Ukrainian General Oleksandr Tarnavskiy leads the counteroffensive in southern Ukraine.
Kyiv, Ukraine – September 23, 2023: Ukrainian armed forces have achieved a significant breakthrough by breaching Russian lines in the southern region of Ukraine, according to the commanding general overseeing the ongoing counteroffensive. This development comes as Ukraine strives to regain control of territory occupied by Russian forces since June.
While progress has been slower than initially anticipated due to heavily mined terrain and other challenges, Kyiv has recently reported strategic advancements in the Zaporizhzhia area. General Oleksandr Tarnavskiy, leading the Ukrainian forces, provided insight into the current situation during an interview with CNN.
“We have a breakthrough on the left flank near the village of Verbove, and our advance continues,” stated General Tarnavskiy. However, he acknowledged that the pace of advancement had not matched the expectations set by some cinematic depictions of warfare, emphasizing the importance of maintaining initiative.
Last month, Kyiv celebrated a crucial victory when it reclaimed the southern village of Robotyne. General Tarnavskiy pointed out that a major turning point in the counteroffensive would be the recapture of Tokmak, a city located 20 kilometers from the current front line. Tokmak fell to Russian forces at the outset of their invasion, and its recovery would enable Ukrainian forces to advance further toward Melitopol and Crimea.
Tarnavskiy also addressed concerns about the approaching winter months potentially slowing down their progress, noting that while weather could be an obstacle, it was unlikely to heavily impede the counteroffensive. He described the current state of conflict, with both sides employing small assault squads rather than large formations, highlighting the intense and concentrated nature of the fighting.
The interview coincided with an attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Crimea by Kyiv, claiming the elimination of “senior” commanders. General Tarnavskiy emphasized that the success of the counteroffensive depended not only on actions at the front lines but also on dismantling enemy command centers that disrupt battlefield operations. He added that strikes on Crimea not only helped boost morale among Ukrainian troops but also provided hope for the future.
This ongoing counteroffensive marks a critical chapter in Ukraine’s efforts to regain control of its territory and resist Russian aggression.