To tee the Monday off, SOFREP’s SITREP highlights the liberation of two communities in the south of Ukraine, including Kherson Oblast.

President Volodomyr Zelensky announced Sunday that they had positive progress in the Kherson region after their counteroffensive campaign last week.

“[The] Ukrainian flags are returning to the places where they should be,” Zelensky said.

However, Ukraine’s military is urging their officials and military leaders to avoid speaking with the media as they tread carefully with mission-sensitive information that could make it or break it for the Russians. Videos and images of the Ukrainian military and locals pulling up the Ukrainian flag have spread through social media.

An official in Zelensky’s office, Kyrlo Tymoshenko, posted a photo of the Ukrainian flag on top of a residential rooftop in the village of Vysokopilia in Southern Kherson, a region seized by the Russian forces in March. This is about 90 miles from the provincial capital.

Zelensky did a nightly address on Sunday calling out the bravery of the Ukrainian soldiers for their “heroic actions.”

Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Map
Interactive Map: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine (Source: 聽Institute for the Study of War)

“Thanks to its heroic actions, two settlements in the south of out country were liberated,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky added that the Ukrainian 54th Mechanized Brigade had advanced in the direction of the Lysychansk-Siversk regions and established advantageous positions that they did not disclose.

Meanwhile, Russia claims the counteroffensive has been a “failure.” In a state media announcement, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed last Friday that the Ukrainian forces “can conduct a serious counteroffensive.” However, the Institute for the Study of War countered these claims saying operations like this “cannot succeed or fail in just a few days, and it will take weeks or possibly months to see how the operations unfolds.”

Still, there is an ongoing push from the Ukrainian ground forces on the front lines, including targeting key Russian supply sources and military equipment. In a briefing yesterday, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Southern Operational Command reported that their artillery killed 20 Russian soldiers together with four military vehicles.

As for the Donestk region, the governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said Sunday that two people had been killed in the village of Velyka Novosikla, about sixty miles away from the capital, because of Russian shelling. This was a grim reminder that the war is still ongoing and opposing forces are violently going head-to-head. Moreover, Kyrylenko posted on Telegram that 797 civilians have died and 20,000 have been wounded since the Russian attack in February.

The Russian forces were also seen (via geolocated footage) firing MLRS rounds from the grounds of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) (less than a mile from the nuclear reactor). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced last Saturday that the (ZNPP) had been disconnected from the power grid for the second time since they arrived.

Still, the battle is focused in five directions: “east and west of Vysokopillya, near the Ukrainian bridgehead, near Snihurivka approximately 60km east of Mykolaiv City, and northwest and west of Kherson City,” according to the ISW.

“Milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces were unsuccessful in advancing in the Petrivka direction, southeast of Vysokopillya. Milbloggers claimed that Russian and Ukrainian forces are engaged in street fights in Arhanhelske (on the eastern bank of Inhulets River and west of Vysokopillya), and that Russian forces still control the southern part of the settlement. Milbloggers also stated that fighting continued on the southern outskirts of Olhyne, the next settlement west of Vysokopillya. Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian advances southeast of the bridgehead are contingent upon their ability to accumulate more reserves and noted that Russian forces are intensely firing at Ukrainian forces in the Andriivka area. Milbloggers noted that Ukrainian attempts to seize Blahodatne (west of Snihurivka) were unsuccessful and that artillery fire continues in the Snihurivka area.”

Russia Opens Lines of Communication

However, even as Ukraine and Russia continued the fighting on the front lines, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced that they were ready to negotiate Moscow’s conditions for ending the war. Still, they are focusing on maintaining their “maximalist goals to ‘denazify’ Ukraine.”

Peskov said in a statement Sunday that they are open to speaking with President Zelensky to meet Russian conditions to achieve a possible outcome on peace negotiations. He added that they are optimistic that “all conflicts end at the negotiations table and expressed that relations between Russia and the West will improve soon.”

The Russian conditions include the surrender of Donestk and Luhansk Oblasts as well as the integration of Kherson, Zaporizhia, and Kharkiv Oblasts to be permanently included in the Russian Federation.

So, ultimately, all the regions they have either failed to occupy or maintain occupancy in.

“Peskov鈥檚 statement is thus a reiteration of Moscow鈥檚 demands for Ukrainian surrender and offers no indication that Moscow is willing to negotiate seriously and on the basis of a realistic assessment of its prospects in a war that is turning in Ukraine鈥檚 direction.”

Here’s the breakdown of Russian losses as of Sept. 5:

  • 2087 tanks
  • 4488 armored combat vehicles
  • 1167 artillery
  • 294 multiple launch rocket systems
  • 156 air defense systems
  • 236 military jets
  • 206 helicopters
  • 870 drones
  • 207 cruise missiles
  • 15 warships and boats
  • 3296 vehicles and fuel tanks
  • 108 special equipment
  • 50,100 eliminated personnel
    – over 900 elite military personnel
    – 151 service people with the GRU special forces
    – 245 members of the National Guard (including those from special forces units)
    – 67 Russian military pilots