Ukraine met with fierce response, Russian air superiority: WSJ
Now in its second week, Ukraine's supposed counteroffensive is proving difficult due to extensive minefields and well-prepared defenses.
Ukraine has claimed its forces were moving along in its counteroffensive but were battling to counter Russian air and artillery power, which was impeding their advances in the east and south.
The counteroffensive continues to be difficult due to extensive minefields and well-prepared defenses.
Following the mixed outcomes of Ukraine's initial probing strikes, its forces have generally suspended their advances in recent days while commanders assess the preceding two weeks and consider strategies to breach Russian lines without incurring heavy fatalities.
Russia has used its greater air power and Kiev's inadequate air defenses to target Ukrainian armored columns and halt many operations, destroying some of Ukraine's heavy Western weaponry.
The United Kingdom's Defense Ministry stated in its daily intelligence briefing on Saturday that Russia has increased the number of attack helicopters stationed in captured Berdyansk, around 60 miles south of the battle line in Ukraine.
The British Defense Ministry Tweeted: “In the constant contest between aviation measures and counter-measures, it is likely that Russia has gained a temporary advantage in southern Ukraine."
(3/3) In the constant contest between aviation measures and counter-measures, it is likely that Russia has gained a temporary advantage in southern Ukraine, especially with attack helicopters employing longer-range missiles against ground targets.— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) June 17, 2023
Ukrainian leaders have set an enthusiastic tone, claiming that their forces had advanced in a number of places while not yet posing a direct danger to Russia's major defensive lines.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov claimed Saturday that Ukraine was "seizing the initiative" and that "Russia is on the defensive."
On Friday, Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar said, “Our forces are on the offensive in several areas, occupying dominant positions and forested areas with a view to gradually push the enemy out of the approaches into Bakhmut."
Ukraine has been hyping its counteroffensive attack, since last year. Although the attack was intended for spring, it was moved to the summer after Ukraine blamed the delay on a lack of weapons.
The West has been urged to deliver progressively heavier weapons, including tanks, drones, and fighter planes.