A few days after the news that Ukraine is said to have broken through important Russian lines in Kherson, the current situation in the south of the country has remained remarkably quiet. What do we already know about the counteroffensive?
At the end of August, news arrived that a major Ukrainian counter-offensive had begun in the south of the country, especially around the city of Kherson. Kiev spoke of major breakthroughs. “We have breached the front line around Kherson,” the Ukrainian army said. In a late night video address, President Volodomir Zelensky took it even further, warning Russian troops: “If they want to survive, it’s time for the Russian soldiers to flee. Go home.”
Russia responded, quite as expected, to the news by contradicting it. The Russian Defense Ministry called the Ukrainian move “a huge failure”. Numbers about successful attacks and destroyed vehicles were also thrown around on both sides, but the numbers can’t really be confirmed independently. But what about now? Is the counter-offensive still going on?
According to Kiev, there is still heavy fighting in the region, but at the same time is scant with information. Video footage has never been more scarce since the start of the invasion, making military positions impossible to trace by mapmakers. There is also no more news coming directly from the front line. There is speculation on social media.
For example, according to the former Ukrainian-American racing driver Igor Sushko, who is also head of the think tank Wind of Change Research Group, there is indeed news to report. On Twitter, he writes that the Ukrainian armed forces have provided an update on the number of Russian military casualties in the Kherson region: 1950 soldiers are said to have been killed. Still in Sushko’s numbers: 89 tanks and 132 armored vehicles, 74 artillery systems and 80 other vehicles were destroyed.
Sushko also shares images with the figures, which show how vehicles are hit. These images have also not been independently verified.