The Ukrainian military said on Sunday that its forces repelled attacks by Russian troops in the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in the south, where Ukraine launched counteroffensives this month, as well as in parts of Donetsk in the south-east. It said Ukrainian troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv region. “From yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank,” it said on Telegram.
Five civilians were killed in Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region over the past day while in Nikopol, further west, several dozen residential buildings, gas pipelines and power lines were hit, regional governors said on Sunday.
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, vowed there would be no let up in fighting to regain territory lost to Russia. “Perhaps it seems to some of you that after a series of victories we now have a lull of sorts,” he said in his nightly address on Sunday. “But there will be no lull. There is preparation for the next series … For Ukraine must be free. All of it.”
In an intelligence update, Britain’s defence ministry said Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure, including a power grid and a dam, had intensified. “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” it said on Sunday.
Ukrainian forces are refusing to discard worn-out US-provided arms, with many reverse-engineering spare parts to continue the counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion. “They’re not willing to scrap it,” one soldier said, recalling artillery with shrapnel damage and sometimes completely worn out from firing round after round against Russian troops.
The Ukrainian military said Russia has deployed Iranian attack drones, the New York Times reported on Sunday. According to a Ukrainian military official who spoke to the New York Times, remnants of the Shahed-136 attack drones have been discovered on the ground during the counteroffensive that Ukraine launched in the north-eastern regions of the country this month.
The Ukrainian military has carried out 20 airstrikes in the past 24 hours against Russian strongholds, according to the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Kyiv Independent reported on Sunday that Ukraine’s Air Force had successfully targeted 15 Russian strongholds and four sites, as well as seven control points.
The Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has spoken out against the war in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory goals”. The remarks are the first time that the pop star, an icon in Russia, has publicly criticised the conflict. Addressing the Russian justice ministry, Pugacheva told her 3.4 million Instagram followers: “I am asking you to include me on the foreign agents list of my beloved country.”
The Georgian president, Salome Zourabichvili, levelled heavy criticism against Russia on Sunday after the discovery of mass graves in Izium last week. Zourabichvili condemned “in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Russia in Izium”, adding that “these war crimes must be answered by justice”, the Kyiv Independent reported.
The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Sunday that the mass graves discovered in Izium were evidence of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. “Obviously the UK and Canada have been two of the strongest countries in standing up in support of Ukraine and pushing back against Russia’s illegal actions,” Trudeau told reporters in London.
Reuters contributed to this report