Over the past few days Ukrainian forces have moved swiftly, regaining several towns and a lot of land near Kharkiv. It is possible that this will be decisive in turning this war around at last. At the very least, Russian forces are looking very weak. From what you’ll read below, it is clear that Ukraine itself has no intention of stopping while Russians still occupy their land, but how Putin might react to these events is still uncertain.
Faster and Furiouser: Ukraine’s Forces Take Back Kharkiv Oblast and More
…the narrative in Ukraine has changed in huge way over the last six days. What initially looked like a push into southern Ukraine by its own forces turned into a blazing two-front counteroffensive with the eastern front cutting off Russia’s critical supply route from Belgorod north of the Russian-Ukraine border to the cities of Kupiansk along the Oskil River and Izium. The appearance of a push along a single southern front may have been effective information warfare.
The tweet below includes a GIF showing the ground taken back over the last week…
As always, Adam Silverman over at Balloon Juice provides excellent daily updates.
And winter is on the way. In response to the Ukrainian advances, Russian is heavily targeting gas and electrical infrastructure in the area. Last night, President Zelenskyy responded in this way:
ETA: In the screenshot above, Zelenskyy used a phrase that I didn’t understand, when he says “Do you still think we are the “Aden people”? Web research of the usual sort didn’t bring me any understanding, so I asked among my friends (I have a lot of really smart friends) and this is what I learned (from a private forum, used with permission):
I think it is a mistake where the translation missed a word.
“Do you still think that we [Russians and Ukrainians] are ‘one people’?” is the translation I’ve seen of that phrase. ‘one people’ in Ukrainian = «odyn narod» I think the odyn got missed and transliterated as “Aden”.
And Michael added:
I found the Ukrainian version of his message, which contained the phrase “Ð°Ð´Ñ–Ð½ Ð½Ð°Ñ€Ð¾Ð´” (Ukrainian characters for “adin narod”), which does indeed translate to “one people” in Google Translate. So the problem seems to be a bad translation by Facebook.
Editor: Given that Russia’s excuse for invading was this “one people” mythology, I believe these interpretations are correct.
Ukraine will fight to the end: Zelenskyy’s Independence Day vow
“We don’t care what army you have, we only care about our land. We will fight for it until the end,” Zelenskyy said in a video address on Wednesday, which also marks six months since the Russian invasion began.
“We have been holding strong for six months. It’s tough but we have clenched our fists and we are fighting for our destiny,” he said.
“Every new day is a reason not to give up. After such a long journey we do not have the right not to go on to the end.”
Referring to Russia, he said: “We will not try to find an understanding with terrorists”.
And there’s also this, reported today:
Putin cornered could be very dangerous still.