Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 11.10.2018
The Ukrainian army has taken control of the village of Viktorivka on the front line where the Russian Federation is invading Ukraine. Another “grey zone” settlement is reunited with free Ukraine, and the occupation forces from Muscovy have been pushed back.
Viktorivka is in Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. It lies 16 kilometres south-east the Russian-occupied city of Dokuchaevsk. The battlefront where the Muscovites are invading Ukraine is right there, at the Balka Ksanta stream which runs along the edge of the village. Before the Russian Federation launched the Donbas campaign of its war against Ukraine, which was in April 2014, about 80 people lived in Viktorivka. All of the residents left the village because Russian soldiers robbed their houses and terrorized them.
The press service of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that soldiers of the Muscovite occupation army routinely violated the Minsk Agreement demarcation line and hid in the abandoned houses of Viktorivka. From there, they would shoot at the defensive positions of the Ukrainian army. The JFO, under the command of Lt.-Gen. Serhiy Nayev, deployed special forces soldiers to take full control of the village of Viktorivka. Although they came under fire, JFO soldiers advanced 1200 metres forward, exposed the enemy’s obstacles, and improved the forward position of the Ukrainian side.
There is now only a gap of a few hundred metres between the new positions of the Ukrainian defenders in Viktorivka and the trenches of Russian occupation troops in the adjacent village of Petrivka to the east. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Donbas is very much like the trench warfare of a century ago – but Putin’s War has already lasted longer than the First World War.
Putin’s invasion army has not occupied any new Ukrainian territory since the Battle of Debaltseve in January-February 2015. Since 2015, the Ukrainian army defending the homeland has liberated village after village in the “grey zone” along the 427-kilometre long battlefront in Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine. Now add Viktorivka to the list of settlements reunited with free Ukraine.