Ukraine launched its eagerly awaited counteroffensive against occupying Russian forces on Thursday a according to individuals acquainted with the situation
In the city of Zaporizhzhia, in the southeast of the nation, Ukrainian fighters are putting in a strong effort to drive away Russian invaders. North of the eastern city of Bakhmut, where Ukrainian forces have retaken about 1.4 km of ground, there are also ongoing fighting.
“In the direction of Bakhmut, our troops switched from defense to offensive,” said Ukranian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar.
“Over the past day, we have advanced from 200 to 1,100 meters in various sections of the Bakhmut direction.”
In a conflict that President Vladimir Putin started, several news organizations reported on Thursday that Ukraine had started its operation to regain land that had been taken by Russia in the previous year. The Ukrainian military is utilizing Western weaponry and gear, including $46.8 billion in military subsidies and loans from the United States as well as military training and equipment.
An intelligence update on Ukraine from the UK’s Ministry of Defense said “heavy fighting continues along multiple sectors of the front.”
“In most areas, Ukraine holds the initiative,” the ministry said.
A soldier near the front lines serving with a Ukrainian reconnaissance unit tells Fox News that the Russians are returning fire with artillery.
“The Russians are using drones to identify Ukrainian positions and then implementing the artillery technique of ‘bracketing’ to try and hit advancing soldiers,” the soldier said.
Bracketing is an artillery term for first firing long on a target, then short of it, and next adjusting to split the difference and hit the target with the third round, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
High casualties are expected on both sides as the offensive continues.
Russian military officials have discussed the potential for a major Ukrainian offensive this spring. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin previously claimed the offensive had started in Bakhmut in early May, but any such action at that time failed to secure the city, which Russia secured at the end of the month.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu around the same time demanded that state-owned companies double their missile output in preparation for Ukraine’s counteroffensive, saying, “Right now it is necessary to double the production of high-precision weapons in the shortest possible time.”
Dry weather in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine have created conditions that Zelenskyy and his military command have long waited for to commence the operation. Ukraine increased its strikes on Russian supply depots and logistical routes in recent weeks in anticipation of more significant action.