A senior presidential adviser has told Ukrainians not to expect rapid gains, after his country began what it said was a long-awaited counteroffensive aiming to retake the southern province of Kherson from Russian forces.
Ukrainian troops had broken through Russian defences in several areas of the frontline near Kherson city, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, claimed.
However, in a Telegram post, Arestovych cautioned against any expectations of a quick win, describing the offensive as a “slow operation to grind the enemy”. “Of course, many would like a large-scale offensive with news about the capture by our military of a settlement in an hour,” he wrote. “But we don’t fight like that … Funds are limited.”
The offensive was first announced on Monday by a spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern command, Natalia Humeniuk, who said it was taking place in “various directions”. Humeniuk said the operation needed “silence” as media attention could affect the results.
So far, Ukraine’s authorities have not issued detailed information about the counteroffensive. At a press briefing on Tuesday, Humeniuk said Ukraine’s forces had succeeded in damaging bridges that join Kherson across the river, rendering them “impassable for heavy machinery”.
Two Ukrainian fighters on the frontlines in Kherson, who have oversight of events, described a situation that differed from the Ukrainian officials’ statements. According to them, fighting is taking place in Kherson region, but it is not the major counteroffensive being touted by Kyiv. [Continue reading…]