Kremlin Says Ukraine’s Much-Heralded Counteroffensive In South Already “Failed Miserably” 

Kremlin Says Ukraine’s Much-Heralded Counteroffensive In South Already “Failed Miserably” 

On Monday Ukraine’s forces launched a much anticipated ‘counteroffensive’ focused on taking back territory in the south of the country, which is among the first portions of Ukraine which Russia seized soon after starting its invasion six months ago.

The operation is said to reflect a growing “confidence” in Kiev that American military aid will continue to flow and even grow. “Today we started offensive actions in various directions, including in the Kherson region,” a Ukrainian public broadcaster announced based on state officials.

Ukrainian army tanks, via Reuters

Ukrainian journalist Natalia Humeniuk admitted that Russian forces in the south are still “quite powerful” but that Ukraine’s forces have “unquestionably weakened the enemy” – which Russia’s Crimea governor Sergei Aksyonov dismissed as “another fake of Ukrainian propaganda.”

And the White House said that Russia has already had to “pull resources” from fighting in Donbas in order to defend the south.

Like with many prior major battlefield events, two competing narratives are quickly emerging. US officials including a number of Congressmen expressed their immediate optimism upon that start of the southern counteroffensive

Slava Ukraine!

Time to pray for the success of the freedom loving forces of #Ukraine and the @DefenceU, specifically for fear in the Russian lines and a utter collapse of fighting spirit. Run Orcs!!!

— Adam Kinzinger🇺🇦🇺🇸✌️ (@AdamKinzinger) August 29, 2022

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Monday said the following

“Regardless of the size, scale and scope of this counter-offensive that they’ve talked about today, they have already had an impact on Russia’s military capabilities,” Kirby said.

“The Russians have had to pull resources from the east simply because of reports that the Ukrainians might be going more on the offence in the south — they’ve had to deplete certain units from certain areas in the east and the Donbas.”

“The idea of going on the offence is not new to Ukrainians, and they have been taking the fight to the Russians inside their country,” Kirby added. “In fact, with some of the assistance that they’ve gotten from US weapons as well as others, such as Himars, they’ve been able to actually strike behind Russian lines and put the Russians more on defense.”

The statement appeared to be confirmation that Washington is positively encouraging this fresh offensive aimed at penetrating Russian lines in the south.

Kirby also weighed in on the continued standoff at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine at a moment an IAEA team has been dispatched to inspect the site. He urged a “controlled shutdown” in order to protect it, something the Russian occupying forces are unlikely to heed. Kirby called it “the safest and least-risky option in the near term” – but then there would be the question of Ukrainians keeping the lights on headed into winter.

But by Monday’s close, Russia’s defense ministry proclaimed the Ukrainian counter-offensive has “failed miserably”, per state media:

Ukrainian forces attempted to attack in three directions on orders of President Vladimir Zelensky but made no gains, Moscow said.

Russian troops caused “great losses” to the Ukrainian attackers during the day’s battles, including 26 tanks, 23 armored fighting vehicles, nine more armored vehicles, two SU-25 ground-attack jets and more than 560 troops, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday evening.

Likely the truth will emerge amid the conflicting narratives within the next days or even weeks. Russia still aims for full ‘liberation’ of the Donbas as a prime battlefield objective at this point.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 08/29/2022 – 18:00

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