The war is ramping up once again, as Ukraine’s military confirms that a counteroffensive against Russia has begun. The intensified fighting comes in the aftermath of the destruction of the Kakhovka dam.
According to a report by The Washington Post, Ukraine’s forces have finally launched their long-awaited counteroffensive, based on speaking with four Ukrainian soldiers and officers. The servicemembers said this “crucial phase” in the war has now begun with fresh, intensified attacks in the southeast, coming also as severe flooding from the Kakhovka dam explosion continues to unfold.
David Ignatius is calling it Ukraine’s “D-Day” but it’s too early to tell if any actual gains have been made and sustained, amid the usual conflicting battlefield claims. Russia’s military has said it is crushing the Ukrainian campaign.
Prominent Russian commentators and “war observers” have also said in the past days all evidence points to the beginning of a counteroffensive:
Igor Strelkov, a senior army veteran and former officer of Russia’s security service, said Thursday that it was clear Ukraine’s counteroffensive had begun. Strelkov played a key role in Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and later the war in Donbas.
“Perhaps, we can now reliably say that the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine began 5-6 days ago,” wrote Strelkov on Telegram, providing analysis of troop movements at different hot spots along the front line.
“At the moment — after a day of continuous fighting, it is indirectly known about minor penetrations, but there are no breakthroughs,” he added, speaking of Ukraine’s forces. –The Washington Post
On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) declared that Ukraine had made an initial to kick-start its counteroffensive, but that it had failed.
“On the morning of June 4, the enemy launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the front in the South Donetsk direction,” the MoD statement said. “The enemy has failed to reach its goals and was unsuccessful.”
The very next day saw the explosion and destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.
Over the weekend, Ukrainian officials were urging silence ahead of the start of the counteroffensive, but this week saw multiple reports saying it has begun, according to a report by ZeroHedge.
Russia continues to claim that it is also “beating back” the Ukrainian offensive.
This story is still developing, but one this is for certain: the fighting has intensified and the war is far from over.