Tuesday, June 13, 2023

UKRaine Probes RUssian Defenses for Weak Points After Kicking Off Counteroffensive; UKR’s Counteroffensive in Maps and Charts; US Lawmakers Ask Biden to Provide ATACMS to UKR; RU Claims It Blew Up Advanced UKR Tank, But Video Shows Its Helicopter Attacked a Tractor, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Roman Chop/Associated Press
Ukraine Probes Russian Defenses for Weak Points After Kicking Off Counteroffensive:
Ukrainian forces were probing Russian defenses as Kyiv searched for weak points that could allow it to break through Russian lines and retake occupied territory as part of its long-anticipated counteroffensive.
After months on the defensive, Ukrainian forces have begun deploying Western armored vehicles and units trained by the West into combat for the first time, marking the start of a counteroffensive against occupying Russian forces.
Ukrainian forces have stepped up attacks along the front line in the east and south of the country in recent days, seeking to overrun entrenched Russian positions.
In an indicator of the challenges Kyiv faces in advancing, Oryx, an independent team of analysts tracking wartime equipment losses, put Ukraine’s recent losses at four Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles and two German-made Leopard tanks. A French armored personnel carrier and a U.S.-made Oshkosh combat vehicle were also abandoned on the battlefield. The losses couldn’t be independently verified.
In his first public comments on the war in several weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists that Ukraine’s counteroffensive hasn’t been successful, but he also said that Kyiv’s troops shouldn’t be discounted.
“All counteroffensive attempts made so far have failed,” Putin said. “But the offensive potential of the troops of the Kyiv regime is still preserved.
”Ukrainian military spokesman Capt. Valeriy Shershen said Russia was regrouping and reinforcing positions in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, where Kyiv is undertaking one its main thrusts. “We are probing, looking for weak spots. When we find them we make a counterattack,” said Shershen. --->READ MORE HERE
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive in Maps and Charts:
Assaults in southern Ukraine Thursday mark the initial stage of what military strategists expect to be a monthslong counteroffensive by Ukraine aimed at ousting Russian forces from some of the nearly 20% of Ukrainian territory that they occupy.
Ukrainian officials said they were carrying out what they described as local attacks, while Russia’s defense minister said Moscow’s forces had repelled Ukrainian attempts to break through Russian lines.
Thursday: Counteroffensive
Russia has built strong defensive lines in the south and east, including trenches and minefields. Ukraine will seek to overcome them with tens of thousands of troops trained in the West and using Western tanks and other armored vehicles.
Ukrainian forces were attacking near the town of Orikhiv, seen as a jumping-off point for an assault toward the critical, Russian-occupied transport hub of Tokmak, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on Thursday.
The direction of the attacks suggests that Ukraine is probing southward toward the Sea of Azov, a widely expected effort to cut a land bridge that links mainland Russia with the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula, a critical base for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Wednesday: Shifting Outlook
As authorities assess the impact from the Nova Kakhovka Dam, the battlefield in the south has changed.
The dam’s destruction could somewhat affect Kyiv’s plans for its counteroffensive, while also washing away Russian fortifications along the Dnipro River that were meant to ward off a Ukrainian river crossing. With the river now impassable, Russia could redeploy resources from the southwest to reinforce other sections of the front, according to military analysts.
Kherson, a port city located near the mouth of the Dnipro River and the Black Sea, was the only regional capital captured by Russian forces last year. It was then liberated by Ukrainian forces in November in one of Ukraine’s largest symbolic and strategic victories of the conflict. --->VIEW MAPS and READ MORE HERE
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