There are preliminary reports of a successful and ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive near Kherson (A); The only major city the Russians have taken thus far on their only route to the port of Odesa (B) on the Black Sea.
Overstretched, low on morale and supplies, Russian forces have taken heavy losses in recent battles to take Mykolayiv (C) on their offensive towards Odesa (B), leaving behind large quantities of equipment and supplies, as they are routed by Ukrainian forces back towards Kherson, where Russian forces are likely regrouping.
In this grainy video you can see a Russian convoy retreating at high speed back towards Kherson or further south into Crimea, with each vehicle struggling to overtake the position of the vehicle in front of them to put distance between themselves and advancing Ukrainian forces; there are many more videos of this withdraw but this is by far the most informative. Clearly things are not going well.
“In this video from the #Kherson city area, southern #Ukraine you can see the Russian military vehicles driving away on a high speed. Possibly, they’re escaping from the #Mykolayiv area the Russian Army planned to capture days ago.” – Victor Kovalenko, Ukrainian Journalist
As I stated over a week ago, the Russian advance has stalled, and unless their situation improves in the following week (this week), they will have lost the initiative to Ukrainian forces. Should the Ukrainian’s retake Kherson, it would be a huge blow to Russian morale, which has likely become the primary military objective of limited Ukrainian counter-attacks occurring in several locations across Ukraine.
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It’s still too early to tell what the outcome of this unfolding event will be, but if the Ukrainians can retake Kherson, it may mark a turning point in the war, having secured their western flank on the Black Sea, making it impossible for the Russian’s to take Odesa by land or sea. If lost, the Russians will be unlikely to retake the city, without stripping forces and equipment from the Donbas region, the only area Russian forces are still making painfully slow progress.
A brilliant strategic move by Ukrainian forces, if they manage to succeed. We will have to wait and see how the battle develops, and if this counteroffensive is more than superficial reports and rumors.