The Western news media reported on Saturday that Ukrainian fighters—who have been locked in a bloody effort to retake Russian-occupied territory—retook a small town outside Bakhmut.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Ukrainians managed to recapture Andriivka and inflict heavy casualties on Russian forces pinned down in the town. Four senior Russian officers died in the clashes, the report said.
Russia denied the reports and said its forces were still in control of the town. Al Jazeera reported that most of the reports from the West were based on social media posts from the Ukrainian side. (Few, if any, Western reporters are near the front lines. Even photos released by Reuters of the Andriivka fight were taken by the Ukrainian military.)
“The enemy did not abandon plans to capture the city of Artyomovsk of the Donetsk People’s Republic and continued to conduct assault operations … unsuccessfully trying to oust Russian troops from the population centers of Klishchiivka and Andriivka,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
The ministry said at least 1,700 men were either killed or injured in last week’s attacks on the town and 16 tanks were destroyed.
Andriivka is about six miles south of Bakhmut. The Associated Press reported that Ukrainian leadership has admitted that there seems to be no major victories on the horizon, but rather “slow, grinding battles.”
The West, at least publicly, has insisted that this counteroffensive should not be looked at as a make-or-break moment in the war, and have said its support for Ukraine will remain ironclad regardless of military success. But new reports have emerged that said the West is looking for some significant gains for Ukraine to justify continued support for the war.
The Ukrainian strategy seems to be an effort to spread the Russian forces thin, but Russia has been carrying out new offensives in the north of the country in hopes to return the favor, and spread out Ukrainian forces.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive. (See “KIRBY: GET IN LINE! CRITICIZING UKRAINE’S COUNTEROFFENSIVE IS NOT HELPFUL” 12 Sep 2023, “PUTIN CALLS UKRAINIAN COUNTEROFFENSIVE A FAILURE” 12 Sep 2023, “AS FORECAST, UKRAINE’S COUNTEROFFENSIVE HAS FAILED: NEGOTIATE FOR PEACE, OR DIE AT WAR” 22 Aug 2023, and “PUTIN: COUNTEROFFENSIVE HAS FAILED” 25 Jul 2023.)
Mike Pence, the former vice president and Republican presidential hopeful in 2024, said in an interview on News Nation that U.S. forces may have to get involved if Ukraine does not stop Russia.
“I’m convinced that if the Ukrainian military doesn’t stop and repel that Russian invasion, it’s not going to be too long before that Russian army crosses a border that our men and women in uniform are going to have to go and fight (for) under our NATO Treaty. I truly believe it,” Pence said.
Pence, an establishment candidate, criticized his former boss, Donald Trump, who said he believes he can bring peace to Ukraine in 24 hours.
“The only way you can end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours is by letting Putin have everything he wants,” Pence said.