The Daily Telegraph

Ukraine raises victory flag as invaders fall back from key Kherson village

- By James Kilner

UKRAINIAN soldiers have pushed back Russian forces in the battle for the Kherson region, capturing a village that has been fought over for a week.

Both pro-ukraine and pro-russia sources have confirmed the capture of Vysokopill­ya, which had a pre-war population of 3,700 people and lies 12 miles west of the Dnipro river.

A photo published on social media channels showed three soldiers at dawn hoisting the Ukrainian flag on to a telephone mast above roofs covered with corrugated iron sheets.

The pro-russia Telegram blogger Rybar told his 670,000 followers that he had geo-tagged the photo to Vysokopill­ya, which Russian parachutis­ts had been defending. “Confirmati­on came this morning, which said that it was decided to withdraw the units of the Russian Airborne Forces from positions on the southern outskirts of [Vysokopill­ya] in order to avoid encircleme­nt,” Rybar said.

Ukraine embarked on an offensive to retake Kherson from Russian forces last week.

Kherson city was the only regional capital that the invading forces captured in the first few days of the onslaught in February.

Reports from the front line have said that Ukraine’s progress has been slow against well dug-in Russian forces.

Rybar said that Russian forces had now pulled back to Olgino and the city of Arkhangels­k, a few miles to the south-west of Vysokopill­ya.

“Battles are going on for the southern outskirts of Olgino, which is under the control of the Russian armed forces, and Arkhangels­k, where at least half of the settlement is under the confirmed control of the Russian armed forces,” Rybar said.

Andriy Tsaplienko, one of Ukraine’s most popular military Telegram bloggers, with 215,000 subscriber­s, also confirmed the Ukrainian advance.

“The village of [Vysokopill­ya] in the Kherson region! Ukrainian soldiers raise a blue-yellow flag. They say the photo was taken today,” he said.

Russia’s ministry of defence has not confirmed the loss of Vysokopill­ya but James Rushton, a British military analyst based in Ukraine, posted a video on Twitter which he said showed Ukrainian forces had overrun some Russian positions.

 ?? ?? Ukrainian soldiers raise a blue-yellow flag in Vysokopill­ya, in a photograph confirmed by Telegram bloggers on both sides of the war
Ukrainian soldiers raise a blue-yellow flag in Vysokopill­ya, in a photograph confirmed by Telegram bloggers on both sides of the war

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