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Ukrainian forces counterattack in south amid Russian attempts to retake positions, ground commander says

Ukrainian forces counterattack in south amid Russian attempts to retake positions, ground commander says Oleksandr Syrskii, Commander of the Army of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daria Shekina

Russia hopes to regain lost positions in the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Ukrainian Armed Forces are conducting counterattacks, according to a Reuters comment of the Ground Forces Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskii.

"Our goals remain unchanged: holding our positions ... exhausting the enemy by inflicting maximum losses," said Syrskii.

According to him, Russia is attempting to seize the initiative ahead of the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with the primary goal of establishing full control over the industrial region of Donbas. Despite significant losses in manpower and material-technical assets, the Russian command is determined.

Simultaneously, he stated that Ukrainian soldiers were employing the tactic of "active defense," denying the opponent rest, seeking opportunities to strike, and trying to seize the initiative themselves.

Syrskii mentioned that the current engagements from both sides are on a smaller scale to conserve ammunition and personnel. Presumably, Russia has also learned to react and prevent losses.

"Offensives at the level of a battalion are a major rarity," said Syrskii.

Russian losses in Ukraine

As of Monday, January 15, Russia's losses in the war in Ukraine amounted to 980 occupiers, with the total number of Russian army casualties since the beginning of the invasion reaching 370,980 soldiers. Additionally, the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed 14 tanks and 18 artillery systems.

Situation on the left bank of the Kherson region

Recall that in November, the Ukrainian military announced a series of successful actions on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. Ukrainian defenders managed to secure several footholds.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine explained that the Defense Forces aimed to push Russian occupiers away from the right bank of the Dnipro, reducing the shelling of civilians.

Earlier, the spokesperson for the Defense Forces of the South of Ukraine, Natalia Humeniuk, noted that work by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the left bank was ongoing, and the operations were complicated by adverse weather conditions.