Ukrainian forces surprised the Russians with a major counterattack in the occupied territories. If the Ukrainians manage to cut off supplies, the Russians may have to withdraw.
The Ukrainian assault on Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, east of Kyiv, began on Wednesday. The American Research Institute for the Study of War (ISW) describes it as surprising, opportunistic, and highly effective.
Ukraine has taken another step towards taking the lead in this war, and has begun to create conditions for moving forward.
Here’s what Palle Ydstebø, who is the department commander at the War College, says. He explained that the counterattack was possible because the Russian forces were sparsely deployed. The reason for this was that they transferred troops from the Donbass to launch a counterattack in the Kherson region to the south.
The counterattack came as a surprise to the Russian forces. Ukrainian forces suddenly entered the country. The Russians were completely unprepared for what hit them.
This was also highlighted in the ISW report.
Ongoing Ukrainian operations in Kherson forced Russian forces to shift their focus to the south. This enables Ukrainian forces to launch local but highly effective counterattacks in the Izyum region, the report said.
The offensive in the Kharkiv region began shortly after Ukraine launched a major offensive in the Kherson region. It threatens the Russians’ control of the strategically important city of Izyum.
Russian sources claim that the Russians sent reinforcements to the region. There may not be enough soldiers available for this to have any effect. Troops tied up in Kherson and in an attempt to seize the rest of Donetsk province.
– In addition, the Russians are having problems making up for their losses. Idestibo explains that if Russia is to return its forces to Kharkiv, it will take several weeks.
ISW She wrote in her daily update of conditions on the battlefield that the Ukrainians used surprise tactics and advanced at least 20 kilometers into Russian-controlled territory in Kharkiv on Wednesday. They regained about 400 square kilometers.
This is how the development has been done in the past 24 hours
The ISW report confirms statements made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday. Then he conveyed what he described as “good news” from the Kharkiv region. He said some settlements had been retaken from Russian forces.
In a video speech this evening, he also thanked the Ukrainian artillery forces for what he said were successful strikes against Moscow’s forces in southern Ukraine. But he did not mention the places captured.
– He said that it was not yet time to name the places where the Ukrainian flag returned.
In addition to the attack in the Kharkiv region, developments in Ukraine over the past 24 hours can be summarized in the following points:
- An explosion at a power station near Odessa in the south has cut power to 360,000 people, according to a regional government spokesman.
- Russian forces fired rockets and heavy artillery at towns in several districts. Seven civilians were said to have been killed. On Thursday, the Ukrainian authorities said that several people were injured, and dozens of buildings were damaged.
- In a speech on Wednesday to an economic forum in Vladivostok, Putin said that Russia will not lose what he calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
While the Ukrainians launched a counterattack, Russia intensified its pursuit of soldiers. This summer they intensified the search for new soldiers. It takes place at the same time that the Ukrainians began the counterattack in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine. After the Ukrainian soldiers defended themselves for half a year, they are now on the offensive.
In the past two months, various regions of Russia have created so-called volunteer battalions. There will be at least 40 battalions from 20 regions. But as Aftenposten documented a few days ago: Despite the temptation of a very high salary, few sign up.
It can demoralize the Russian forces
According to ISW, Russian military bloggers are concerned that the new attack may cut lines of communication with Kupjansk and Izium. This, in turn, could enable the Ukrainians to isolate the Russians there and reclaim large areas. The tone in military blogs, which is one of the few places where you can learn about Russian sources, was one of panic, writes ISW.
– In this city there are supply lines for Russian troops in the region. If the Ukrainian forces could intercept it, they would be able to force the Russians to retreat. Then they begin to dance the Ukrainian pipe.
The supplies are food, artillery and fuel, everything a modern army needs to fight.
“The shock level of Russian military bloggers and the frank discussion of Ukrainian successes confirm that the Russians were taken by surprise – which is likely to dampen the morale of the Russian forces,” the institute’s report said.
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