The long-awaited Ukrainian summer offensive appears to have petered out even faster than the historical Ardennes Offensive that preceded the ultimate German collapse in WWII.
Ukraine’s much-heralded “counter-offensive” in Kherson has “failed miserably,” the Russian Defense Ministry insisted on Monday, listing estimated losses suffered by Kiev during the operation. Ukrainian forces had attempted to attack in three directions on orders of President Vladimir Zelensky but made no gains, Moscow explained.
Russian troops caused “great losses” to the Ukrainian attackers during the day’s battles, a statement read. Kiev saw 26 tanks, 23 armored fighting vehicles, nine more armored vehicles, and two SU-25 ground-attack jets destroyed, while more than 560 troops were lost, according to the summary.
Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian outlet Suspilne quoted Southern Command spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk as saying that “offensive actions in various directions” had begun, “including in the Kherson region.” She offered no details, however, saying only that “any military operation needs silence.”
By Monday evening, however, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine mentioned only a Russian attack near the village of Potemkino.
Kiev has been talking about a “Kherson counteroffensive” all summer, while soliciting more weapons and ammunition from its Western backers. In a video address to the people on Sunday, Zelensky vowed that “Ukraine will return” to Donbass – as well as Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Kherson and “definitely to Crimea.”
If WWII history is a reasonable guide, a new Russian offensive should be gearing up right about now. It’s not even autumn yet and already the European nations are observably beginning to panic.