Ukraine’s Counteroffensive: Unveiling Tactics and Struggles in the Battle Against Russia

Ukraine Launches Counteroffensive to Recapture Russian-Occupied Territory

In an effort to retake Russian-occupied territory, Ukraine has initiated the first phase of its counteroffensive. While details of the operation remain scarce, Ukrainian forces equipped with new Western-supplied weapons are slowly making progress against well-defended Kremlin forces. The fighting, which has been mostly concealed from impartial observers, is taking place in eastern and southern Ukraine.

One area of focus for Ukraine is the wrecked city of Bakhmut, which Russian forces have occupied since May. Ukrainian troops are steadily advancing along the northern and southern flanks of the city. In the southern front in Zaporizhzhia, however, they face formidable Russian fortifications and have made minimal gains. Despite the lack of information on their specific tactics, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar stated that they are inflicting effective blows on the occupier, targeting logistic and command centers to starve Russian units of supplies and reinforcements.

Conversely, Russia is utilizing a large number of anti-tank mines to impede Ukraine’s armored counteroffensive operations in the south. This tactic leaves exposed Ukrainian attackers vulnerable to Russian drones, helicopters, and artillery. Furthermore, Russia’s military strength has been gradually diminishing due to battlefield attrition, incompetence, and a lack of coordination. According to Britain’s Commander in Chief Admiral Tony Radakin, Russia has lost about half of its combat capacity since its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Looking ahead, the Ukrainian counteroffensive is expected to be lengthy and brutal, as noted by U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley. Despite Russian shelling slowing Ukraine’s advance, the Ukrainian soldiers persevere. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy admits that the counteroffensive has been slower than anticipated due to delays in the delivery of Western arms and the arrival of Western-trained soldiers. Additionally, planners must consider the onset of the Ukrainian winter, characterized by muddy conditions that impede movement.

While the counteroffensive is unlikely to end the war, it represents a pivotal moment for Ukraine and could strengthen its position in future negotiations. Ukraine aims to demonstrate to the West that the aid provided was worthwhile. Meanwhile, Western analysts assert that the success of the counteroffensive could prove decisive in the ongoing conflict. As the fighting continues, both sides will need to prepare for what could be another round of attritional warfare throughout the winter months.

For more information on the conflict in Ukraine, visit AP’s dedicated coverage at