Ukraine-Russia, Zelensky: “Good news from Bakhmut, Moscow knows we will win”

Meanwhile in Belgorod the Russian partisans announce that they have “occupied a village and killed a colonel from Moscow”. Ukraine: “Clash between Russians, we have nothing to do with it”

“We see how hysterically Russia reacts to every step we take and to all our positions. The enemy knows that Ukraine will win. They see it. They feel it thanks to the attacks, the soldiers, and especially in the Donetsk region”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the day in which Moscow denounced the rejection of a maxi Ukrainian offensive in the region. However, the offensive was denied by Kiev, which also accused Russia of living in a “separate virtual meta universe” where “attacks that do not exist” are rejected, but also of wanting to spread false information about a hypothetical counter-offensive to divert attention from the losses suffered in Bakhmut.

“I am grateful to each of our soldiers, to all our defenders who today gave us exactly the news we expected. Bakhmut direction: well done, warriors,” adds the Ukrainian president on Telegram.


Meanwhile, fighting has broken out again in the Russian border region Belgorod. For some time now there have been repeated clashes and attacks in the region for which Moscow blames Kiev. Also fighting against Putin’s army are the ‘Russian Volunteer Corps’ and the Russian Legion, groups made up of Russian nationalists.

Yesterday evening, the Russian Volunteer Corps released a video in which it claims to have taken control of a village in the region that has been completely abandoned by its 5,000 inhabitants. The video was relaunched on Twitter by Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, who stressed that the Russian authorities have neither denied nor confirmed.

“The fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps have taken control of the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka,” say two militiamen of the group holding up their flag in a deserted street. “It’s not a small abandoned village, but a settlement where 5,000 people live. Now it’s empty there are only fighters from the Russian Volunteer Corps”, they say.

The Volunteers and the Russian Legion then claimed responsibility for killing a colonel of the Russian Armed Forces, Andrey Stesev, during a joint operation in the Russian oblast. The claim, with photos of Stesev’s documents, was relaunched by Ukrainska pravda.

The claim states that the colonel was killed in battle, without specifying the exact place. Stesev is described as a senior officer of the Belgorod Operations Group. “Using his orders, he and his subordinates systematically terrorized the population of Belgorod oblast and violated their rights and freedoms. Previously, Stesev killed civilians in Chechnya, Yugoslavia, Abkhazia and Ukraine.”

Stesev’s death was therefore also announced by the Ukrainian military services on Telegram, with a photo of his document attached, writes Kyiv Independent.

According to intelligence reports, the 52-year-old colonel was part of the 104th Air Assault Guards Regiment, accused of participating in the Bucha massacre in Ukraine in March 2022. Stesev was reportedly killed in battle in the village by Novaya Tavolzhanka.

According to Kiev, however, there is an ongoing clash in the Russian oblast between the Russian army and the Russian Volunteer Corps, in which Ukraine is not involved. This was written on Twitter by Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, who is therefore urging Russia to negotiate with the militiamen.

“Many people are asking a fair question: what exactly is happening now in the Belgorod oblast? It’s simple. A classic boomerang. Today it is a ‘disputed territory’, a ‘grey area’, over which there is a clash between Putin’s army and the Russian Volunteer Corps, active Russian citizens who do not agree with Moscow’s genocidal policy and enjoy the support of the local population. It is a battle between the Russian Goliath and the Russian David. “Ukraine is not involved in this conflict. We observe the course of events and once again call on the Moscow regime to cease fire in Belgorod oblast, immediately sit down to the negotiating table with the Russian Volunteer Corps and put an end to this senseless bloodshed. Otherwise the number of disputed territories will grow rapidly…” Podolyak tweeted.