After weeks of preparation, the Ukrainian army may finally have launched the bulk of its offensive in an attempt to break through the Russian defences in the hope of a success that is vital for the continuation of the war.
In line with their policy over the last few days, authorities in Kyiv are remaining very vague about their actions, perpetuating the fog of war.
Russia said on Friday that it had repelled several Ukrainian attacks in southern Ukraine, particularly in the Zaporizhzhia region.
“Over the last 24 hours, Ukrainian forces have continued their attempts to carry out offensives in the Yuzhno-Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions”, the Russian Ministry of Defence said in a statement, assuring that these had been repelled thanks to “decisive actions (…) by Russian forces units”.
Many observers, including the American analysis centre Institute for the Study of War (ISW), believe that “the Ukrainian counter-offensive has begun”, although they do not expect “a single major operation” but a series of different coordinated actions, as is currently the case.
For weeks now, Kyiv has been carefully planning its offensive, taking innovative measures to shape the battlefield: drone strikes on Moscow, attacks on Russian soil, and reconnaissance in force to test the enemy’s defences.
Ukraine is playing for big stakes. Less populated, cut off from part of its territory, its inhabitants under recurring fire from deep Russian strikes, on a drip-feed of Western military equipment… The authorities know that they will not have countless opportunities to push back the Russians and reclaim the occupied territories.