2023 Ukraine summer counteroffensive

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The 2023 Ukraine summer counteroffensive began on June 4, 2023. By July 2023, Ukrainian casualties were mounting, and it became increasingly clear that the counteroffensive would fail to capture significant amounts of territory. Western reporting grew more realistic, and began giving insights into conditions on the ground in Ukraine, as well as what was in the minds of US officials.

According to the Washington Post,[1] US and Ukrainian militaries had conducted war games and had anticipated that an advance would be accompanied by heavy losses. But when the real-world fatalities mounted, the Post reported, “Ukraine chose to stem the losses on the battlefield”.

This caused a rift between the Ukrainians and their Western backers, who were frustrated at Ukrainians’ desire to keep their people alive. A mid-July 2023 New York Times article[2] reported that US officials were privately frustrated that Ukraine had become too afraid of dying to fight effectively. The officials worried that Ukrainian commanders “feared casualties among their ranks”, and had “reverted to old habits” rather than “pressing harder”. A later Times article[3] repeated Washington’s worries that Ukrainians were too “casualty-averse”.

NATO propaganda

Ukraine's 2023 battle plan to split the Russian forces in half modelled after Gen. Sherman's March to the Sea in the American Civil War.

NATO commanders, political leaders in the West,[4] its controlled media and mass-brain washed followers genuinely believed at the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive that all they needed to do was "kick open the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down."[5] The much-touted Kyiv regime 'Spring Counteroffensive' finally began on June 4, 2023 - less than 2 and a half weeks before the arrival of summer. American taxpayers' $100 billion investment in Ukraine never captured 1000 meters of ground.[6] As the realization of the failure of the summer 2023 counteroffensive could no longer be hidden, Ukrainian dictator Volodymyr Zelensky and the controlled Western media propaganda echo chamber increasing sounded like Josef Goebbels' 1943 Sportpalast speech.[7]

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that assessments of Ukrainian losses of men and material, including killed in action (KIA), came from radio intercepts of Ukrainian frontline units reporting back to their commanders. Ukraine lost 20,000 killed and 2,500 vehicles of all types in the first month of the counteroffensive. Former chief propagandist (until he was fired for telling the truth about a Ukraine air defense missile killing civilians when it hit an apartment complex) Alexei Arestovich, who is also a former Lt. Col. in military intelligence, said the Russian defense fortifications needed to be breached in the first 10 days. In the best scenarios NATO/Ukrainian forces were only able to approach within 3-5 kilometers of Russia's first line of fortifications, but in most cases across the 875 mile front never within 30 kilometers. Virtually all frontline combat took place in the gray zone, or No Man's Land, (also variously referred to as "crumple zone", "screening zone", "security zone", or "kill zone"). Any claim that Ukraine "took back" territory was fake news, as all the fighting was in crumple zones across the front.[8] No breach of Russian first line fortifications occurred anywhere. All Polish and Portuguese Leopard tanks were destroyed. Russian air defense intercepted 158 HIMARS missiles, 25 Storm Shadow cruise missiles, and 386 drones (UAV). A vaunted UK Storm Shadow Wunderwaffen was captured intact and sent back to Russia for reverse engineering. Captured German Leopard 2 tanks also were dispatched to China and Iran for reverse engineering.[9] The vaunted British Challenger 2 tank was destroyed on sight moments after its first appearance on the battlefield.

Propaganda fail: According to the UK Sun, Russia operates German Leopard 2 tanks and Ukraine uses Lancet drones.[10]

After 3 weeks of failed classical attacks that only led to mass loss of equipment, demoralization and retreats, Ukrainian commanders switched to small tactical groups of infantry, knowing that Russians are much more averse to manpower losses. When close combat becomes imminent, Russians retreat and let artillery work on Ukrainian infantry sitting on the abandoned positions, which usually ends with Ukrainians suffering losses and fleeing. These tactics led to massive infantry looses, but it was something Ukraine was willing to do - and it looked better in advance of the 2023 NATO Vilnius summit to take losses for small advances than for no success at all as happened at the start of the offensive.

