Ukraine Claims to Have Retaken 8 Villages as Southern Counteroffensive Grinds On

Ukraine’s counteroffensive continues to grind forward against Russian positions as the military claims to have retaken eight villages along the southern front.


Ukraine’s counteroffensive continues to grind forward against Russian positions as the military claims to have retaken eight villages along the southern front.

  • Ukrainian defense officials claimed to have reclaimed the village of Piatykjatky in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia, capping off two weeks of fighting where Kyiv says they’ve retaken an area of approximately 44 square miles along the southern front.
  • Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar told Reuters Ukraine’s “biggest blow” was yet to come, as Kyiv is holding much of its forces in reserve while advance units probe Russian lines for weaknesses to determine where to launch the main attack to seize back Russian-held Ukrainian territory in the south and east.
  • According to the British Ministry of Defense, Russian casualties are at some of their highest levels since the heaviest days of fighting during the battle of Bakhmut earlier this year. Ukraine is also believed to be suffering high rates of military casualties.
  • The counteroffensive comes as reports of Russian atrocities continue to grow. Two Ukrainian prisoners of war released in a recent prisoner exchange claimed drunken Russian soldiers have castrated Ukrainian prisoners at torture camps where these war crimes are believed to have been personally sanctioned by Vladimir Putin.  
  • The Associated Press exclusively obtained drone photographs that prove Russia had “the means, motive, and opportunity” to destroy the Kakhova Dam, which lead to immense flooding, numerous deaths and an environmental disaster. The images appear to show an explosives-laden car atop the dam in a key area where Russian troopers were known to be stationed.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times broke the news about a shocking Russian operation to try and assassinate Aleksandr Poteyev, a US government informant on American soil in 2020. This operation “represented a brazen expansion of Mr. Putin’s campaign of targeted assassinations. It also signaled a dangerous low point even between intelligence services that have long had a strained history.”
  • Newsweek covered a viral video released by Ukraine’s military of a special forces assault on a Russian trench. The graphic video appeared to show Ukrainian troops killing ten Russian soldiers. The apparent surprise assault on Russian troops was captured by a Ukrainian soldier’s bodycam, although it’s unclear when or where the assault occurred.
  • The trial of leading Russian dissident Alexei Navalny began on Monday, just hours before he began a new campaign to try and turn Russian citizens against Putin’s war in Ukraine, per CNN. Navaly is already serving an 11-and-a-half-year sentence and could face 30 additional years in prison on what he calls the “absurd” charges for his role in the alleged “creation of an extremist community.”



  • The Wall Street Journal unpacked how it broke the story of the Russian soldier who surrendered to a Ukrainian drone. Journal reporters interviewed the drone operator, tracked down the unedited footage, and navigated a bureaucratic maze to interview Ruslan Anitin, the Russian soldier-turned-prisoner of war.
  • The New York Post reported on a new “desperate” tactic of the Russian military: “packing defunct, Soviet-era tanks with devastating explosives and rolling them directly into Ukrainian positions.” Some of the T-54 tanks are as much as seven decades old and are “virtually useless on the battlefield.”
  • Fox News observed that on the eastern front around Bakhmut, the site of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war so far, remains “complicated” per Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar. “The Russians have deployed their forces there, conducting an active offensive in the Lyman and Kupiansk front, trying to seize the initiative,” said Maliar of progress on the eastern front. “They are also frequently launching attacks. Intense fighting is ongoing.


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© Dominic Moore, 2023