kyiv — Ukraine said its forces had recaptured Klishchiivka, a Donetsk village about nine kilometers south of Bakhmut.
“Klishchiivka has been cleared of Russians and liberated,” Ukrainian ground forces commander Oleksandr Sirskiy said in a statement on Monday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Ukrainian soldiers for their efforts in his daily address on Sunday evening: “I would especially like to mention the warriors who are gradually reconquering Ukrainian territory, especially in the Bakhmut region… well done!”
On Sunday, Ukrainian soldiers posted a video on social media showing soldiers near the ruins of Klishchiivka with the Ukrainian flag and the flags of their brigade. The fighters warned that Russian forces had no plans to abandon strategically important locations around Bakhmut and would attack their positions with all weapons at their disposal.
Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, confirmed that Kremlin forces were trying to regain lost positions near Klishchiivka and Andriivka, another village near Bakhmut that Ukrainian forces liberated on Friday.
Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut were expected to defend their positions and attack at the same time, Maliar said in a statement Monday morning.
It took Russian forces nine months to capture Bakhmut and its surrounding areas after the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to U.S. estimates, Moscow saw more than 20,000 soldiers killed and 60,000 wounded in the capture of the city, which saw some of the most brutal fighting of the war and was reduced to ruins.