Into the second month, as the Vilnius summit approached, Russian maintained a 4:1 kill ratio, with Ukraine losing up to 1,000 troops daily. Some Ukraine brigades refused to fight, claiming on social media that the Kyiv regime was sending them on suicide missions to be slaughtered. by July 11, 2023, an article in the Berliner Zeitung cited Alexander Sosnowski, using data from pro-Ukraine media channels determined that 41 Leopard-2s, 49 T72 tanks, 31 Bradleys, 7 German Marders, 23 howitzers, and 40 MRAP infantry fighting vehicles have already been turned to scrap by the Russians.[11]

Western leaders and the mainstream media put significant pressure on Kyiv to launch the counteroffensive in the months before it began on June 4. At the time, Ukraine's leaders were dragging their feet and showing little enthusiasm for starting the planned blitzkrieg, probably because at least some of them understood they were being led to the slaughter.

Under covering fire from artillery, the first column advanced led by a pair of tanks, followed by American MaxxPro MRAPs carrying the infantry. The MRAPs got bogged down in the mud, while the lane cleared on mines was insufficiently wide for other vehicles to pass. It was at this point, with the column fully committed, that a pair of Russian tanks emerged and began to engage the column. The Ukrainian tanks fired back at a range of around 800 meters. Nevertheless, the vehicles in the column, outnumbering the two Russian tanks, were knocked out one-by-one in succession.

Zelensky later said on July 21 that, “We did have plans to start it in the spring, but we didn’t because, frankly, we had not enough munitions and armaments and not enough properly trained brigades”. Moreover, after the counteroffensive began, Gen. Zaluzhnyi angrily told The Washington Post that he felt the West had not provided Ukraine with adequate arms and that “without being fully supplied, these plans are not feasible at all. But they are being carried out”.[12]

NATO/Ukraine forces managed to establish a bridgehead across the Antonovsky bridge in Kherson, which Russian forces abruptly turned into a meatgrinder.[13]

On the night of July 26, 2023 Russian cruise missiles flew in multiple directions over Ukrainian territory, marking the most intense Russian attack since 2022. KH 101 and KH 555 cruise missiles were launched from Tu-95MS strategic missile carriers targeting sites with a total salvo of up to 100 missiles. According to Ukrainian media reports the Russian Aerospace forces launched a massive offensive during the night and morning across Ukraine destroying all NATO military airports as well as sensitive NATO infrastructure in Ukraine.

Zelensky awarding neo-Nazi leader Andriy Biletsky state honors.

KH 101 missiles attacked Khmelnitsky, targeting significant military facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Strikes were also reported in Sumy region and the Slavyansk-Kremmenaya conglomeration. Following the launch by Tu-95MS bomber, Ukrainian media reported a massive salvo of KH 101 cruise missiles flying in particular along the border with Moldova were hit. The mayor of Kharkiv confirmed the destruction of a NATO/Ukraine drone factory.

Polish military expert at the Warsaw based OSW Centre for Eastern Studies, Piotr Zoczowski noted that the Russian army has begun to use new tactics of missile strikes with the kamikaze drone, 'Geranium-2'. According to Zoczowski, within 15 days, the Russians wiped out all the seaports of Ukraine, where Western weapons were delivered on civilian sea vessels. At the same time, the Zoczowski notes that these seaports were protected by NATO air defense systems even better than Kyiv itself. Piotr Zoczowski claims that NATO air defense systems are powerless against Russian attacks. The Russian army uses unique cruise missiles 'KH-22', 'KH-59', 'Onyx', and ballistic missiles 'Iskander-K' along with the hypersonic missiles 'Kinzhal'. And all these have been launched at targets along with the kamikaze drones 'Geranium-2'. As a result, even military facilities with the most powerful air defense systems do not have a chance to survive Russian missile strikes. Zoczowski notes that NATO air defense systems are not able to intercept even the old Soviet 'KH-55' cruise missiles since the flight altitude of these missiles does not exceed 90 meters and the significantly reduced radar cross-section makes these missiles practically invisible to radar.

By August 2023, as the Zelensky regime became increasingly desperate, terror attacks against civilians became more frequent.

