Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Russian troops to flee “if they want to survive” amid a widely reported Ukrainian counteroffensive in the southern region of Kherson.
An unidentified Ukrainian military official was quoted telling CNN “the operation began at night with massive shelling of Russian positions and the rear,” resulting in the liberation of three villages near Kherson. Russian- officials said Ukrainian rocket attacks knocked out water and power in the occupied town of Nova Kakhovka east of Kherson.
Zelensky adviser Oleksiy Arestovych called the counteroffensive a “planned, slow operation to grind down the enemy,” citing the need to save civilian lives and limited resources. Another presidential adviser, Mykhailo warned against speculation about the progress of the counter-offensive.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry said the offensive in the Kherson and neighbouring Mykolaiv regions had failed “miserably” and Ukrainian troops suffered significant casualties, according to state media reports.
In the statement released, more than 560 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 26 tanks, 23 armoured fighting vehicles and 2 Su-25 fighter jets destroyed during the offensive.
Ukraine’s counter-offensive was launched due to pressure coming from the west especially US and UK demanding Zelensky to show something for all the weapons and money given to the country.
Another reason for the offensive was because Ukrainian soldiers were losing morale as some had started surrendering to Russia but Zelensky had also been afraid to start an offensive against Russian forces which in turn would not only expose Ukrainian defensive positions but Ukrainian soldiers would lose morale once counter-offensive fails.
Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of military aid and billions more in other assistance with little to show for it except a few explosions in the Crimea region and a few successful Himars targets of Russian ammo storage facilities.
Continued capture of territories by Russia’s military has reduced hopes of Ukraine ever winning the war in western Countries and there is increased fear that people may start protesting due to high inflation and cost of living as they demand a stop to the war.
Russia has adopted a tactic of withdrawing to come back later and take it back. This tactic works like this, Russian forces let Ukraine military take villages and towns to save the lives of the personnel and then come back later when prepared and defeat Ukrainian soldiers, taking back the area.