Ukraine’s Lightning Offensive Catches Russia Off Guard

From a story on by David Lawler headlined “Ukraine’s lightning offensive catches Russia off guard”:

A surprise two-pronged offensive by Ukrainian forces is reshaping the battlefield and forcing the Russians to scramble for reinforcements.

Driving the news: Ukraine launched its long-awaited push on Kherson in southern Ukraine last week, before following up with a rapid advance near Kharkiv in the northeast that seems to have caught Vladimir Putin’s troops by surprise.

  • A Ukrainian general said Friday that Ukraine’s forces had advanced about 50km (31 miles) in three days of fighting in the region. Images spread of Ukrainian troops entering town after town, greeted by joyous residents who spent six months under occupation.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the “good news” but added, “now is not the time to name the settlements to which the Ukrainian flag returns.”
  • The surprise Ukrainian offensive seems to be aimed at cutting off the Russian forces defending Izyum, a key logistics hub for Russian operations in the north, and eventually taking the city itself, says Michael Kofman, a top expert on Russia’s military at CNA.

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