On August 14, 2023, just over an hour after Biden foreign minister Antony Blinken announced another $200 million in military aid to Kiev, Ukrainian dictator Volodymyr Zelensky published a video depicting what he called an “open conversation” with Ukraine's 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. “I am grateful to everyone who defends our country and people, who brings our victory closer,” Zelensky wrote, following his encounter with the unit on the outskirts of Bakhmut. “The 3rd separate assault brigade, excellent fighters,” Zelensky wrote in a Twitter post which also alluded to a separate meeting with the Aidar Battalion, another neo-fascist outfit that has been accused of war crimes by Amnesty International. “They have stopped the enemy from advancing towards Kostiantynivka and pushed the occupiers back up to 8 kilometers.”[14] The meeting was largely interpreted as a last desperate measure given the dire straits the Zelensky regime found itself in, and among its demoralized fighting forces. The regime and Western media played down the presence of Nazi fighting units in the Ukrainian military financially supported by American and European taxpayers for a year and a half. The public recognition and praise Zelensky bestowed was a morale booster for the once demonized Nazis who now are considered heroes and the Kyiv regime's last, most loyal patriotic defenders.

Due to the loss of so many armored vehicles, by August 2023 Ukrainian commanders abandoned NATO tactics and switched to full blown "meat assault" tactics of infantry on foot.[15]

Ukraine losses for the first 24 days of August 2023 were 17,370 personnel (KIA and wounded in action); 62 tanks; 368 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs)s; 410 trucks; 346 artillery pieces; and 52 ammo dumps.

According to the BBC the first confirmed sighting of the vaunted Challenger 2 tank, reputed to be one of the best in the world, resulted in the first confirmed kill of a Challenger 2 tank. 13 more remain in service in Ukraine.[16] The next day the British defense ministry announced it would not send anymore to replace those being destroyed.[17] He further claimed the good news was the 2 man tank crew survived. However, review of video suggested it was highly unlikely anyone could survive the destruction. The Russians were the first to discover the UK main battle tank's vulnerabilities, leaving the UK defense ministry and MIC contractors to quietly "study the problem". Each Challenger 2 has a unit cost of about $10 million. That same day, the Pentagon announced it canceled its planned upgrade of the M1 Abrams tank.[18]

By early September 2023 after 90 days of fighting, in excess of 60,000 casualties and virtually no gains, the firing of corrupt Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov effectively brought the Ukraine 2023 summer counteroffensive to an end.

Zaporozhe front

The Washington Post announced on June 8, 2023, four days after it commenced, that Kyiv's much anticipated counteroffensive had begun.[19] The counteroffensive actually began 96 hours earlier, on June 4, 2023 - the four-day waiting period giving time to rewrite narratives explaining how defeats actually are victories which is typical of Western mainstream media news reporting. However, in this case it was nearly impossible to hide or lie about the wall of resistance and disastrous consequences of NATO/Ukraine's ill-conceived military planning and poorly executed operations.

The operation had no basic strategy, other than a massive PR stunt in advance of NATO's July 11, 2023 Summit in Vilnius where allegedly the future of NATO operations in Ukraine supposedly is to be decided.[20] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) reported,

Ukraine's prized German-built IRIS-T surface-to-air missile system, at a cost of $200 million, was destroyed the first day of the counteroffensive.
"During the three days of combat operations in all directions Ukraine lost up to 3,715 men, 52 tanks and 207 armored combat vehicles, 134 trucks, 48 field artillery guns, as well as five aircraft, two helicopters and 53 drones...Russia’s losses were immeasurably smaller: Altogether 71 servicemen of the combined group of forces were killed and 210 others wounded while repulsing the enemy offensive...Fifteen tanks, nine infantry fighting vehicles, two trucks and nine guns were also taken out.

On June 8 the MOD reported:

"The enemy was detected by reconnaissance forces in a timely manner, with preventive strikes launched by artillery, aviation and anti-tank weapons...Ukrainian forces have been stopped in their tracks in all four directions and retreated with heavy losses...During a two-hour battle, the enemy lost 30 tanks, 11 armored personnel carriers and up to 350 troops, with total Ukrainian personnel losses in the last 24 hours reaching almost 1,000 people."

Videos emerged showing bodies of discarded Ukrainian soldiers scattered on the battlefield. A Russian kamikaze drone destroyed a $200 million German built IRIS-T SLM surface-to-air missile system.[21]

Destroyed German Leopard 2 tanks and American Bradley Fight Vehicles on what the Russians called Bradley Square.

According to multiple credible sources, Russian electronic warfare capabilities southwest of Orekhovo involved one or more new systems not fielded previously, which took NATO/Ukraine side by surprise. There was also a credible report that Russian electronic warfare went so far as to severely disturb Ukrainian access to GPS data.

