A video on Sunday showed Ukrainian soldiers hugging the Ukrainian flag after retaking a town near Bakhmut.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed in a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that his troops had regained control of the town of Krischivka, southwest of Bakhmut.
Bakhmut and its surrounding areas have been the scene of this year’s fiercest fighting in the Russia-Ukraine war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022. The recapture of Krischivka marks a key victory for Ukraine in the latest Western counteroffensive. Allies supporting Ukraine’s defense against Moscow are reportedly concerned about its slow progress.
“Klishchiivka. I thank our fighters for liberating our land. The 80th Air Commando, the 5th Commando and the famous 95th Air Assault Brigade, as well as the ‘Fury’ Commando Brigade of the National Police,” Zelensky wrote on Sunday afternoon. “I thank everyone who stood on the left bank from Kupinsk to Kherson!”
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, posted a video to Confirmation flag.
“Defenders of Ukraine liberated Krischivka in the Donetsk region! President Zelensky has confirmed this information. Glory belongs to the heroes of Ukraine!” he wrote on Sunday.
Earlier reports said Ukrainian troops had made gains in several areas around Donetsk, stoking fears among pro-war Russians that Ukrainian towns were being lost. The Institute for War (ISW), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, reported on Saturday that Krischivka was one of the areas where Ukraine had made significant progress.
Ukraine wins ahead of Zelensky visit to Washington
Ukraine’s victory in Krischivka comes at a critical time for its support for the United States. The United States is a key ally of Ukraine, providing billions of dollars in military aid to the Eastern European country. Zelensky will visit Washington, D.C., this week as Congress debates more aid to his country.
President Joe Biden and Democratic and Republican congressional leadership are generally more supportive of military aid to Ukraine. However, Republican hardliners are focused on cutting spending to fund the government ahead of appropriations bills and have been critical of providing such support.
Biden has requested $24 billion in military aid for Ukraine, a figure that may be difficult to pass in the House, where the Freedom Caucus, a coalition of the most conservative Republicans, has been fiercely opposed to more aid to Ukraine. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will be tasked with trying to reach a deal that satisfies these hardliners as well as moderate Republicans who support aid to Ukraine.
It remains to be seen whether the victory will quell questions about the speed of the counteroffensive by Ukraine’s Western allies. New York Times It was reported last month that some U.S. officials were concerned about Ukraine’s counteroffensive strategy, which began in June.
Weekly newspaper The Armed Forces of Ukraine were contacted for comment via email.