News from Ukraine: Putin humiliated as 1,015 occupied positions recaptured and 200 planes shot down | World | News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly said in a video address that the country’s troops had taken over 1,015 sites. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that Russia had lost 200 aircraft since its invasion.

Mr Zelensky is quoted in Ukrainian media NV as saying: “We continue to restore the occupied territories of Ukraine.

“To date, 1,015 settlements have been cleared, including six in the past 24 hours.

“We are restoring electricity, water, communications, transport and social services there. This is important.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry put total Russian troop losses at 27,200 in its latest briefing. Express.co.uk could not independently verify any of the figures.

There have been no reliable estimates of the extent of Russia’s losses since it launched its invasion on February 24.

The figures come as Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive near the Russian town of Izium in eastern Ukraine, according to a regional governor.

This could prove to be a serious setback for Moscow’s plans to capture the entire Donbass region.

Regional Governor Oleh Sinegubov said in comments on social media: “The hottest point remains the management of Izium.

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Continued pressure on Izium and Russian supply lines should make it harder for Moscow to encircle Ukrainian troops on the eastern front.

Mr Zelensky also said complex talks were underway to find a method of evacuating large numbers of wounded soldiers from besieged steelworks from Azovstal to Mariupol in exchange for the release of Russian prisoners of war.

Mariupol, which has suffered the heaviest fighting in nearly three months of war, is now in Russian hands, but hundreds of Ukrainian fighters are still resisting the factory despite weeks of heavy Russian bombardment.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday: “In Mariupol, the enemy continues to blockade our units near the Azovstal factory. [Russia] inflicts massive artillery and air strikes [and] conducts assault operations.”

It comes amid reports that the bodies of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine have been taken to a marshalling yard outside kyiv and piled with hundreds of others on a refrigerated train.

They should be kept until they can be returned to their families.

Volodymyr Lyamzin, the chief civil-military liaison officer, said: “Most of them were brought from Kyiv region, there are some from Chernihiv region and other regions as well. “

He added that refrigerated trains stationed in other parts of Ukraine were being used for the same sinister purpose.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry said on Saturday that the Russian-imposed civil-military administration in Ukraine’s Kherson region said it would ask Russia to include it in the Russian Federation.

In its briefing, posted on Twitter, the ministry said that if Russia were to hold a membership referendum in Kherson, it would almost certainly manipulate the results to show a clear majority in favor of Ukraine’s exit.

Christi C. Elwood