Ukrainian forces have met greater resistance from Russian forces than anticipated in their attempt to breach Russian lines in the vicinity of Bakhmut in recent days. Still, they appear to have made gains.
Details: CNN reported that Ukrainian forces "managed to overrun some Russian forces in the east around Bakhmut", though Russian forces, armed with anti-tank missiles, grenades and mortars, have put up "stiff resistance".
According to a CNN source in the US government, Russian forces have "dug into defensive lines that are several layers deep in some areas and marked by minefields that have taken a heavy toll on Ukrainian armored vehicles".
One US official described Ukraine’s losses as "significant", and explained that they include the MRAP armoured personnel vehicles that were supplied by the US.
However, the US officials quoted in the CNN report said Ukraine’s losses are not expected to impact the larger Ukrainian counteroffensive.
"US and western officials long expected the counteroffensive to take time and put Ukrainian personnel and equipment, including Western-supplied systems, at high risk," CNN concluded.
- On Thursday, 8 June, Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade said its fighters had pushed Russian occupation forces 1.2 km back near Bakhmut, across a 1.8 km section of the frontline, over the course of the day.
- Anonymous sources told Western media outlets that Ukraine started a long-awaited counteroffensive against Russia on Thursday, 8 June 2023.