The Asia Times quoted American and European observers in Ukraine describing the Ukraine Army's efforts as a “suicide mission” that violated the basic rules of military tactics. “We tried to tell them to stop this piecemeal and suicidal tactic, identify the main attack with proper infantry support, and then do what they can,” a senior European officer said. In his opinion, the fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine run in five different directions. Also, the tanks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine went to the minefields, not letting the demining vehicles forward. This resulted in the loss of 38 tanks on the night of June 8. One of the experts added that the Ukrainian military was trained in this in the UK. “The Ukrainians were trying to play Guderian,” one of the military experts said, “only Guderian had 3,000 tanks, and these idiots just lost the 30 they had.”[22]

Proximate location of Bradley Square.

Russian soldiers on the frontline renamed the battlefield where the burnt-out husks of dozens of German Leopard 2 tanks and American Bradley Fighting Vehicles littered the countryside as "Bradley Square". In the first 10 days of the counteroffensive, Ukraine has lost over 160 tanks and over 360 armored vehicles.

UAV operators of the Russian 27th brigade filmed how the punitive blocking detachment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the BTR-4 "Bucephalus" destroyed their own fighters, who were doing an unauthorized retreat from their positions. The video showed the retreating soldiers were battered after heavy fighting, carrying wounded with them, but it didn't not stop the Nazi punishers from destroying the living and wounded of their fellow citizens.[23]

The crews of two Ukrainian BMP-1 infantry combat vehicles surrendered to Russian troops near Avdiivka. A member of a platoon in Ukraine's 110th separate mechanized bridge radioed Russian troops, requesting medical assistance for their wounded soldiers after NATO commanders had declined to evacuate the unit. The Ukrainian officer asked for safe passage and said that the remainder of his units would surrender with all of their weapons, including two BMP-1s. The soldiers were taken into custody,[24] including some with serious injuries. The captured service members were receiving medical aid and were vetted for complicity in war crimes.[25]

By June 18, 2023, Day 14 of the AFU counteroffensive, NATO/Ukraine has suffered in excess of 14,000 soldiers killed with, again as like in Bakhmut, virtually nothing to show for the effort.

Gen. Mick Ryan, a retired Australian general, put it well when he described Russia's defensive architecture as “much more complex, and deadly, than anything experienced by any military in nearly 80 years”.[26]

Kharkov front

See also: Izium-Kharkiv front

In the Kharkov region it was reported in early June 2023 that NATO/Ukraine was preparing a large provocation by dressing the troops in Russian uniforms to create utmost chaos and panic. The reports indicated the NATO/Ukraine produced 1,200 sets of Russian-style military uniforms for the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces. The symbols, stripes, insignia, patterns, as well as the material were completely identical to their Russian counterparts. The kits were planned to be transferred to the following destinations: Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporozhe. Among the kits were the uniform of the FSB, Rosgvardiya kits with the insignia of the Akhmat regiment, and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Supreme Commander Valery Zaluzhny back from the grave wearing a Baby Yoda patch begging for more weapons.[27]

In the Kharkiv direction, there was a concentration of equipment previously captured in the battles with the Russian Federation. Wheeled trucks: "KAMAZ", "URAL", as well as a certain number of BTR-80. NATO/Ukraine was preparing to conduct sabotage operations. Another report stated that there were militants stationed in Kupyansk (up to 300 people), as well as up to two hundred people in the Pechenegs of the Kharkiv region. "All this gang will operate under the cover of the flag of Vyrusya from the RDK, the Ichkerian militants want to use the uniform of Rosgvradiya and Akhmat units. Moreover, the Russian uniform was made by order of the special services of Ukraine at the factories "Brevi" and "Ekotets-3" in the Poltava region." This report claimed that the infamous Sheikh Mansour “evil Chechens” battalion will be used while dressed in the uniforms of Russian Chechen Rosgvardia and Akhmat.

By Day 23 of the counteroffensive, NATO/Ukraine had lost 259 tanks and 780 armored vehicles across all fronts.

On June 27, 2023, a video surfaced of soldiers of the 59th Motorized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine blowing up their own soldiers who fled their positions and refused to return.[28]

On July 2, 2023, it was reported that the Russian armed services had amassed 180,000 troops along the Kremennaya front opposite Kharkov.

