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Putin Is Sweating: Ukraine Could Stop Russia’s Donbas Offensive

Russian Tanks
Russian T-80 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

On day 80 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian military continued its topical counterattacks, reclaiming lost territories in several places. The latest Ukrainian offensive is focused on the key city of Izium.

Meanwhile, the siege of the Azovstal steelworks plant in Mariupol continues, with the last Ukrainian defenders making a last stand against the Russian forces that have a vast numerical and material superiority.

Ukraine Counterattacks 

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, the Ukrainian military has launched a counterattack in the direction of Izium, located in eastern Ukraine a few miles south of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.

The Russian military has been using Izium as a staging point for its renewed offensive in the Donbas. Russian forces have been advancing from Izium to the south to link up with Russian units coming from the south in an attempt to trap Ukrainian units in the Joint Forces Operation area. Should the Ukrainian military succeed in retaking Izium or prevent the Russians from using it as a staging base, the Russian renewed offensive in the Donbas will most likely fail.

With the addition of the M-777 155mm howitzers, the Ukrainian military has the long-range fire capability to pull its counterattack off.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Saturday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 27,200 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 200 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 163 helicopters, 1,218 tanks, 551 artillery pieces, 2,934 armored personnel carriers, 195 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 13 boats and cutters, 2,059 vehicles and fuel tanks, 88 anti-aircraft batteries, 411 unmanned aerial systems, 42 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 95 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

Russian Political Warfare 

In its daily estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense focused on the political aspect of the war and how the Kremlin was trying to annex Ukrainian territories. The British Intelligence states that that was the Russian intention from the start, and several Ukrainian cities and provinces in the east were expected to be incorporated into Russia.

“The Russian-imposed military-civilian administration in Kherson announced they will ask Russia to include Kherson Region in the Russian Federation. A central part of Russia’s original invasion plan was highly likely to use rigged referendums to place the majority of Ukraine’s regions under long-term pro-Russian authority. The fact that Russia has only succeeded in imposing a pro-Russian local leadership in Kherson highlights the failure of Russia’s invasion to make progress towards its political objectives in Ukraine,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.


Service members of pro-Russian troops drive a tank during Ukraine-Russia conflict on a road outside the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 10, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/File Photo

Downed Su-34

A member of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces inspects remains of a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighting aircraft among residential area, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Chernihiv, Ukraine April 6, 2022. REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko

“If Russia carries out an accession referendum in Kherson, it will almost certainly manipulate the results to show a clear majority in favour of leaving Ukraine. Citizens in the Kherson region are likely to continue to demonstrate their opposition to Russian occupation,” the British Military Intelligence warned.

1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.



  1. speedster

    May 14, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    It’s not looking good for the invaders, 108,800 dead and wounded Russian troops. When you consider the original russian force numbered 140,000, that leaves 31,200, not dead or wounded.

    The Russian strong point was originally meant to be their artillery, but when you consider the Russian calibre is 152.5mm and the western howitzer are 155mm, this means the Ukrainians can easily overreach the Russian artillery and pushing the invaders back should be easy.

    The Russian survivors of the first invasion numbered 60,000 and he e been reallocated to the campaign in the East and 40,000 fresh russians brought in. Casualties for this campaign number 28,800, leaving 71,200 of which say 30,000 left of the original 40,000 fresh troops. Do bear in mind that 40,000 of the remaining 71,200, never had recuperation after leaving North ukraine. Tired troops make mistakes.

  2. speedster

    May 14, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    All the articles I have read indicate Russia is metaphorically scraping the bottom of the barrel to find recruits for the ukraine invasion. Most recruits from as far as middle russia and siberia. The consistent pattern that emerged is that Russia is definitely not recruiting from the main cities of Moscow and st.Petersburg, Putin’s home town. Russia

    The only reason for the exclusion of the main cities from military recruitment for ukraine, must, be that Putin wants to confine, the “special operation” to television in the main cities and not being home to people in the cities that their loved ones could die.

  3. Stefan Stackhouse

    May 15, 2022 at 8:34 am

    One unfortunate and alarming aspect of this Russian plot to annex these territories is that a Ukrainian counterattack to recover them will then be classified as an “existential threat” to Russian territory, and justification for breaking out the tactical nukes.

  4. getrecked

    May 15, 2022 at 9:02 am

    LOL, this is called journalism by Tic Tok. Not a single thing in the article or these idiotic comments is true. LOLOLOLOL

    • mcswell

      May 15, 2022 at 10:54 am

      If nothing in these comments is true, I guess that includes your comments, eh getrecked?

  5. Bos'n

    May 15, 2022 at 9:54 am

    After reading two summations of the ongoing war in Donbas by two different experts I can only conclude that both Russia and Ukraine are both winning and both are making great gains and suffering severe losses , simultaneously , fascinating stuff .

  6. Alex

    May 15, 2022 at 11:21 am

    A demobilized French soldier, author of the book “Get up and go thanks to science” Adrien Boke went to Ukraine on a humanitarian mission and spent three weeks there.

    Upon his return, he decided to convey to the French information about the events he had witnessed in Ukraine.

    “I take full responsibility for what I say. While in Ukraine, I witnessed war crimes. All of them were committed by the Ukrainian army. But in France we don’t talk about it!

    When I returned to France from Ukraine, I was shocked: TV channels invite as experts people who have not been to Ukraine and do not know anything about what is happening there now. However, they dare to speculate about these events. Between what I hear from the TV screen and what I saw with my own eyes is an abyss.

    Azov fighters are everywhere. With neo-Nazi stripes. It shocks me that Europe is supplying weapons to neo-Nazis. Not only do they not hide their views. They advertise them. I worked with these people and treated them.

    Being there, there was nothing I could do. Just watch and make videos. I have this footage and will use it as evidence of Ukraine’s crimes.

    I witnessed how the Ukrainian military shot through the knees of captured Russian soldiers and shot in the head higher-ranking officers.

    I have personally seen American videographers making fake footage from the scene of the events staging.

    All destroyed civilian buildings, given out by Ukraine for bombardment of civilians, are nothing more than the result of inaccurate shooting by Ukrainians at military facilities.

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine hide ammunition in residential buildings at night, without even informing the residents. This is called using people as a shield, ”Boke quotes one of the French media.

    The Washington Post recently drew attention to the fact that Ukrainian troops are placing military equipment in residential areas of cities in an attempt to counter the Russian Armed Forces, which threatens the lives of civilians.

    Boke also spoke about the untruthfulness of Western media reports about the events in Bucha.

    “Bucha is a staging. The bodies of the dead were moved from other places and deliberately placed in such a way as to produce shocking footage, ”the French author noted.

    The documents confirming this were submitted to the Federal Security Service – how, who – there are relevant intercepts – on what transport he came to this settlement and created the conditions for organizing this provocation.

    Soon all the collected evidence about the crimes of the Nazis in Ukraine will be seen by the whole world. And the most important thing is the help of Western countries to the Nazis of Ukraine and assistance in their crimes.

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