Ukraine’s main counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion appears to have begun, multiple Western news agencies have reported.
The long-discussed Ukrainian counteroffensive may be underway, although not heralded as such by the Ukrainian government, but rather by a series of no-name comments from military figures briefing to Western newspapers. Indeed, Ukraine insisted the counteroffensive was not yet happening as recently as yesterday, but they have also recently said they would not discuss it for strategic reasons.
According to a report by the Washington Post, however, four anonymous military officials within the Ukrainian armed forces have confirmed to it that the advance has begun, with more frequent strikes being launched against the Russian frontline.
Similar claims have been reported by the New York Times, which instead has cited an anonymous U.S. military official whom the paper describes as being “senior”.
Both publications have also cited reports from Russian military bloggers that there has been a serious uptick in fighting on the frontlines, with such reports being echoed by major German newspaper Bild.
“The offensive has begun,” one Russian Telegram channel is described as saying. “We have numbers. I wish the men in the trenches steadfastness. We don’t sleep.”
Another claimed that there “hasn’t been a movement like this at the front for a long time”, speculating that it was indeed “the beginning of the offensive that Ukraine has long announced”.
There are also reports of Ukrainian tanks moving on Russian positions, though it remains unclear whether such an advance — if real — is being conducted using advanced vehicles Ukraine recently imported from the West.
Such vehicles include the likes of the German-made Leopard II main battle tank, the United Kingdom’s Challenger 2, as well as the U.S.’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV).
Other official sources have meanwhile played down the alleged increase in fighting, with Belarusian President calling the counteroffensive “a major piece of disinformation”.
Ukraine itself has meanwhile previously said that it would not formally announce when it was beginning any sort of counteroffensive, seemingly for strategic reasons.