On July 23, 2023, the Russians reported a breakthrough on the Kupyansk front.

In two months of fighting the Russian army managed to capture three times more territories in the Svatove-Kupyansk direction than the Armed Forces of Ukraine during their counteroffensive in the Zaporizhzhia direction. Zelensky awarded Gen. Zaluzhny with the Gun for Special Services to the Fatherland. With this presentation Zelensky hinted that Zaluzhny would have to shoot himself if the Russians broke through to the Oskol reservoir on the Kharkov front.

By early August 2023 after the Russian breeakthrough at Kupiansk, local residents shared interesting details about the "evacuation." Besides evacuating the population mainly from the rear areas of the AFU to accommodate militants in vacant houses, the process appeared selective. Particularly, men were not allowed on the evacuation buses, regardless of age and health condition. Moreover, after bidding farewell to their relatives and friends, several men were taken for mobilization into the AFU. However, even AFU fighters in Kupiansk acknowledge that the impressment of the remaining male population into the AFU in the region could negatively affect the psychological well-being of the remaining Ukrainian soldiers. None of the residents from the eastern districts of the Kharkov Region intend to fight against the Russian army.

Mass surrenders

3,500 AFU soldiers had surrendered since the launch of Russia’s project to have a special “surrender frequency” on all radio channels where Ukrainians can dial in and safely surrender to Russian forces. The Armed Forces of Ukraine were invited to go to the frequency of 149.200 for surrender. Over 3,500 AFU soldiers and officers voluntarily surrendered, a whole brigade of "counter-offensive" since July 2023. 18,000 total AFU reported to be in Russian custody as POWs.

The new radio channel made it very convenient for AFU to surrender safely—which had classically been one of the main barriers preventing their surrender. They feared by going out into an open field, etc., they would be shot by jumpy snipers or anyone not seeing their makeshift white flag. The new channel allows them to fully coordinate the surrender with opposing Russian forces, who give them instructions where and how to do it and then inform all nearby friendlies not to fire on the Ukrainian troops.


  1. https://archive.ph/GmW5m#selection-1169.4-1169.55
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/14/us/politics/ukraine-war-cluster-munitions.html
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/18/us/politics/ukraine-russia-war-casualties.html
  4. https://youtu.be/g_CqTYZRMEU
  5. https://www.azquotes.com/quote/553462
  6. https://youtu.be/nkR3dGkpYlY
  7. The Total War Speech, Published by dreizinreport, on August 25, 2023.
  8. https://simplicius76.substack.com/p/sitrep-7623-zelensky-builds-one-last
  9. https://youtu.be/xaWxxGXB3XA
  10. https://youtu.be/fVmhxx5VrAA
  11. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2023-07-12/sleepy-joe-biden-trying-outdo-hitler-and-history
  12. Bound to Lose: Ukraine’s 2023 Counteroffensive, John Mearsheimer, Sept. 2, 2023
  13. https://www.bitchute.com/video/5cMzEAiJQmro/
  14. https://thegrayzone.com/2023/08/16/zelensky-ukraines-notorious-neo-nazi/
  15. https://www.businessinsider.com/western-trained-ukrainian-troops-are-abandoning-us-tactics-report-2023-8
  16. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-66716788
  17. https://www.bitchute.com/video/RnWlrOIKrBWT/
  18. https://www.defenseone.com/business/2023/09/army-wants-lighter-abrams-tank-new-tech-future-wars/390078/
  19. https://archive.is/NiqQk#selection-461.1-461.49
  20. Does Ukraine EVEN have a Military Objective?, Defense Politics Asia, Jun 21, 2023.
  21. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/ukraines-prized-iris-t-air-defense-system-attacked-by-russian-drone-in-video
  22. https://asiatimes.com/2023/06/ukraine-plays-light-brigade-with-british-advice/
  23. https://www.bitchute.com/video/hdLRHCCKESg0/
  24. https://www.bitchute.com/video/2wJmOm7GRQtL/
  25. https://youtu.be/g0B2--FxUVI
  26. https://archive.ph/fjVsg
  27. https://www.moonofalabama.org/2023/06/ukraines-zaluzhny-is-back-and-asking-for-more-weapons.html
  28. https://www.bitchute.com/video/NGZfJVHjxZsM/