By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Ukraine’s forces in recent days have made “notable progress” against Russian troops in the south of the country, a White House spokesman said on September 1 as Ukrainian officials reported Russian missile strikes overnight.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the United States had seen progress near the Zaporizhzhya region in the last 72 hours.
“They have achieved some success against that second line of Russian defenses,” Kirby said. He also acknowledged criticism of Ukraine’s counteroffensive “by anonymous officials,” saying this was “not helpful.”
“Any objective observer of this counteroffensive, you can’t deny…that they have made progress now,” Kirby added.
The Ukrainian military in recent days has claimed success in penetrating Russian lines between the village of Robotyne and Verbove in the Zaporizhzhya region, and Western battlefield analysis have confirmed the gains.
Ukraine’s military said earlier that its counteroffensive was continuing in the country’s east and south.
Russian shelling killed a man in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, the regional military administration said.
Three people were wounded when a private enterprise was hit by a long-range cruise missile in the early hours of September 1 in the city of Vinnytsya, a city about 200 kilometers southwest of Kyiv, Governor Serhiy Borzov wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
A private enterprise was struck by a long-range cruise missile in the early hours of September 1 in the city of Vinnytsya, wounding three people, Governor Serhiy Borzov wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
The Ukrainian Air Force Command said it shot down a second missile fired as part of the overnight attack. The missile was downed over the central Kirovohrad region, the local governor said on Telegram.
Russian forces fired artillery from inside Russian territory, striking the town of Seredyna-Buda in the Sumy region in northeastern Ukraine around 12 p.m. local time, the press service of the Prosecutor-General’s Office said.
Four local residents were wounded by shrapnel, the press service said. In addition, 16 apartment buildings, 12 private households, and several other buildings were damaged.
Earlier, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Russian air defense systems had shot down a drone that he claimed was approaching the city. The drone was downed near Lyubertsy, southeast of Moscow, Sobyanin wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
According to the state-run TASS news agency, flights were suspended briefly at Moscow’s three main airports: Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo.
There have been repeated disruptions to takeoffs and landings at Moscow airports in recent days because of the risks posed by drones.
Elsewhere, a drone strike was reported in Kurchatov, home to a nuclear power plant in the Kursk region, regional Governor Roman Starovoit said.
Emergency services were assessing the damage suffered by an administrative building and a residential one in the attack, he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Starovoit did not mention any potential damage to the Kursk nuclear power plant or give details of the targeted buildings.
Earlier, the local governor of the western region of Pskov said Russian air defense had “neutralized an unidentified object” there.
Governor Mikhail Vedernikov posted a video on Telegram showing fire being directed through the air. He said there had been no damage on the ground.
The Pskov region, some 700 kilometers north of the Ukrainian border, was the site of a large drone attack earlier this week. On August 30, drones hit an airport there, damaging four Il-76 military transport planes, according to local reports. It was part of a barrage that day which targeted six Russian regions.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on August 31 that Ukraine had developed a weapon that hit a target 700 kilometers away, in an apparent reference to the strike on the airport in Pskov.
Zelenskiy said on his Telegram channel that the weapon was produced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries but gave no other details.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s General Staff said earlier that more than 25 combat clashes had taken place across the front line over the past 24 hours.
In its daily update on September 1, Ukraine’s military said its forces “continue to conduct offensive operations in the Melitopol direction.”