Ukrainian forces have recaptured the eastern city of Chuguev, Defense Ministry officials said.
The General Staff said that the defending forces seized the city from the Russians and inflicted heavy losses on the Putinites in both personnel and equipment.
Two high-ranking Russian commanders were killed in the battle.
The strategic city of 31,000 is located 23 miles from Kharkovthe second largest city in Ukraine, subjected to intense bombing.
The General Staff said on Facebook: “During the hostilities, the city of Chuguev was liberated.
Ukrainian forces have recaptured the eastern town of Chuguev, Defense Ministry officials said.
“The invaders suffered heavy losses in manpower and equipment.
The commander of the 61st Separate Marine Brigade of the RF Armed Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Safronov, and the deputy commander of the 11th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade of the RF Armed Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Denis Glebov, were killed.
Since the beginning of the war, the city has come under intense artillery fire and was the site of an airstrike that severely wounded a 52-year-old woman who has since become one of the defining images of the war.
Despite heavy bombardment, Ukraine was now able to contain Russia and even launch counterattacks to retake the city.
This comes at a time when cities have been bombed again this morning, and Vladimir Putin’s invasion is now in its twelfth day.
The city has been under intense artillery fire since the start of the war and was the site of an airstrike that severely wounded a 52-year-old woman who has since become one of the defining images of the war.
Volodymyr Zelensky vowed that “God will not forgive” and Ukraine “will not forget” the killing of civilians by the Russians, saying that “judgment day” is coming for them.
Zelensky, in a nightly address to his compatriots on the Orthodox holiday of Forgiveness Sunday, recalled how a family of four was among eight civilians killed by Russian mortars while trying to escape from the city of Irpen — near Kiev — earlier in the day.
“We will not forgive. We won’t forget,” he told listeners.
“We cannot forgive hundreds and hundreds of victims. Not thousands and thousands of victims,” he added. “God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.’
He spoke as Russia said it was opening new “humanitarian corridors” from besieged cities, including Mariupol, Kharkiv, Sumy and Kyiv, starting at 7am UK time today to allow civilians to evacuate – though few expect Putin’s people will observe a temporary truce after two similar corridors went down over the weekend.
Ukrainian soldiers carry a wounded woman out of the town of Irpen, west of Kyiv, amid heavy attacks by Russian troops.
The exact number of civilian casualties is not known, although Ukraine estimates it to be in the thousands, as residential areas of major cities are indiscriminately bombarded with thermobaric and cluster munitions, and there is evidence that “combat squads” were targeting civilian vehicles . The UN estimates that 1.5 million people have fled the fighting.
Despite the fact that Russia announced a ceasefire since Monday morning and the opening of humanitarian corridors in several areas, its military forces continued to shell Ukrainian cities, with multiple rocket launchers hitting residential buildings.
The announcement of a limited ceasefire came a day after hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians trying to flee were forced to take cover from Russian shelling of cities in central, northern and southern Ukraine. Officials from both sides scheduled a third round of talks on Monday.
Russian forces continued their offensive, opening fire on the city of Nikolaev, located 480 kilometers south of Kyiv, the Ukrainian General Staff said on Monday morning. Rescuers said that they were extinguishing fires in residential areas that arose as a result of rocket attacks.
A woman cries as the sounds of shelling intensify in the town of Irpin, west of Kyiv, as the Russians attempt to surround the capital ahead of the expected shelling.
Shelling also continued in the suburbs of Kyiv, including in Irpin, which has been cut off from electricity, water and heating for three days.
“Russia continues to carry out missile, bomb and artillery strikes on the cities and towns of Ukraine,” the General Staff said. “The invaders continue to use the airfield network of Belarus to carry out airstrikes on Ukraine.”
According to the General Staff, the Russians also attacked humanitarian corridors, took women and children hostage, and planted weapons in residential areas of cities.
The Russian task force said a ceasefire would begin on Monday morning, the 12th day of the war, for civilians in Kyiv, the southern port city of Mariupol, Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city, and Sumy. It was not immediately clear whether the fighting would stop outside the areas mentioned in the task force’s statement, or when the ceasefire would end.
Ukrainian soldiers help an elderly woman in the town of Irpin, which came under heavy shelling from Russia over the weekend.
The announcement follows two failed attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol, from where 200,000 people have tried to escape, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Russia and Ukraine exchanged blame for the failure. The Russian task force said the ceasefire on Monday and the reopening of corridors was announced at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, who spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday.
The evacuation routes published by the Russian RIA Novosti with reference to the Ministry of Defense show that civilians will be able to travel to Russia and Belarus. According to the task force, Russian forces will enforce the ceasefire with the help of drones.
Putin said Moscow’s attacks could be stopped “only if Kyiv ceases hostilities.” As he often did, Putin blamed Ukraine for the war, telling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday that Kiev needed to stop all hostilities and comply with “Russia’s well-known demands.”
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