Ukraine says Andriivka in its hands, 17 Russian drones shot down

Kiev, Sept. 15, (dpa/GNA) – Following an unusual back and forth between Ukrainian troops on the ground and their leadership in Kiev, the army said on Friday that it had, in fact, recaptured the eastern village of Andriivka, some 10 kilometres east of Bakhmut.

Separately, the Ukrainian air defence said it shot down all 17 Russian combat drones that attacked the Khmelnytskyi region in the west of the country overnight.

The Ukrainian General Staff, in its Friday morning situation report, said Russian forces fighting in Andriivka suffered heavy losses.

On Thursday, the army had first reported the recapture, with Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar posting “Andriivka is ours” on Telegram before appearing to delete it.

But troops from Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade said Maliar’s post was not true.

“Statements of this kind are harmful, endanger the lives of the troops and affect how deployments are conducted,” the brigade said, also on Telegram. “The statement about taking Andriivka is false and premature.”

Maliar did not exactly apologize in a Friday Telegram post, but said the situation was very dynamic and changed several times on Thursday.

The Russian army and the mercenary force Wagner had taken control of Bakhmut in May after months of fighting with heavy losses. The Ukrainian troops stalled in defending the completely destroyed town so that the Russian army would wear itself out.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive is now trying to advance on the flanks of Bakhmut.

As for the Russian drone attack, Kiev’s air defence said the Iranian-designed drones had been launched on the Russian coast of the Sea of Azov and then flown on different routes to western Ukraine, according to a Ukrainian statement.

As a result, many Ukrainian areas were on air alert during the night.

There was initially no information on damage caused by falling missile parts. There is an important Ukrainian air force base, which has already been attacked by Russia several times, near the town of Starokostyantyniv in the Khmelnytskyi region.

Ukraine has been defending itself against a full-scale Russian invasion since February 2022.