Ukraine president vows to continue counteroffensive




St. Louis Post Dispatch


KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised his country there would be no letup in the counteroffensive that has reclaimed towns and cities from Russian troops, as shelling continued Sunday across a wide stretch of Ukraine. Zelenskyy ran through a list of towns that Ukraine has taken back in its lightning push across the northeast. “Maybe now it seems to some of you that after a series of victories we have a certain lull,” he said in his nightly video address. “But this is not a lull. This is preparation for the next series ... Because Ukraine must be free — all of it.” Ukraine’s military command said its forces secured the eastern bank of the Oskil River on Saturday. The river, which flows south from Russia into Ukraine, had been a natural break in the newly emerged front lines since Kyiv’s counteroffensive began. As Russian shells hit towns and cities over the weekend, the British defense ministry warned that Moscow is likely to increase attacks on civilian targets as it suffers battlefield defeats. “In the last seven days, Russia has increased its targeting of civilian infrastructure even where it probably perceives no immediate military effect,” the ministry said in an online briefing. “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government.” Russian fire killed four medics attempting to evacuate a psychiatric hospital in the Kharkiv region on Saturday, said governor Oleh Syniehubov. Two patients were wounded in the attack in Strelecha, he said. Overnight shelling also hit a hospital in Mykolaiv, a significant Black Sea port, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said. And five people had died over the past day in Russian attacks in the Donetsk region, one of two Ukrainian regions that Russia recognizes as sovereign states, governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said. The separatist forces that control much of Donetsk said Ukrainian shelling of a prisoner-of-war colony in Olenivka killed one prisoner and injured four.