Russian forces could become more isolated if Ukrainian troops consolidate gains

A Ukrainian counterattack north and west of the capital of Kyiv appears to have made some headway, jeopardizing Russian efforts to encircle the city and threatening the ability of Russian forces to resupply the forward units that are exposed to the north of the city.

Videos geolocated Monday show Ukrainian soldiers draping the national flag over a building in the town of Makariv, some 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Kyiv.

Then, early Tuesday, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a post on social media that they had regained control of Makariv.

Following 24 hours of fighting, the “state flag of Ukraine was raised over the city of Makariv” as the Russians retreated, the Armed Forces said on Facebook.

The town is strategically placed due west of Kyiv.

The head of Kyiv’s regional police, Andriy Nebytov, toured Makariv on Monday. A video of his visit showed widespread devastation and the town appeared deserted.

Nebytov said Makariv was still being shelled, indicating the immediate area is still contested. He was told by another officer during the tour that artillery fire was coming from five kilometers (three miles) to the north, an area still held by the Russians.

“Makariv is still under fire,” he said. “Every second civilian building, private houses, have been destroyed, damaged by artillery shelling.”

“There are almost no people in the city,” Nebytov said on the video. “There are no residents, no one to take away.”

At one point, Nebytov passed a memorial to villagers “who gave their lives for the Soviet Motherland, in 1941-1945,” as he put it. “So there you are, those people died in a battle against fascism, Nazism. Now history is repeating itself.”

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