Ukraine reported on Monday that its troops retook a fourth village from Russian forces in a cluster of settlements in the southeast, a day after reporting the first modest successes of its long-awaited counteroffensive.
Given Russia's numerical advantage in personnel, ammunition, and air power and the many months it has had to construct defensive fortifications, the task of ending Moscow's occupation of southern and eastern Ukraine is daunting.
Kyiv announced on Sunday that its forces had liberated three villages: Blahodatne, Neskuchne, and Makarivka. On Monday, a video showed soldiers in nearby Storozheve waving the Ukrainian flag. Reuters confirmed the footage's location. The minister of defense hailed the 35th Separate Marine Brigade for regaining control over the village.
Ukraine's capture of four villages in a matter of days represents its most rapid advance in the past seven months, though it falls short of a significant breach of Russia's deep defensive lines. The alleged advance totals only five kilometers, approximately 90 kilometers from the coast of the Azov Sea, and the interim prize of severing Russia's "land bridge" to Crimea.