Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday gave his first formal confirmation that Ukraine’s long-awaited offensive was underway against Russian troops.
“Counteroffensive and defensive actions are taking place in Ukraine. At what stage, I will not say in detail,” Zelenskyy said in a joint news conference with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Canadian leader pledged an additional $375 million in military aid to Ukraine. His country has provided some $6 billion since Russia launched a full-scale invasion more than 15 months ago.
From the NYT:
Success is not guaranteed. Throughout the war, the Ukrainian army, with deeply motivated troops, creative military operations and advanced Western weaponry, has outperformed Russia’s military. But the Ukrainians have also found it difficult to dislodge the Russians from their entrenched defensive positions in the last few months, with the front lines barely moving.
American intelligence agencies have assessed that the most likely scenarios are smaller Ukrainian victories in the opening stage of the fighting, like retaking some parts of the Donbas or pushing Russia out of agricultural and mining areas in southeastern Ukraine.
The State of the War
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive: Ukrainian forces intensified attacks in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia in what U.S. officials said appeared to be the start of a long-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.
- Ukrainian Floods: Flooding forced thousands of residents in communities along the Dnipro River to flee after the destruction of a Russian-controlled dam in southern Ukraine that Kyiv and Moscow blamed on each other. U.S. spy satellites detected an explosion at the dam just before it collapsed, but it remains unclear what caused its destruction.
- Cross-Border Skirmishes: As Ukraine’s leaders dealt with the devastation caused by the floods in southern Ukraine, cross-border hostilities in the northeast continued, with both sides trading heavy volleys of artillery shells.
VOA (background from May of 2023)