Ukrainian armed forces kept
the spearhead of Russian forces engaged in the eastern city of Severodonetsk
while launching successful counterattacks in the north and south during the
15th week of the war.
The southern counteroffensive
began on May 28 and by June 2, Kherson Oblast military administration head
Hennadiy Lahuta reported that Ukrainian forces had liberated 20 villages.
In some areas, Ukrainian
forces had managed to push the Russian lines of defense back about 25km (15
miles). For example, whereas the Russians were almost on the outskirts of
Mykolaiv, they are now reportedly halfway between Mykolaiv and the city of
Kherson. Increased Russian attacks have failed to win these areas back.
Ukraine’s navy also said on
Facebook that its use of anti-ship missiles has forced Russian ships to a
distance of 100km (62 miles) from land and prompted Russia to place Bal and
Bastion anti-ship missile batteries on Crimea.
Ukraine says it has sunk 13
Russian ships and boats of various types. “We have deprived the Russian Black
Sea Fleet of complete control over the northwest part of the Black Sea, which
has turned into the ‘grey zone’,” the navy announced on Facebook.
Russian military sources on
June 5 reported that Ukraine had launched a new counteroffensive in the
northern Kharkiv region. This is where Ukraine successfully pushed Russian
forces back to within a few kilometres of the Russian border in May and secured
the city of Kharkiv.
The heart of the struggle was
the city of Severodonetsk, where Ukrainian and Russian forces appear to have
gone back and forth. Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu claimed on Telegram
that his forces have captured the entire residential part of the city and
continue to fight for the industrial area.