Ukraine on Saturday said that it had regained control of all territory under the Kyiv region, amid the supposed withdrawal of Russian troops and intensifying shelling in the eastern Donbas region of the country.
The update about the situation around the capital was announced by Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar on Facebook.
“Irpin, Bucha, Gostomel and the whole Kyiv region were liberated from the invader,” Malyar wrote on Facebook, and advised people to refrain “from entering the liberated settlements until demining is completed.”
The towns of Irpin, Bucha, and Gostomel are all located to the northwest of the city of Kyiv, and were recaptured by Ukrainian forces over the week.
Ukrinform further reported that Ukrainian forces had recaptured 30 settlements in the last 24 hours, signalling a turnaround in the conflict after more than a month.
However, while Ukraine’s recapture of the Kyiv region is a victory for the defenders, President Volodymyr Zelensky has already warned of increased Russian activity in the breakaway Donbas region.
The Russian defence ministry has clearly stated the same too, with Major General Igor Konashenkov telling Russian media that troops were regrouping to “intensify operations in priority areas and, above all, to complete the operation for the complete liberation of Donbas.”
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Russia moved to quickly to capture nuclear facilities and surround several Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv. However, despite their superior military might and despite weeks of laying siege, Russia have been unable to capture any of Ukraine’s largest cities.