- Zelenskyy announced the retaking of three Ukrainian settlements, but didn't specify where.
- One counter-attack was in the eastern Donbas region and two were in the south, he said.
- Ukraine began to push back against Russian occupation in the south at the end of August.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had retaken three settlements in eastern and southern parts of the country amid a wider counter-offensive.
Zelenskyy, speaking on his Telegram channel, did not specify the locations of the reported gains. One was a settlement in the eastern region of Donetsk, he said, adding that two further settlements "in the south of our country" were also liberated.
The Ukrainian military also reported artillery and air strikes on more than a dozen targets in the southern region of Kherson on Sunday, according to CNN.
President Vladimir Putin's forces have overtaken territory in eastern and southern Ukraine since the invasion began in February. Ukrainian troops began a widescale counter-offensive in the south of the country at the end of August.
Insider was unable to verify Zelenskyy's report. On Monday, the UK Ministry of Defense released a map showing sites of "likely Ukrainian advance" in three southern locations.
—Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) September 5, 2022
It did not indicate any advance in the east.
Donetsk represents about one half of the Donbas region, in Ukraine's east, where Russian forces have been attacking Ukraine for eight years, long predating the invasion of February 2022.
Russian-backed separatist action led to the formation of the "Donetsk People's Republic" in 2014, which Putin formally recognized on February 22 this year. (Most countries, including the west and the UN, continue to consider it Ukrainian territory.)
The south of Ukraine faced a brutal onslaught early in Putin's invasion, likely in an effort to connect Russian-annexed Crimea to the strategic southern port of Odessa. It has seen Russian forces occupy — and inflict catastrophic destruction on — cities such as Kherson and Mariupol.
In his address, Zelenskyy repeated his assertion that the war would end only with the retaking of Crimea. "We will make Crimea one of the best, most comfortable places in Europe," he said.
He also said he had spoken with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and repeated his request for Europe to impose a visa ban on Russian tourists.
"Europe is a land of values, not Disneyland for supporters of terror," Zelenskyy said.