Ukrainian offensive officially begins
The Ukrainians, after much delay have finally launched their counteroffensive/offensive in the Zaporozhe direction. The offensive is probably the most awaited and “hyped up” military action since the start of the war back in February 2022. There was minor “probing” attacks near the front since June 5th, but now it seems the offensive is finally underway and confirmed by Western Media.
After months of buildup to a campaign that could prove crucial in Kyiv’s bid to reclaim occupied territory, a wave of attacks Thursday focused on the war’s southeastern front lines and appeared to represent a significant new push.
This new phase of the war, which many see as crucial to persuading Western allies to renew their support, comes as Ukraine grapples with the fallout from the destruction of a critical dam in the region.
Ukraine’s government has consistently said there would be no public announcement of the start of the offensive. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing military operations, while a Ukrainian military spokesman declined to comment.
So it is now confirmed that the offensive is underway. But we must also cover the previous “probing” attacks before the Ukrainian offensive today (8th June). That will be towards the end of the article.
THE EARLY PROBING ATTACKS
On June 5th/6th we were getting reports of Ukrainian forces attacking near Novodonest’ke, and the surrounding areas as depicted on the map below.
Russians were transmitting on their radios and telegram channels that this was a big probing attacking with many Ukrainian troops involved, as well as Western equipment being used. In fact most of the equipment used, such as IFVs, AFVs, troop carriers, were of Western and NATO origin. The attack lasted for roughly a day, ending towards the end of June 6th. With some of the villages changing sides twice or three times in that day. The probing ended in a Ukrainian defeat as they only managed to capture a couple of fields to the north of these settlements. They did manage to enter some of the settlements but were pushed back.
Ukraine was very reluctant to release the footage/result of the attack, which was worrisome, considering Ukraine releases plenty of footage but only releases it when it benefits them/makes their military look good. But nothing could have prepared me for what we saw from the footage released by the Russians. And it only goes to show you how horrific and deadly modern warfare is.
The tweet above shows the entire footage of that attack. And considering most of these consists of Western equipment, it is not a good look for NATO. The “probing” attack failed and was a disaster. The Ukrainians again attacked later that day and the results were much of the same.
But this time, we saw for the first time the AMX-10, a French reconnaissance vehicle. 3 of them to be specific, caught by the Russians. It is unknown if they were destroyed from the inside or just left behind by the Ukrainians. But the situation was clear, the losses were mounting from this counterattack.
All of the losses that were captured on camera (32 shown here) were destroyed on the “probing attacks” from the 5th to the ending of the 6th. And there is more footage that shows the losses at around 42, but I can’t fit all of them on here. Like I stated previously, it was not clear as to what the point of this attack was. Many on the Pro-UA side claim it was a “probing” operation to see where Russian defenses were the weakest, but clearly that can’t be the case since they used not only an absurd amount of equipment, but Western equipment, which is precious for Ukraine.
Even Pro-UA “Julian Ropcke” (which if you did not know, he is a German who served in Syria as a war correspondent) who has been known to be a huge fan of Ukraine but critical sometimes, was shocked at the losses. And questioned what the point of this attack was.
JUNE 8TH ATTACK
Now we get to the “official” counteroffensive that began today and was confirmed by many sources. The Ukrainians attacked west of where the original probing attack was, near Orikhiv as pictured below. The attack lasted for a couple of hours and once again ended in complete failure for the Ukrainian army, with even more Western equipment being destroyed. And this time the 2A4 leopard tank was destroyed, the first of its kind. Arrows in blue show where the attack was confirmed, with the biggest arrow showing where the main spearhead was situated.
The assault on this map shows how the Ukrainians did not even manage to penetrate the first line of defense. A worrying sign if they want to recapture all of Zaporozhe and cut the land bridge in half. And eventually “liberate” Crimea.
The full footage of the attack is linked here:
There is at least 8-10 confirmed losses of equipment in this video. Mostly IFVs and APCs, but an interesting thing is, it also shows the first confirmed loss of the Leopard tank, there is also another leopard in the video that looks abandoned but we cannot confirm that status of that. All in all over the past 3 days of fighting, the Ukrainians have lost in excess of 74 vehicles. And the number is likely higher with equipment losses that have not been recorded.
It is important to note though, that while Ukraine is burning through equipment this fast, they still have a great deal of manpower and equipment in reserve. So it would take a couple of more weeks of intense fighting like this to make Ukraine run out of equipment. But we cannot overstate that these losses are still enormous. Even Western media outlets are covering the losses. Per CNN:
Ukrainian forces have suffered losses in heavy equipment and soldiers as they met greater than expected resistance from Russian forces in their first attempt to breach Russian lines in the east of the country in recent days, two senior US officials tell CNN.
One US official described the losses – which include US supplied MRAP armored personnel vehicles as “significant.”
Ukrainian forces managed to overrun some Russian forces in the east around Bakhmut. However, Russian forces, armed with anti-tank missiles, grenades and mortars, have put up “stiff resistance,” with their forces dug into defensive lines that are several layers deep in some areas and marked by minefields that have taken a heavy toll on Ukrainian armored vehicles.
These are of course just the opening shots of the Ukrainian offensive, it would be naïve of me or anyone to assume that the Ukrainians are done here, they always have a trick up their sleeve in situations like these.
But what is worrisome is that Ukraine managed to attack and lose this much equipment without even reaching/penetrating the first line of the Russian defense, that should set alarm bells in the Ukrainian staff and NATO officials involved in the war. Ukraine lost all of this valuable pieces of equipment just to not even break through the first line of defense. The Russians are visually confirmed to have 6 lines of defense on the Zaporozhe front.
If the Ukrainians have something up their sleeve to alleviate the losses they suffered in the past 3 days, now is the time to do it, when the whole world is watching. Because if the first lines of defense are not broken, that is the end of the Ukrainian army as a fighting force. Defensively they will remain but their offensive capabilities will be exhausted.