Ukraine updates: 3 villages recaptured in counteroffensive
Kyiv said it had made the first modest gains in reclaiming territory from Russia as part of its counteroffensive
In the first reported gains of its much-anticipated counteroffensive, Kyiv says its forces have recaptured three villages.
Unverified videos showed troops hoisting the Ukrainian flag in the village of Blahodatne and their unit's flag in the adjacent village of Neskuchne.
Later Sunday, deputy defense minister Hanna Malyar said Ukraine's forces had retaken Makarivka in the eastern region of Donetsk as its counteroffensive against occupying Russian forces continued.
She stated that the troops had made substantial advancements, moving between 300 and 1,500 meters in two directions on the southern front.
"No positions were lost on the directions where our forces are on the defensive," Maliar added on Telegram.
Some prominent Russian military bloggers, however, suggested that while Ukrainian forces took Blahodatne and Neskuchne, the fight for Makarivka was going on.
DW could not independently verify the claims and there was no immediate comment from Russian officials
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday acknowledged that somecounteroffensive actions had begun.
While staying largely silent over the past week about the counteroffensive, Ukraine's militaryreported other battlefield successes on Moday.
"Over the last week in the Bakhmut direction, the Russian invaders suffered significant losses," the general staff said in a daily update.
Here are some of the other developments concerning Russia's war in Ukraine on Monday, June 12:
Zelenskyy praises troops
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to his troops in his nightly video address thanking "each one of our combat brigades, each of our units."
He commended the dedication of all troops involved in the ongoing operations in the eastern and southern regions without specifying the exact locations of the fights.
On Saturday, Zelenskyy had hinted at Kyiv's counterattack to reclaim territories, confirming the start of "counteroffensive and defensive operations."
Ukrainian officials have urged citizens not to divulge any information that could jeopardize the ongoing operation.
IAEA head to visit Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
The United Nations nuclear watchdog has expressed the need for expanded access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to investigate a "significant" inconsistency in water level data at the breached Kakhovka dam, which is vital for cooling the plant's reactors.
Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is scheduled to visit the plant this week.
In a statement, Grossi highlighted that the measurements received by the agency from the plant's inlet indicated stable water levels at the dam for approximately one day over the weekend.
However, the IAEA chief pointed out that the water level elsewhere in the extensive reservoir appeared to be decreasing. This is critical as the height of the water level is a crucial factor for the continued functioning of the water pumps at the facility.
The IAEA has emphasized that the water from the reservoir is essential for cooling the six reactors and spent fuel storage at the nuclear facility.
TheKakhovka hydropower dam and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant have been under Russian occupation since the early stages of the invasion in February 2022.