May 21, 2022


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Ukraine launches counterattack to disrupt Russian supply lines

Ukraine launches counterattack to disrupt Russian supply lines

Kyiv, Ukraine – Ukraine has launched a counterattack on the eastern city of Izyum with the aim of dismembering Russian supply lines In the Donbass region, officials said, as Ukrainian forces continue to clear villages north of Kharkiv and President

Russian President Vladimir Putin

His Finnish counterpart warned that joining NATO could damage relations with Moscow.

According to the Kremlin, Putin told Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö in a phone call on Saturday that ending the decades-old policy of nonalignment by joining NATO would be a mistake for Helsinki. The Finnish leader began the call to explain to Mr. Putin how his invasion of Ukraine had changed the security environment, prompting Finland to The pursuit of NATO membership in the coming days.

“The conversation was direct, direct and conducted without any aggravation. Avoiding tension was important,” Mr. Niinistö said.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Moscow would need to take “appropriate precautionary measures” if NATO were to deploy nuclear weapons infrastructure near Russia’s borders, including in Finland.

As the war entered its eightieth day, Russian offensive operations In Donbass it remained largely grounded after Russia’s ambitious attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donets and encircle the Severodonetsk metropolitan area, the capital of the Ukraine-administered Luhansk region, failed.

with western weapons Continue to flow into UkraineUkrainian officials are beginning to say a pivot to the war may be imminent, with Kyiv switching from defense to offense to retake large parts of southern and eastern Ukraine still under Russian rule.

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“A strategic break in favor of Ukraine is underway. This process will take time. In the long term, these trends make Russia’s defeat inevitable,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in a speech to Ukrainian citizens.

After Russia’s initial plans to capture the capital, Kyiv, The failure of the Ukrainian resistanceIn late March Putin ordered his forces to withdraw from northern Ukraine and focus on capturing the entire Donetsk and Luhansk regions that make up the Donbass. Mr. Putin in February recognized the independence of the proxy states created by Moscow in the Donbass, the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, which controlled roughly a third of those two regions at the time.

Russia established the headquarters of its operations for the conquest of the Donbass in the town of Izyum, which is located on the Seversky Donets River in the Kharkiv region. Today, Saturday, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Oleh Senhopov, said that Ukrainian forces have begun to successfully advance towards the town.

“The direction of Izyum is still our hottest point. This is where our armed forces started a counterattack. The enemy is retreating in some directions and this is a result of the nature of our armed forces.”

A Ukrainian soldier passes by a burnt-out natural gas station in the northern outskirts of Kharkiv.


John Moore / Getty Images

With the month-long Russian offensive in the Donbas showing only limited results, a daring attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donets and encircle Severodonetsk that Russian forces had begun before Victory Day on May 9 A breakthrough was supposed to be made. Instead, the failed crossing near the village of Belohorivka turned out to be a disaster for Russia, significantly slowing its momentum in the Donbass.

The full scale of this Russian setback is only visible now, as satellite imagery shows more than 70 Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers and other armor after Ukrainian artillery and air strikes sank three pontoon bridges and bombarded the Russian beachhead at Belhorivka.

“We have never seen such stupid stubbornness, going with a frontal attack and trying to build rafts in the same place three times in a row. But they are still trying,” said Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haiday, adding that Ukrainian artillery continues to bombard the area, and according to intelligence objections, the battalion refuses All Russian orders to attempt another crossing at Belhorevka This claim cannot be independently confirmed.

While Moscow did not recognize the Belhorivka events, accounts of Russian military officers and observers on Telegram described it as one of the most disastrous defeats of the Russian army in this war, calling for the dismissal and punishment of the generals who devised the failed operation.

The reverse side of the medal, a channel close to Wagner private military contractor Actively participating in the war in Ukraine, he sarcastically noted that the Russian commanders in Operation Belhorivka “were guided by the principle that a shell does not fall in the same place twice and that if you do not see the enemy, he cannot see you.”

Wagner channel added that the Ukrainian artillery managed to destroy at least a battalion of Russian armor because it uses drones and advanced reconnaissance technology to achieve accuracy. “The armed forces of Ukraine use the Western system of intelligent battle management, and we use a ruler on a paper map,” she said.

Relatives and friends attend the funeral in Lviv, Ukraine, of a soldier killed in the Kharkiv region.


Emilio Morenati/The Associated Press

In Kyiv, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republic, Kentucky), Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn of Texas and John Barrasso of Wyoming met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, according to Mr. Zelensky and a US official. The meeting comes after the Speaker of Parliament

Nancy Pelosi

(D., California) A delegation of Democratic lawmakers went to the capital to meet with Mr. Zelensky earlier this month.

In a statement accompanying the video, Mr. Zelensky said the visit was a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from Congress and the American people. A $40 billion aid package for Ukraine Off in the Senate Over objections from Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DE, NY) lobbied to pass the bill together Thursday to seek unanimous approval from all 100 senators to allow a vote on the bill immediately.

A US official confirmed the visit and said it had not been announced in advance for security reasons. Representatives of the senators did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

North of the Donbass, a series of Ukrainian military victories in recent days has pushed the Russian forces out of the range of Kharkiv field artillery, destroying more than 2,000 apartment buildings in the city of Kharkiv. More than two months of bombing. In a sign of a return to normalcy in Kharkiv, the municipality said public transport services will resume on Monday. Mayor Ihor Terekhov said it would initially be free since many of the city’s residents had lost their jobs due to the war.

The Ukrainian army confirmed the arrival of its forces to the town of Ternova on the border with Russia, north of Kharkiv. “The enemy has not carried out active combat operations in the direction of Kharkiv,” the Ukrainian General Staff said on Saturday. “His main efforts were focused on withdrawing troops from the city of Kharkiv, maintaining positions and protecting supply lines.”

The withdrawal of Russian troops from the northern Kharkiv regions is covered by poorly armed conscripts recruited in the Luhansk People’s Republic. These fighters said, in a video clip posted on Telegram, Friday, that their battalion, which fled to the Russian border north of Kharkiv, was stranded at the gate, while the Russian authorities refuse to allow them to cross and threaten to imprison them if they do not do so. Turn around and fight.

A captured Russian soldier is facing trial in Kyiv, in the first trial of its kind for alleged war crimes; Black smoke rose over parts of the Donetsk region amid heavy fighting; Moscow said it was ready to respond to Finland’s bid to join NATO. Photo: Ephrem Lukatsky/Associated Press

Corrections and amplifications
Russian forces made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donets and encircle the Severodonetsk metropolitan area. An earlier version of this article misspelled it as Siverskiy Donets. (corrected May 14)

write to Yaroslav Trofimov at [email protected] and Mauro Orru at [email protected]

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