Ukraine sends Western tanks into battle as counter-offensive gets underway





Assault with German-made Leopards is the first heavily armored attack of Kyiv’s summer push.

Last minute! 8 June 2023
17:00 EDT

The combat against Russian positions south of Zaporizhzhia included western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles and infantry backed by artillery. Ukrainian units were reported breaking through in the Orihiv-Tokmak sector, which blocks the route to the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol – a key objective for Kyiv. Intense fighting is taking place outside of the town of Tokmak, a key Russian logistical hub.

Kyiv, June 8.– Kyiv has committed German-made tanks into battle against Russian positions in south-eastern Ukraine, launching the first heavily armored assaults of its long-anticipated counter-offensive.

Two army personnel, two Western officials in Kyiv, and military analysts said the moves were a clear sign that, after months of preparations and training, Ukraine’s summer push to liberate occupied territory had begun in earnest.

Based on the action yesterday, and the Western systems employed, it appears that the Ukrainian offensive is under way,” said Michael Kofman, a military analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses, a Washington-based think-tank.

Leopard tanks on the counteroffensiveKofman said the fighting appeared to be “along the Tokmak axis”, a strategic town in Zaporizhzhia province upstream from the Kakhovka dam, where floodwater has swallowed dozens of settlements and set off a humanitarian and ecological disaster.

Ukrainian forces are hoping to secure a breakthrough in the south and sever the “land bridge” connecting Russia with Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia and Kherson provinces ...

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