Russia's attacks have continued unabated, and their use of airstrikes has not been able to be countered by Ukrainian forces. Russia has been able to use their airstrikes to wear down Ukraine's supply of air defense munitions, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Russia's primary advantage is in its air power, as it uses helicopters to fire long-range missiles. The British Ministry of Defense issued an update on Twitter over the weekend, saying that "Since the start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive operations in southern Ukraine, Russia has re-enforced its attack helicopter forces in the region."
This comes as Russia launched attacks on 10 regions in Ukraine from Friday into Saturday morning. The Kyiv Independent reports that soldiers from the 81st and 57th Brigades said that "Ukrainian forces are on the move, slowly advancing on the Russian forces in Donetsk Oblast."
"Imagery shows that over 20 extra Russian helicopters deployed to the Berdyansk Airport, approximately 100km behind the front line," the British Ministry of Defense said.
"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," the Defense Ministry said.
Ukrainian officials remain positive, however. "Ukraine is seizing the initiative. Russia is on the defensive," Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov said. However, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar revealed that while Ukrainian forces had been making headway in the outskirts of Bakhmut, "the intensity of fighting had lessened" and they "acknowledged that Russia had the upper hand in terms of aviation and artillery forces," the Wall Street Journal reports.
"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," Malyar went on to say.
The Institute for the Study of War claims that Ukraine still has some tricks up its proverbial sleeve, saying that "Operational pauses are a common feature of major offensive undertakings, and this pause does not signify the end of Ukraine’s counteroffensive," and that the "main effort" from Ukraine is yet to be seen.
Russia has placed nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus, and Russian President Vladimir Putin said that in the event that Russian sovereignty was threatened, they would be used.
The US has authorized the delivery of F-16 fighter planes held by allies in Europe to Ukraine. This as President Joe Biden's ties to Ukraine and insistence on US involvement have come under scrutiny amid a bribery scandal in which he is alleged to have taken money from Ukrainian energy company Burisma while heading up relations with Ukraine as VP under President Obama.