President of Ukraine has announced the successful recapture of the strategically significant village of Klishchiivka, located on the southern outskirts of the crucial frontline city of Bakhmut.
In his nightly video address on Sunday, Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed his admiration for the dedicated soldiers who have been steadily reclaiming territory for Ukraine in the vicinity of Bakhmut. He singled out the courageous troops responsible for retaking Klishchiivka and commended them with a resounding “Well done!” in his speech.
Zelenskiy also revealed that Kyiv was actively preparing new defense strategies for Ukraine, with a particular focus on air defense and artillery, although specific details were not disclosed.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar shared a video featuring Ukrainian forces proudly displaying national flags, including the blue and yellow national flag, against a backdrop of devastated buildings and ongoing combat sounds. She noted that Russia was persistently attempting to regain lost positions despite the liberation of Klishchiivka, emphasizing that they had to repel enemy attacks throughout the day.
Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, corroborated the recapture of the village, which Russia had claimed control of in January. Klishchiivka, with a pre-war population of approximately 400, lies about 9 kilometers (six miles) to the south of Bakhmut, a city that fell into Russian hands in May after months of intense conflict. Syrskyi declared on social media that “Klishchiivka was cleared of Russians.”
Ilia Yevlash, a spokesperson for Ukrainian troops in the east, reported that the battle inflicted significant damage on Russian airborne units, the “Akhmat” battalion led by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the Storm-Z unit comprised of Russian criminals, the Russian general staff’s military intelligence, and motorized rifle units. He added that this victory provided a base for further offensive actions aimed at liberating Ukrainian territory from invaders.
The recapture of Klishchiivka would facilitate Ukrainian forces in advancing more effectively toward Russian positions and delivering more precise artillery strikes, Yevlash explained.
Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, conveyed the sentiment that “Ukraine always gets its own back,” highlighting the significance of these battlefield successes as President Zelenskiy prepared for his second wartime visit to Washington to garner international support.
However, amidst these advancements, two prominent Western figures cautioned against overly optimistic expectations regarding a swift resolution to the conflict. Gen Mark Milley, the highest-ranking military officer in the United States, emphasized the formidable challenge of expelling Russian forces from Ukrainian territory and predicted a prolonged effort. Similarly, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that a quick resolution to the conflict was unlikely, citing the historical tendency for wars to endure longer than initially anticipated.
Klishchiivka is situated several kilometers to the north of Andriivka, which was recaptured earlier in the week. Both of these settlements had suffered extensive destruction during months of fierce fighting for control of Bakhmut.
Over the past several months, Ukrainian forces have been conducting offensives both to the north and south of the city in their efforts to dislodge Russian units.
Ukrainian military analysts underscored that the liberation of settlements in the Bakhmut vicinity would enable the military to advance from the southern flank and gain control of strategically important heights.
Kyiv initiated its pushback against Moscow’s forces in the southern and eastern regions of the country in June, bolstered by Western weaponry and the recruitment of assault battalions. Their initial focus was on the northern and southern flanks of Bakhmut, and since then, they have been steadily making incremental gains.