It is, in many ways, the easiest job a “war correspondent” has ever done. Nobody is shooting at me. I’m not wearing a flak jacket, sleeping on a bed, or feeling the confusing thump as artillery strikes the ground nearby. The only threats I get are via email. The real journalists, the ones who deserve every word of praise and endless praise, are the ones who have already given their lives to make the world aware of Ukraine’s injustice, illegal aggression and desperate resistance to Ukraine. . Ukrainian people.
This week was not just a day of remembrance for journalists who were lost in reporting on this war, it provided the most stark reminders of why Russia must be defeated. And it did it in a way that, even for journalists with armchairs more than 5,000 miles away, was very difficult to take.
As Ukraine launched its massive counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast last week, it liberated more than 8,500 square kilometers and more than 350 cities, towns and villages from Russian occupation. And in the last few days, as that darkness has lifted, we’ve begun to glimpse what was going on behind the front lines.
This is not the first time. When Russia’s attempt to seize Kyiv collapsed in early April, every step Ukrainian forces took in territory that Russia had seized seemed to reveal a new set of atrocities. No other site was more emblematic of the horrors perpetrated by Russia than Bucha, a mass grave containing more than 450 bodies, bodies that showed brutality including torture, rape, murder and dismemberment. More than twenty bodies lay in the streets of Buka for weeks without any Russian forces attempting to bury them. Some of these bodies were run over several times by Russian vehicles. including tanks.
Bucha was not alone. As Russian forces retreated to the border, the same story unfolded in both cities and small villages. Torture chambers and mass graves. The bodies of those who had been shot. The bodies of those who were tortured. whose heads were penned. Children’s bodies were burnt in the playground.
It wasn’t so much an occupation as a rolling massacre. Perhaps this is what can be expected from the military of a nation where the leader has spent decades delegitimizing a neighboring nation and dehumanizing its citizens.
Perhaps the worst thing about Buka was this: Russia only held the city for less than a month. For other areas, that occupation clock is now ticking for six months or more.
In the case of Izyum, Russian troops arrived in the city in the third week of March. Now that Ukrainian forces have pushed Russia out of town, what’s unfolding is a whole new set of horrors.
These were not Vladimir Putin’s chess pieces. They were men, women and children. They were people’s family and friends. They were people like the Stolpakov family, all of whom are now dead. Their bodies were gathered in that mass grave at Isium. Those children opened their presents at Christmas. Little did they know that this would be their last Christmas. Look at the little girl holding the peace sign. That is the true cost of this war.
This is the easiest war correspondent job anyone can have. But sometimes it still seems difficult. There are videos that show in graphic detail the bodies being unearthed at Izyum. Videos not as well and tastefully done as the BBC clip above. I beg you No To see them.
But it is very difficult to think about what happened in cities like Kherson, Melitopol, Nova Kakhovka and Mariupol. It’s hard not to think about what is still happening there right now. today
It is not only important for the whole world that these scoundrels are beaten. It is important that this happens as soon as possible. To all the Stolpakov families that remain.
How many places could Ukraine cross the Oskil River to push into the area that Russia was trying to hold as the new front line? It turns out that Ukraine can cross where there is a bridge. And where there is no bridge. And now almost anywhere it wants.
Reports on Friday and Saturday indicate that Ukrainian forces have taken control of the eastern side of Kupiansk, and have crossed the river around Borova, along with Dvorychna. All of these movements have apparently met with relatively little resistance and it is currently unclear how far Ukrainian forces have spread beyond these crossing points.
On the other hand, the fighting around Lyman has been described as “incredibly intense” and even “the fiercest exchange of the war”. Ukrainian forces have liberated the towns of Studenok and Sosnov at the western end of this new line, but are now reportedly engaged at Rubtsy, Krymki and Oleksandrivka. If Ukraine can push Russian forces back from these positions, they will be better configured to approach Liman from multiple sides—which allowed Russia to capture the city in the first place.
South of the city Ukrainian forces are in a regional park with heavy forest and rugged terrain. This may sound like a good cover, but it is reportedly a very difficult place to advance on the city. So now Russian forces, reportedly reinforced by three battalion tactical groups previously in Izyum, have been able to prevent Ukraine from taking the city. Allegedly, both sides have suffered heavy casualties in the ongoing conflict.
To finally end this conflict, Ukraine may need forces to move in from the west, or come down from one of those river crossing positions to the north. However, Ukraine’s progress in capturing those positions west and in the suburbs directly south of Lyman has been confirmed. (There is nothing sensitive about this video. I don’t know why it is marked as such.)
Ukraine does not yet have any Leopard tanks, and there have been no announcements that Leopards are on their way. However…
Spain only has Leopard 2 and Leopard 2E tanks. Among them 54 Cheetah 2 are listed as “in reserve”. It looks like they can do that in Ukraine.
Russian forces are reportedly building a bridge in the area of the Kakhovka Dam. But interestingly, these are not being described as supply lines, but as “retreat routes”.