Setbacks for Russia: Kharkiv Offensive Fails with Major Losses

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.28 - 2024 9:43 AM CET

Photo: Juliya Shangarey /
Photo: Juliya Shangarey /
The recent Russian offensive on Kharkiv has faced setbacks, with losses far exceeding expectations.

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Russian losses in Kharkiv have been considerably higher than expected. About two weeks ago, Russia launched a major offensive on Kharkiv with a surprise attack. However, according to the independent US think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), this offensive appears to have failed.

Military experts at the ISW attribute the failure to the premature launch of the offensive, which undermined any potential success Russia might have had in the southern Kharkiv region.

As reported by the Frankfurter Rundschau, the offensive initially saw some tactical gains. However, these advances quickly stalled due to limited troop strength and a lack of reserves.

Russian Setbacks

The slowing pace of the offensive has opened up tactical opportunities for Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported that Russian losses since the start of the offensive are eight times higher than those of Ukraine. In the north of Kharkiv, Ukrainian defenses successfully pushed back Russian forces.

Ukrainian sources indicate that Russian forces had originally planned to deploy between 50,000 and 70,000 soldiers for the offensive, but they were only able to muster about 35,000 troops.

This lack of adequate preparation and manpower resulted in Russian troops being unable to hold their positions, leading to major setbacks.

Call for International Support

In a video message, Zelenskyy called on global allies to continue supporting Ukraine and referred to the Russian missile attacks on Kharkiv. He stressed the need for dialogue and criticized Russia's repeated lies during the war negotiations.

Zelenskyy also called for the participation of the US and China in the planned Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland in June.

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