Date: 21 June 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Continues At the War Chessboard

Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive somewhat lost momentum after two weeks of heavy fighting. The command ordered a pause to add some updates to the tactics to neutralize a Russian advantage.


In the second week of the operation, Ukrainian forces liberated 113 square kilometers of territory. Why so little progress has been made so far? The problem consists of Russia’s defensive fortifications, minefields, an operational advantage in the air and electronic warfare systems, as well as artillery assaults. Ukraine managed to break Russia’s defense line on two sectors––near Kamianske in the western part of Zaporizhzhia province and, most importantly, near Velyka Novosilka at the border between western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhzhia oblasts. some 20–30 km away from Russia’s main defense line. Ukraine has also announced that it has retaken seven other towns: Lobkove, Levadne, Novodarivka, Neskuchne, Storozheve, Makarivka, and Blahodatne. These towns are on the edges of Russian-occupied territory in the Zaporizhzhia region and the southern Donetsk region. Some progress has been made, with forces moving in several directions in the south and the east near Bakhmut. Ukrainian forces also advanced near Krasnopolivka, about 12km northeast of Bakhmut. Ukrainian forces are advancing down the Siversky Donets-Donbas canal. If they reach a road linking Bakhmut and Horlivka, a communication line of a Russian grouping in Bakhmut may be cut off. Russian attempts to stage an assault are usually failed. Ukrainian forces did not give up any territorial gains they had managed to seize, perhaps amid weak Russian backup forces. Russia has redeployed most of its troops from the eastern bank of the Dnieper River to some front sectors in Zaporizhzhia and near Bakhmut. Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the “biggest blow” in Ukraine’s military campaign is yet to come. Ukraine has proved highly adept at weakening the enemy while retaining most of its forces for a counteroffensive. Kyiv has so far deployed between 25 and 30 percent of the grouping for full-frontal assaults. Only three of the twelve storm brigades for counterattack have been scrambled. Ukraine’s strategy consists of harassing the invader, thus forcing Russian troops to spend a massive amount of artillery ammunition while revealing their positions. This is still the first phase of open operations.

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