(Reuters) - Ukrainian troops have secured some new "successes" in the south and east as they try to push forward their counteroffensive against Russian forces, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said on Thursday.
Kyiv's forces have been making slow progress against Russian minefields and trenches blocking a southern push intended to reach the Sea of Azov and split Russian forces.
"There have been some successes, in particular in the direction of Novodanylivka-Novoprokopivka," Maliar said on the Telegram messaging app, referring to two southeastern villages in the Zaporizhzhia region.
Novoprokopivka lies further south of the strategic settlement of Robotyne, which Ukraine said on Monday it had liberated.
Maliar also said Kyiv's forces were pressing on with their offensive operations south of the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, which was captured by Russian troops in May.
Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine's ground forces, also reported a "positive dynamic" on the Bakhmut front, but gave no details.
Heavy fighting raged on in the villages of Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka and Andriivka, Maliar said.
Maliar added that "active" fighting was also underway on the Lyman front in the east, where Russian troops had attempted to advance near the villages of Novoyehorivka and Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region.
(Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka; Editing by Alex Richardson)