Ukraine has entered the village of Andriivka south of Bakhmut amid heavy fighting as Kyiv’s forces try to take advantage of their momentum as they attempt to surround the war-torn city.

BAKHMUT, UKRAINE – JANUARY 24: A view of the damaged houses due to a Russian shelling through a broken window in Bakhmut, Ukraine as Russian-Ukrainian war continues, on January 24, 2023. (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Ukraine has made a huge breakthrough south of Bakhmut with reports that Russian forces in the area have been sent fleeing in retreat. The news comes as Russian sources claim a massive Ukrainian offensive on the country’s southern front.

Kyiv’s troops entered the destroyed village of Andriivka south of Bakhmut yesterday, according to Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, but heavy fighting continued.

“The advance and liberation of the settlement took place, but now the fighting continues both within and outside the settlement,” he said.

Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces reported that Russian soldiers in the area were retreating but Kyrylenko warned that the village had become “scorched earth” making it impossible for civilians to return.

President Zelensky also commented on reports after being updated on the situation by the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

“We believe in our guys. We continue to work,” he posted on Telegram.

Reports have emerged that Ukrainian forces have also seized the town of Klishchiivka south of Bakhmut. With both villages captured Kyiv’s forces would be in a position to cut Russia’s southern supply lines to the city.

There have also been reports of a massive Ukrainian offensive in the southern Zaporizhzhia region where the fighting has been in a deadlock for some time.

To the south of the city of Orikhiv, Ukrainian forces appeared to building on their gains. Russian sources claimed Kyiv was launching a massive offensive in the area.

“Zaporizhzhia front – the second wave of the Ukraine’s counteroffensive has begun,” a member of the Russian-installed Zaporizhzhia military-civilian administration Vladimir Rogov wrote on Telegram Wednesday.

He continued: “The enemy has sent maximum forces to break through our defences in the Orikhiv direction.

“Early this morning after massive artillery preparation and air strikes the Ukrainians went to storm our positions near Robotyne.”

At this point, it was unclear whether the Ukrainian offensive near Orikhiv had succeeded in breaking Russian defences.

Kyiv aims to make a breakthrough on the southern front and make a drive to the Black Sea likely via Melitopol.

The move would effectively split Russian forces in two cutting off the military in Crimea and southern Ukrain.