Ukraine suffers 'significant losses' as long-awaited counteroffensive begins against Russian forces: US officials

Ukrainian forces have been met with strong resistance from Russian soldiers after attempting to penetrate enemy lines in the east of the country in the past couple days. US officials have described the losses, which included US-supplied MRAP armored vehicles, as “significant,” per CNN.

Though Ukraine was able to push through Russian forces around Bakhmut, they were met with anti-tank missiles, grenades, and mortars from the Russian side. The report noted that Russian forces have trenched themselves several layers deep, and they have also planted mines that have done substantial damage to Ukraine’s armored vehicles.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the offensive was happening in several directions, saying: “It is not only about Bakhmut. The offensive is taking place in several directions. We are happy about every meter. Today is a successful day for our forces.”

US and other Western allies have apparently been bracing for a counteroffensive for months, according to CNN. The objective has been to bolster Ukraine’s defenses before the start of Russia’s attack. However, current Ukrainian losses are not expected to affect the nation’s larger counteroffensive.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense claimed that Ukraine's offensive on Bakhmut was “thwarted” on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine, having failed to achieve offensive objectives and suffered significant losses in South Donetsk direction, made the attempts to break the defense of Russian troops in Donetsk direction close to Artyomovsk. (Russian for Bakhmut).”

This comes after reports have revealed that Ukraine may have been responsible for the destruction of the Kakhovka dam at Dnipro River, which has caused significant damage to civilian homes in the south of Ukraine. Ukraine has also been suspected of being responsible for the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline and sporting Nazi symbols on their gear.

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