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.
“The enemy’s another attempt at offensive actions has failed miserably.”
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.”
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
- In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc.
Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.