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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Europe

Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Images from drone footage show the extensive damage to Staromayorske, Ukraine.
Images from drone footage show the extensive damage to Staromayorske, Ukraine. News Portal Space

The four roads of Staromayorske appear almost ground to dust in the drone footage. It’s a tiny village, but as the latest gain of Ukraine’s renewed counteroffensive in the direction of Mariupol, Staromayorske’s symbolism far outweighs its size.

Its fate represents a larger problem for Ukraine as it pushes forward. After the bitter battles of Ukraine’s advances, barely a wall is left standing from which Kyiv’s forces can defend the recaptured ground, making their hard-earned progress vulnerable to Russia’s blunt artillery.

This is exactly what happened Monday, when persistent shelling was said to have pummelled the village’s ruins. At one point, Russian officials even claimed to have kicked Ukrainian forces back out of the village, which Ukraine staunchly denied.

For the troops who fought for Staromayorske, a mixture of Ukraine’s AREY territorial defense forces from Krivyh Rih and the 35th Marines, the fight was the latest of many, where grueling losses have marred every hundred yards regained.

A solider from the AREY forces, call sign Krivbas, sped towards the front as he described the main peril of the 10-day Staromayorske attack, at the end of which Russian forces suddenly fled the ruins.

Image Here

“When you assault under enemy shelling, you have nowhere to hide,” Krivbas said of the ruined village. “That’s the hardest part.”

He said the Russians have tried to recapture the village twice with small groups of troops since it fell last week.

Ukraine’s position is made harder still given Russian forces are on the eastern side of the river, able to use its natural boundary from which they can fire artillery. These latest advances remain small in scope, but came after Pentagon officials suggested Ukraine had stepped up a gear in its months-long counteroffensive and was finally committing reserves to the fight.

Hopes are high for a faster pace of advance, but have been dampened by the very real threat of Russian airpower and Ukrainian exhaustion, troops in frontline villages told News Portal Space.

Read the full story here.

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