We Know A Ukrainian Counteroffensive is Coming…But Where?

By Ethan Percival

After over a year, the Russian Government is still on the offensive in Ukraine, as its forces have continuously tried and mostly failed to capture key objectives. However, it could soon be that Russia will be put on the defensive.  For months now, rumors of a widespread Ukrainian counteroffensive have circulated in the media. Recent NATO weapons shipments which have included dozens of modern tanks such as the German Leopard 2, Soviet-era fighter jets, anti-missile systems, artillery pieces, and many more modern weapons.  Such new and modernized weapons will likely prove instrumental in pushing the invading forces back, as it appears Ukraine is saving much of this weaponry for the upcoming counteroffensive. 

Though it is not currently know where Ukraine counteroffensive will be centered, there are a few possible objectives:

  • Cut the Russian frontline in two by pushing to the coast: One route Ukraine could take would be to strike the forces near the city of Zaporizhzhia, and then push to the coastline and capture the major cities of Melitopol and Berdiansk. Such a move would cut the Russian forces in Ukraine in two, complicating the already extremely strained supply lines. Plus, forces in Crimea could be cut off from their supply lines entirely. 
  • Retake the occupied Kherson and capture the route to Crimea: This plan would see Ukrainian forces push out from the recently retaken city of Kherson, to recapture the territories of the Kherson Oblast (Ukraine’s Governmental Districts) and to the land bridge connecting Crimea to the mainland. 

  • Retake the city of Bakhmut: As the site of some of the worst and bloodiest fighting in Ukraine, the recapture of Bakhmut would serve as a great symbolic victory; however, it wouldn’t serve as a huge strategic victory. An offensive in Bakhmut could pull resources away from other occupied areas in the south, weakening Russian defenses for the true counterattack. 

At present it is still unknown where Ukraine will strike; however, previous offensive operations by Ukraine have been largely successful, giving a confidence that the Ukrainian military may find success in their next offensive. 

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