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Fierce Fighting in Progress as Ukraine Struggles to Reclaim Russian-Occupied Territory.

Ukrainian service members of the 55th Separate Artillery Brigade fire a Caesar self-propelled howitzer towards Russian troops, near the town of Avdiivka in Donetsk region. Photo. Viacheslav Ratynskyi

By Editor, June 14th, 2023.

Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar says troops have gained a “partial” success in its counteroffensive, but troops are involved in “extremely fierce” battles with Russian forces.

Russia says it repelled Ukrainian forces in the south Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk frontlines in the last twenty-four hours and targeted Ukrainian arms warehouses.

The Ukrainians say their troops have recaptured seven settlements and at least 90 sq km (35 square miles) since launching the offensive

Earlier, at least three people were killed in a relatively rare Russian attack on the Black Sea port of Odesa – and three others died after strikes in the eastern Donetsk region

And the Kremlin says it’s concerned after unconfirmed reports of death or injury for a senior Chechen commander Major-General Sergei Goryachev who’s had a prominent role during the invasion.

Goryachev, 52, is a highly-decorated officer. During his career, he fought in the Second Chechen War, commanded a tank brigade, oversaw a Russian military base in Tajikistan and led Russian forces in Moldova’s breakaway pro-Russian region of Transdniestria, according to the Reuters news agency.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in a part of the southern Zaporizhia region under Moscow’s control, said on Tuesday that Russian Major-General Sergei Goryachev, Chief of Staff of Russia’s 35th Army, had been killed a day earlier on the Zaporizhia front where Ukrainian forces have been retaking some territory.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says it is still early days in Ukraine’s counter-offensive and too soon to know if it will be a “turning point in the war”.

Sources: BBC, Al Jazeera, News Agencies.