Battle | Selenskyj: Two more ships break the naval blockade

Day 556: According to Kiev, the Ukrainian counteroffensive shows success. Russia says it has foiled drone strikes on Crimean bridge. All information on news blog.

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Selenskyj: Two more ships break the naval blockade

11:12 PM: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said two more cargo ships passed through the Kiev-built grain route despite the Russian naval blockade. “Ukraine restores freedom of navigation in the Black Sea,” Zelenskyy said Saturday evening on Platform X (formerly Twitter). After Russia pulled out of an agreement to send Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, Kiev is trying to organize exports despite the risk of Moscow attacks. Russia has threatened to treat ships arriving in Ukrainian ports as military cargo ships. So leaving Ukrainian ports is considered low risk.

“I thank all our dockers, everyone who ensures the safe operation of the corridor,” Zelensky said. He called on Western allies to provide more anti-aircraft systems. “Together we can protect freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and beyond.” And in his evening video message, Zelenskyy said that the security of the Odesa port area, which is important for the export of Ukrainian goods to the world, must be restored.

Selenskyj did not provide details of the ships that have now successfully sailed. However, earlier in the day, the web portal Marinetraffic, which shows ship movements, showed how two cargoes had departed from the southern Ukrainian Black Sea port of Pivtenny, 20 kilometers east of Odessa.

Ukrainian general: Russian defenses broken

8:32 PM: Ukrainian troops have broken through the first line of Russian defenses near Zaporizhia, according to Ukrainian Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnovsky. In an interview with British newspaper The Observer, the general in charge of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south of the country said troops were now between the first and second lines of defense. However, the second is significantly weaker – the Russians did not expect the Ukrainians to break through first.

Russia will now concentrate troops in the area in question, Tarnovsky continued. “But sooner or later the Russians will lose all their best players.” Then Ukraine will attack even faster.

The counteroffensive in Ukraine has been going on for weeks. Kiev’s goal is to liberate the occupied regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Cherson. The Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed in violation of international law in 2014, is also set to be recaptured. Recently there have been growing signs that Ukraine is making progress, and President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that troops were advancing.

Zelenskyy: Moving forward ‘no matter what everyone says’

3:37 pm: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sees progress in the armed forces’ counteroffensive to liberate Russian-occupied territories. “Ukrainian armed forces are moving forward. Despite everything, no matter what everyone says, we are moving forward, that’s the most important thing. We are moving,” Zelenskyy said on Telegram on Saturday.

Recently, Ukraine has repeatedly spoken about the slow progress of the offensive without the expected developments on the front line, Western experts. Selensky also declared that the attack was not a Hollywood film. Zelenskyj said on X (formerly Twitter) that he was proud of the courage and accuracy of Ukrainian snipers. He also published photographs of explosions during operations in the war zone. He thanked the soldiers of the 47th Artillery Corps for their effective defense of “our country” in Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Sumy regions, and “for their strength in our northern regions.”

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