Russia has been launching major attacks on Ukraine for the past few months, using its military to capture territory and then supporting separatist groups who have begun expanding beyond their traditional strongholds. Despite this overwhelming force, Ukrainian government forces are attempting a counteroffensive of their own with help from Western powers.

The “russian losses in ukraine war” is a conflict that has been ongoing for over two years. The Ukraine launched a counteroffensive to disrupt Russian supply lines.

Ukraine Launches Counteroffensive to Disrupt Russian Supply Lines

KYIV (Ukraine) – Officials said Ukraine launched a counteroffensive against the eastern city of Izyum in an attempt to disrupt Russian supply lines into the Donbas region, as Ukrainian forces cleared villages north of Kharkiv and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Finland’s Prime Minister that joining NATO would jeopardize relations with Moscow.

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Mr. Putin informed Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö in a phone conversation on Saturday that changing Finland’s decades-long nonaligned military strategy by joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would be a mistake, according to the Kremlin. The Finnish leader called Mr. Putin to explain how his invasion of Ukraine had changed the security situation, pushing Finland to apply for NATO membership in the coming days.

“The dialogue was clear and straightforward, and there were no irritants. Mr. Niinistö said that “avoiding stress was regarded crucial.”

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko stated that if NATO deploys nuclear weapons infrastructure near Russia’s borders, especially in Finland, Moscow would need to take “appropriate preventive measures.”


In a freshly retaken town on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, a Ukrainian soldier takes part in a reconnaissance operation.

Bernat Armangue/Associated Press photo

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, warned on Saturday that the turmoil in Ukraine is gradually bringing Washington and Moscow into confrontation.

“Today’s scenario is exceedingly, terribly hazardous. Mr. Antonov warned on Russian television that the US is being pulled farther and deeper into conflict, with the most unforeseen implications for ties between the two nuclear powers.

Russian offensive operations in Donbas were largely stopped as the conflict reached its 80th day, after the failure of Russia’s ambitious effort to bridge the Siverskyi Donets river and surround Severodonetsk, the capital of the Ukrainian-administered Luhansk province.

With Western weaponry continuing to come into Ukraine, Ukrainian authorities are predicting a pivot in the conflict, with Kyiv shifting from defense to assault in order to retake significant areas of southern and eastern Ukraine still under Russian control.

“A strategic split has occurred in Ukraine’s advantage. This will take some time. In the long run, however, these tendencies will inevitably lead to Russia’s defeat,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov stated in a speech to Ukrainian people.

Mr. Putin ordered his soldiers to withdraw from northern Ukraine in late March, focusing on conquering the whole of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that make up Donbas, after Russia’s original intentions to grab the capital, Kyiv, failed due to Ukrainian opposition. In February, Mr. Putin recognized the independence of the Moscow-backed proxy governments in Donbas, the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, which at the time controlled about a third of the two areas.

The town of Izyum, which spans the Siverskyi Donets river in the Kharkiv area, has been designated as the advance headquarters of Russia’s efforts to seize Donbas. Ukrainian soldiers have made progress into the town, according to Oleh Synehubov, the chief of the Kharkiv regional military administration.

“Our hottest spot is still the Izyum direction. In a video address, he stated, “Our military forces have initiated a counteroffensive there.” “The adversary is withdrawing in certain directions as a consequence of our armed forces’ character.”


Workers in Kharkiv, Ukraine, collect papers from the remains of the regional administrative building.

courtesy of Getty Images/John Moore


In Kharkiv, Ukraine, citizens get humanitarian relief.

courtesy of Getty Images/John Moore

With Russia’s month-long onslaught in Donbas yielding mixed results, Russian troops launched a daring effort to bridge the Siverskyi Donets and surround Severodonetsk ahead of Victory Day on May 9 in the hopes of breaking through. Instead, the unsuccessful crossing at Bilohorivka has turned into a debacle for Russia, delaying its progress in Donbas substantially.

Satellite imagery shows more than 70 Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other armor destroyed after Ukrainian artillery and airstrikes sunk three pontoon bridges and pounded the Russian beachhead at Bilohorivka, revealing the true extent of Russia’s defeat.

“We’ve never seen such obstinacy, launching a frontal attack and attempting to construct pontoons in the same spot three times in a row.” But they keep trying,” said Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk. According to intelligence intercepts, an entire Russian battalion is defying instructions to make yet another crossing at Bilohorivka, while Ukrainian artillery continues to bomb the region. That assertion could not be verified independently.

While Moscow has refused to accept the events at Bilohorivka, Russian military commanders and observers have labeled it as one of the Russian military’s most disastrous setbacks in this conflict, asking for the removal and punishment of the generals who planned the botched operation.

The Russian commanders in the Bilohorivka operation were “guided by the principle that the shell doesn’t fall into the same place twice and that if you don’t see the enemy, he can’t see you,” according to Reverse Side of the Medal, a channel close to the Wagner private military contractor that is actively involved in the war in Ukraine.

According to Wagner’s channel, Ukrainian artillery was able to destroy at least a battalion’s worth of Russian armor by using drones and advanced reconnaissance technologies. “The Armed Forces of Ukraine employ a ruler on a paper map and apply the Western concept of smart war management,” it claimed.


In Lviv, Ukraine, relatives and friends attend the burial of a serviceman killed in the Kharkiv area.

Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press photo

According to Mr. Zelensky and a US official, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and GOP Senators Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn of Texas, and John Barrasso of Wyoming visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday. The visit comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a group of Democratic legislators traveled to the capital city earlier this month to meet with Mr. Zelensky.

Mr. Zelensky said the visit was a tremendous show of bipartisan support for Ukraine from Congress and the American people in a statement with accompanying video. A $40 billion assistance plan for Ukraine has been blocked in the Senate due to Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky’s opposition. Mr. McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) had pushed for the measure’s approval simultaneously on Thursday, requesting unanimous consent from all 100 senators to enable a quick vote on the package.

According to a US official, the visit was not disclosed ahead of time due to security concerns. Senators’ representatives did not reply to demands for comment right away.

A run of Ukrainian military wins north of Donbas has driven Russian troops out of field artillery range of Kharkiv, where over 2,000 civilian apartment buildings have been demolished in over two months of shelling. The municipality said Monday that public transportation services will restart, signaling a return to relative normality in Kharkiv. Because so many local residents have lost their employment as a result of the conflict, it will initially be free, according to Mayor Ihor Terekhov.

Ukraine’s military has acknowledged that its men have arrived in Ternova, which is located north of Kharkiv on the Russian border. The enemy did not execute active combat activities in the Kharkiv direction, according to Ukraine’s General Staff. “Its major aim was on pushing soldiers back from Kharkiv city, preserving positions, and defending supply lines.”

Russian military are being pushed out of regions north of Kharkiv by poorly armed volunteers from the Luhansk People’s Republic. These soldiers said in a video posted on Telegram on Friday that their battalion was stalled at the Russian border north of Kharkiv, with Russian officials refusing to allow them through and threatening to arrest them if they don’t turn back and fight.

A captured Russian soldier stands trial in Kyiv for suspected war crimes; black smoke erupted over sections of the Donetsk area amid fierce combat; Moscow threatened retaliation in reaction to Finland’s NATO membership application. Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press photo

—This essay was co-written by Elizabeth Collins, Lindsay Wise, Dan Michaels, and Vivian Salama.

Corrections & Amplifications Russian troops made a failed attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donets river and encircle the metropolitan area of Severodonetsk. An earlier version of this article misspelled it as Siverskiy Donets. (Corrected on May 14)

Yaroslav Trofimov and Mauro Orru may be reached at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.

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