Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive not only in the nation’s south but also in the northeast. Advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Oleksi Arestovych said that, “While Putin’s southern forces are locked in fighting or digging trenches, a second front has opened up in northeastern Ukraine.”
The attack took place in conjunction with the southern counteroffensive in the Kherson region. “We are advancing across almost the entire front line.” As per the government advisor, Russia is moving forward in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bachmoet, but “without success.”
Arestovych is hopeful that Ukraine can defeat Russian forces in Kherson “in the coming months” adding that he expects a “significant advance” in the east. “The Russian army will not be as strong as it was at the beginning of the summer.”
Additionally, the British Ministry of Defence wrote in its latest intelligence update on September 7 that there is now heavy fighting on three fronts, in the north near the city of Kharkiv, Qin the east in the Donbas region, and in Kherson in the south.
Russia’s main efforts are reportedly being placed an advance on Bakhmut in the Donbas, as per the British intelligence.
However, commanders now face a dilemma on whether to focus on this offensive, or defend against Ukrainian advances in the south.
It is unclear whether the northeastern attack around Kharkiv has been a surprise for Russia. “If the Ukrainians have achieved operational surprise around Kharkiv, will demonstrate just how the Russian military is in disarray,” said Philip O’Brien, Professor of Strategic Studies at The University of St.Andrews, on Twitter.
He added that Russia may have known an attack in Kharkiv was ongoing but was not able to counter it. “If so, that’s a different kind of disarray and shows the Russian military’s inflexibility.”