After months of preparations and exercises, Ukraine has launched a counter-offensive to drive back Russian forces and retake the occupied territories, as reported by various Western media such as The Washington Posthe Financial Times and ABC News. Kiev, which has repeatedly stated that it will not announce the official start of such an operation, remains silent and does not confirm.
according to post According to four Ukrainian military personnel who spoke on condition of anonymity, including officers, Kiev troops, including specialist assault units armed with Western weapons and trained in NATO tactics, stepped up attacks on front-line positions in the country’s southeast this Wednesday night, “launching a significant push towards Russia – occupied territory”. The American network ABC News also broadcasts the information According to two Ukrainian sources, including one close to President Volodymyr Zelensky, the active phase of the counterattack is already underway.
Asked about this information, a spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine told Reuters: “We do not have such information.”
he Financial Times (FT) It is reported that Kiev has started German-made main battle tanks against Russian positions in the southeast “in the first heavily armored assault of their widely anticipated counter-offensive”. He cites two members of the army, two Western officials in Kiev and military analysts who say the moves are a clear sign that Ukraine’s summer offensive has begun in earnest.
The FT collects statements from leading Russian military expert Michael Kofman, who claims that based on Wednesday’s actions and the Western systems being used, “it appears that an attack on Ukraine is underway” and explains that the battle is on. place , apparently “along the Tokmak axis,” a strategic city in the Zaporizhia region.
Most military experts have so far argued that the main target of Ukraine’s counteroffensive will be precisely in the south, where many have pointed out that Ukrainian forces may try to bypass the “land corridor” between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula and advance. Through Zaporozhye, which partially controls Moscow, to the occupied city of Melitopol and the Sea of Azov. If successful, several voices explained, it could split Russian forces in two and cut off supply lines further west to Crimea.
This Thursday, Deputy Defense Minister Hana Maliar explained that Russia is “in a state of defense” in Orijiv, Zaporozhye. He also said fighting was continuing in various areas of Donetsk, such as Bakhmut – which Russia claimed in May – and the Velika Novosilka district, which lies east of Zaporozhye and 120 kilometers north of Berdyansk, the main port of Azov. The sea and part of the “land corridor” between Russia and Crimea.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Ukrainian armed forces with 150 armored vehicles tried to break through Russian defenses in the direction of Zaporozhye, but, according to him, they were stopped. As a result of the two-hour battle, the enemy lost 30 tanks, 11 infantry fighting vehicles and about 350 personnel. These claims have not been independently verified.
A This was announced by a high-ranking American official that New York Times that the attack seems to be the main axis of Ukraine’s expected counter-attack. This Thursday morning. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that heavy fighting was taking place on “multiple sectors of the front”, adding that Kiev had the initiative in most areas. Reports of fighting in Zaporozhye came as the country recovered from severe flooding caused by the destruction of Kherson’s main Kakhovka dam.
Preparation and silence
For months, Ukraine’s political and military leaders have said they are preparing a counteroffensive against Russian forces after the winter to allow warmer weather to move troops and equipment to improve battlefield conditions and deploy more advanced Western weapons. .
Kiev has insisted it will not officially announce the launch of the counter-offensive, in line with previous operations, due to operational secrecy and has resorted to silence, refusing to reveal details such as the address (or directions) it plans to move to or the calendar.
The announced counter-offensive has been the target of intense speculation all this time, which increased last Monday when various reports suggested that Ukrainian forces were stepping up attacks in various points in the east of the country. Russia’s defense ministry said it had foiled a “large-scale attack” on five points in the southern Donetsk region, one of two that make up Donbas in eastern Ukraine. At the same time, one of the pro-Russian leaders of the partially occupied Zaporizhia region of Ukraine became convinced that the Ukrainian army was trying to advance in the area.
Speaking to Reuters, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksii Danilov, rejected the Russian claim that the counterattack had already begun. “All this is not true. When all this starts, our military will decide (…). When we start a counterattack, everyone will understand and see it.”
This was noted by some Western analysts after the information received on Monday that fight Raised on the front lines, they said it was too early to say whether Ukraine had launched a counterattack. Some experts have warned that it is difficult to identify the exact start, and confusion has reigned many times.
he analytical center The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on Monday that the Russians and Ukrainians were signaling the start of a counteroffensive in Ukraine, but while researchers noted increased combat activity in various sectors of the front line, they stopped short of speculating. on the intent, weight, or purpose of Ukraine’s counteroffensive operations. “A successful counterattack may take days, weeks, or even months before its outcome becomes fully apparent,” ISW added.
In a podcast recorded this Wednesday, Coffman said that “it’s fair to say that the attack on Ukraine started a few days ago and we’re in the early stages of it.” “I think we’re moving beyond what people used to call pre-set operations. And I don’t think it’s any sort of intelligence and force attack or just an investigation. I think there were Ukrainian operations between Vuhledar and Velika Novosilka, which are brigade-level operations in this part of the front. It is not so clear what is happening in Zaporozhye, but there have been signs that there is more fighting and more activity along the front line. “And then he separately indicates that “a Ukrainian counterattack was taking place around Bakhmut”.
Ukrainian authorities have been saying for days that their army is ready to launch counter-offensive operations. President Volodymyr Zelensky stated this in an interview The Wall Street Journal Posted this weekend that Ukraine is ready, while stressing that it will take some time and cost a lot.
Ukrainian authorities have publicly tried to downplay expectations of success in the operation to recover the territory. In the background is the fact that Kiev wants to show that its army is not exhausted more than a year after the war, and that the weapons and equipment it received from the West, including the first tanks, can make significant progress. battlefield.
Source: El Diario