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Ukraine Official Warns Progress In Kherson Will Be “Slow”

HIMARS
U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 65th Field Artillery Brigade, and soldiers from the Kuwait Land Forces fire their High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (U.S.) and BM-30 Smerch rocket systems (Kuwait) during a joint live-fire exercise, Jan. 8, 2019, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait. The U.S. and Kuwaiti forces train together frequently to maintain a high level of combat readiness and to maintain effective communication between the two forces. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Lefty Larimer)

After Ukraine launched the biggest counter-offensive against invading Russian forces since the beginning of the war on Monday, a Ukrainian official warned this week that progress in the Kherson region would be “slow” – suggesting that while Russian forces have been weakened in the area, victory isn’t immediately in sight for Ukraine.

A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy On Tuesday told Ukrainians not to expect too much too soon.

Writing on Telegram, Oleksiy Arestovych explained that the operation is designed to be a slow one that will “grind” the enemy in the long term.

“Of course, many would like a large-scale offensive with news about the capture by our military of a settlement in an hour,” the presidential adviser said. “But we don’t fight like that…funds are limited.”

In his Monday night address, the Ukrainian president seemed to offer a similar message, telling occupiers that Ukraine will “oust them to our border,” adding that Russian forces who don’t heed his warnings will “deal with our defenders, who will not stop until they liberate everything that belongs to Ukraine.”

The former head of Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service, Sir Alex Younger, said that the news was “extremely unexpected” but “welcome.” Younger told the BBC that Ukraine’s efforts to take back control of the Kherson region is a key moment for the war in Ukraine and stressed the long-term impact the new offensive could have.

“The forces have reached some kind of balance, which is an extremely unexpected and frankly welcome situation for us to be in,” Younger said.

“The long-term trend is the gradual weakening of the Russian military capability and the gradual strengthening of the Ukrainian capability with Western help.”

The former British official said that the new offensive would allow Ukraine to demonstrate its ability to make gains and make Russia rethink its strategy.

Ukraine Breaks Through Russian Defenses

While Oleksiy Arestovych did tell Ukrainians to manage their expectations in Kherson, he also revealed that the operation is so far working. Arestovych said that Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian defenses in many frontline areas close to Kherson City. He also revealed how Ukrainian troops have begun shelling ferries used by Russian forces to supply Russian-occupied regions to the west of the Dnieper River.

Ukraine War

Ukrainian service members fire with a self-propelled howitzer 2S1 Gvozdika, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in unknown location in Kharkiv region, Ukraine May 7, 2022. REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko

It means that not only are Russian troops being forced out of Kherson, but after losing virtually all Kherson region bridges over the Dnieper River to Ukrainian HIMARS strikes, they now face uncertainty when attempting to ship military supplies over the river in ferries.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Friend

    August 30, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    From what I understand, Ukraine soldiers aren’t conscripted to fight east of the Dnipro. They are fighting on a contract, even though there is a constitutional duty to defend one’s owns borders.
    So it’s pretty much a a volunteer army and you can bet that if they hear “offensive”, you’ll have half of them defecting over to the Russians. They will fight for ukraine west of the Dnipro, where they can grow their crop and ship it over to Odessa and that’s it. Their expectations are to get rid of the east, so we should adjust our own.

  2. Chiefwiggum

    August 30, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    I doubt they will achieve much. They have been trying to get to Kherson since April but have now started a bigger offensive which – if I’m not mistaken comes not from the military Generals, but because Zelensky insisted. Ukraine has a lack of air superiority and are outgunned by the Russians who have built 3 lines of defense in the past few months according to ISW. No surprise element, lack of firepower and lack of air superiority. All they have is basically superior numbers. The Russian Defense ministry speaks of 50 destroyed Ukrainian tanks and 1200 Ukrainian casualties the first day of the counter offensive. Even if the number is exaggerated this sounds like it’s not sustainable. Manpower is one thing – losing a lot of tanks is another. We will see how this plays out.

  3. marcjf

    August 31, 2022 at 2:43 am

    A predominantly volunteer infantry based force attacking in the open against fortified positions, where the enemy has air and fire superiority and no surprise – well this does not sound a recipe for success.

    There is a constant narrative that the RF are becoming exausted but not the UAF. I’m really unclear how this could possibly be the case. We’ll see, but I would have thought it would be the UAF that are in danger of collapse, though give them their due, they are still fighting against what seems bad odds.

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