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Ukraine counteroffensive advancing slowly as Wagner mercenaries train soldiers in Belarus

A Ukrainian army Grad multiple rocket launcher fires rockets at Russian positions in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
A Ukrainian army Grad multiple rocket launcher fires rockets at Russian positions in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 12, 2023. Copyright Roman Chop/AP
Copyright Roman Chop/AP
By Euronews with Agencies
Published on Updated
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

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The Ukrainian counteroffensive continues to advance slowly with reports from military officials saying troops have moved forward almost two kilometres in a week in the Melitipol region. 

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has acknowledged the slow progress reflects the difficulties the counteroffensive is facing in the light of strong Russian opposition.

"We must all understand very clearly - as clearly as possible - that the Russian forces on our southern and eastern lands are investing everything they can to stop our warriors," he explained. "And every thousand metres of advance, every success of each of our combat brigades deserves gratitude."

Meanwhile, Russia's Defence Ministry on Friday claimed its forces repelled 16 Ukrainian army attacks in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republic and three more attacks in Krasny Lyman direction.

Wagner group training Belarusian soldiers

Fighters from the Wagner private military company are training Belarusian soldiers in Belarus, the country’s defence ministry said on Friday.

The ministry's TV channel, Voen TV, showed footage of Wagner mercenaries with black masks instructing members of the Belarusian military.

The video showed fighters training Belarusian soldiers on how to shoot and provide medical assistance.

After a failed 'coup' by Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, many of his mercenaries ended up in Belarus, setting up camps there.

The Pentagon says the Wagner group is not fighting in Ukraine anymore as a whole, although many members have stayed in the occupied regions of Ukraine.

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