Despite the moderate advances on the front, Ukraine assured this Saturday that it continues to have the initiative on the battlefield, while Russia denied that the enemy forces have been successful in Andrivka, one of the main combat theaters of the last week.

“The initiative is in the hands of our soldiers, in the hands of Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram. The president added that “Ukrainian heroism” will be the key factor in determining “how the war ends.”

Hours earlier, Zelensky had confirmed the liberation by his Armed Forces of the small town of Andrivka, south of the eastern city of Bakhmut, considered key to the siege of that city. “Our soldiers liberated Andrivka,” Zelensky said, calling it an important and long-awaited result.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also assured that “during the assault operations, the Ukrainian forces took Andrivka, in the Donetsk region, inflicted significant losses in personnel and equipment on the enemy, and consolidated their new positions.”

Ukrainian commander Maksym Zhorin explained, for his part, that control of Andrivka is essential for kyiv forces to advance towards Bakhmut. The expert pointed out on his social networks that without that village, which gives control over a key railway, it is “impossible” to achieve that objective.

However, this Saturday the Russian military denied these statements and assured that kyiv forces failed in their attempts to expel the Russian army from Andrivka.

“On the Donetsk front the enemy persists in its plans to encircle Artyomovsk (Russian name for Bakhmut) and continues assault actions (…) trying unsuccessfully to expel the Russian forces from the towns of Andrivka and Klishchivka,” according to the latest Russian military report.

According to Moscow, in the last week, its forces have repelled a total of 34 Ukrainian attacks in that direction in which Kiev has lost more than 1,700 soldiers killed and wounded, as well as 16 tanks and other armored vehicles.

At the same time, kyiv continues to ask its allies to accelerate arms deliveries to support its counteroffensive, which began just over three months ago.

The Wall Street Journal newspaper wrote this Friday that the US is close to approving the shipment to kyiv of ATACMS missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers. These systems could reach their destination this fall, according to the newspaper.

Washington would have made kyiv promise that it would not use the supplied weapons against Russian territory. At the same time, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, pointed out during a press conference with the head of German diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, that although the US does not approve the use of weapons supplied outside Ukrainian territory, the Decisions on the place of their employment “will be Ukrainian.”

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian forces managed to push back the Russians between 3 and 4 kilometers in different sectors of the front in the south, Natalia Gumeniuk, spokesperson for the Southern Command of the Ukrainian army, reported today, cited by the UNIAN agency. However, the Ukrainian Army needs to “clear a strip of at least 30 kilometers” to achieve tangible results, the spokeswoman admitted.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army reported that the country’s forces had had “successes” in the area of ​​Klishchivka in the Donetsk region, and Verboe, in Zaporizhzhia throughout the last day. According to the Ukrainian military, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian forces expel the Russians from occupied positions and entrench themselves in recovered territories.

Meanwhile, according to the Russian report, its forces continue to repel Ukrainian attacks near Verbove and Robotine and have forced one of the Ukrainian brigades to withdraw from their positions to “recompose forces” in view of their high losses.