Russia Ukraine conflict

Pentagon dubs Ukraine’s Kherson operation a ‘counteroffensive,’ lauds progress

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The Pentagon on Wednesday publicly labeled Ukraine’s operation in Kherson a “counteroffensive” for the first time since Kyiv started pushing back against Russian forces in the area last week.

“They’ve done a lot of damage to the Russian forces there,” said Colin Kahl, the under-secretary of defense for policy.

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Speaking at the Defense News conference in Washington, Kahl said Ukrainian forces were making slow “but meaningful progress” against Russia.

He added: “We’ll see how things pan out, but I certainly think things are going better on the Ukrainian side right now in the south than is true on the Russian side.”

Russia launched a further invasion of Ukraine in February but failed to achieve its primary objective of overthrowing the government in Kyiv and capturing the Ukrainian capital. Vladimir Putin’s troops have reportedly suffered from low morale and a lack of proper planning and organization.

The Ukrainians have launched a counteroffensive to take back lands previously captured by Russia.

Billions of dollars of weapons and aid from Western countries, led by the US, have played a critical role in Ukraine’s ability to fend off the Russians.

More aid is expected to be announced during the Ukraine Defense Contact Group that is scheduled for Wednesday in Germany, Kahl said.

Earlier in the day, at the same conference, Mark Newton, minister counselor of defense at the British Embassy in Washington, also hinted that more military aid would be announced tomorrow.

Read more: Biden has made final decision not to designate Russia as state sponsor of terrorism

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