Ukraine said today that the country’s army gained some territory last week on its eastern and southern fronts after heavy clashes with Russian troops, regaining control of 37.4 square kilometers.

Ukrainian forces are advancing “with partial success” in the direction of Bakhmut in the east, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hana Maliar said, as well as in the south towards Berdyansk and Melitopol.

In the south she pointed out that Ukrainian forces are facing “intense enemy resistance” as well as minefields and are advancing “gradually”.

However, Maliar added that Russian forces are advancing in the east, in the regions of Avdiivka, Mariinka and Liman, in the Donetsk province.

“The enemy is advancing in the Abdiivka, Mariinka and Liman sectors,” he explained. “It is also advancing in the Svatovoe sector.” “The situation is quite difficult”, the Ukrainian deputy minister admitted, referring to “fierce fighting” in these areas.

Over the weekend, Russia announced that its forces had repelled Ukrainian attacks on villages near Bakhmut and further south, mainly near the mountain town of Vukhledar. He also reported that Russian troops managed to contain Ukrainian forces in the northeast.

Sixteen months after the start of the Russian invasion, Ukraine says it is continuing its counteroffensive, which began about a month ago, although it has so far made no significant progress. Kiev is calling on its Western allies to rush to send promised military aid as the NATO summit in Vilnius approaches.