Great Ukrainian counteroffensive

What about the big counteroffensive, terror and reporting?

Peter Hanseler

Source: Military Summary


Since October, the Ukrainians have been announcing the big counteroffensive. A winter offensive turned into a spring offensive and now it is summer, and no one really knows whether the offensive has begun or not.

This also has to do with the constantly changing reporting in the West, which does not stick to facts but only very gradually adapts the narrative to the facts that can no longer be suppressed.

Fall of Bachmut – Narrative of the West Changes

Bachmut – today Artyomovsk – was presented last October by Western media as the most important infrastructure point at the front. As a symbol of victory, as the Ukrainian Stalingrad, which would bring at least a preliminary decision of the war, journalistically carefully trimmed by the Western media. 

Before the U.S. Congress in December, President Zelensky presented a flag originating from Bachmut as a sign of victory in the coming battles.

The mood in Washington was one of victory: they knew their friend, they knew their enemy, and they were sure of victory for the good guys: the free world under the leadership of the United States. 

It turned out differently – Bachmut fell. And now the Western media portrayed this city merely as a symbol of no military use, on which the Russian bear had worked itself senselessly for many months.

The devastating quality of war reporting

That the media and politicians in the West get it so wrong is not an isolated case, but the rule. 

“Are Western Journalists dumb as a Post?”

Russia’s demise has been enthusiastically heralded since last spring. Remember when, in the spring of 2022, the Western media announced in unison that the Russians would run out of ammunition by May, that civil war was breaking out in Russia, that sanctions were bringing Russia to its knees, that Putin was dying, and that Ukraine was the new Switzerland?

Ukraine is the new Switzerland! – Ukrainian flags of Zurich

Not one of these loudmouthed predictions came true. Now one can ask whether Western journalists are as dumb as bread. 

VoicefromRussia has dealt with the devastating coverage in the West several times. For example, in the article “Reliable sources for war reporting“, “Pitoyable coverage of the Ukraine conflict” or when we took the trouble to scrutinize the reporting of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) on the basis of an editorial by its editor-in-chief Eric Gujer and exposed him as a propagandist, “Resist the beginnings! – Propaganda of the NZZ“.

If one reads and analyzes these articles closely, one sees that the journalists in question are far from stupid. They are simply selling stories which are interspersed with half-truths and thus all the more effective in their propagandistic effect: fee writers.

The NZZ, which over centuries has earned a great deal of credibility among the highly educated class in the German-speaking world, today abuses this position for tendentious journalism, often enough crossing the line into untruth. This is extremely unsavory and will cost the NZZ its reputation sooner or later, at the latest when the broader readership becomes aware that this renowned newspaper has deliberately published false facts and thus made itself common with certain political circles.

It seems – our increasing readership is an indicator of this – that there are more and more people who no longer trust the major newspapers, because the reporting describes a world that has less and less to do with individual perception and objective reality.

First reports of the counteroffensive

For a few days now, the Ukrainians have been attacking in various places. 

According to the reliable media, it seems that the Ukrainians are not able to consolidate their advances. It is said that every advance is neutralized by the Russians within 24 hours and the losses of the Ukrainians are beyond imagination. On one section of the Saparosher front, over 3,500 Ukrainians are reported to have fallen within two days without achieving anything. 

It was also reported that the first Leopard 2 tanks were deployed and casualties were also reported among them. 

According to sources, artillery preparation did not take place, the soldiers were simply left to run into the knife. In no section did the Ukrainians manage to get to the first defense lines of the Russians.

It is difficult to judge whether the Ukrainians will be able to strengthen their counteroffensive. The first few days did not bring any significant successes, but enormous losses.


If a warring party attacks purely civilian targets without gaining or seeking a military advantage, this qualifies as terrorism. Accordingly, the Russians classify the Ukrainian missile attacks on civilian targets without any military value, as they have been carried out repeatedly in recent days.

The shelling of these targets – purely residential areas and social facilities – has no military significance whatsoever and serves only to satisfy the feelings of hatred of a terrorist regime and to spread fear and terror among the Russian population. 

Kindergarten girls, old women shopping, schoolchildren, mothers and young fathers die senselessly as a result of targeted artillery fire on shopping streets and residential areas. This affects not only Donetsk, where about 20,000 civilians have perished since 2014 – but now also towns and settlements in the heartland of Russia.

This strategy has been used repeatedly in history and yet has never produced the expected results. During World War II, the Germans bombed English residential neighborhoods and the British, together with the Americans, subsequently wiped out most of the major cities in Germany, generously sparing industrial facilities with American interests. 

This terror, which served only to undermine the military strength of the civilian population, did not achieve its goals during World War II and will continue to close ranks behind the Russian leadership in 2023.

The strategy of the Russians

If we look objectively at the military successes of the Russians, they have managed to conquer and – more importantly – hold on to a little more than 20% of Ukraine’s territory. 

20% of the territory sounds modest; however, these four regions, annexed by referendum, are the economic jewels of Ukraine – they are worth more than the remaining 80% together.

The conquests of Kharkov and Saparoshe, which were highly celebrated in the West, seem to have been in fact tactical retreats by the Russians. 

The course of the current front is advantageous to the Russians, and they have not remained idle since the increasingly loud announcements about a major counteroffensive since last fall.

The fortifications on the land bridge have been continuously improved since October – time is once again playing in the Russians’ favor – and so far these defensive lines have not even been tested by the counteroffensive.

The Russians are thinking very long-term. Their planning certainly takes into account not only Ukraine as an adversary, but NATO as a whole. 

There are tens of thousands of NATO troops in Romania and Poland; that is a fact. The Russians would be grossly negligent not to include these forces in their strategy. 

As a result, the large part of the Russian army has not been deployed at all so far. The major battles are being fought by the Wagner Group and Chechen special forces: As previously in Mariupol and in Artyomovsk (former Bachmut). 

The Russians are therefore preparing for a very long conflict – possibly a war with NATO.

Slowly but surely – time factor

The Russians are proceeding very slowly – why?

There are several reasons. The most important ones go back very far – it is the lessons Russia learned from World War II, the knowledge of its own tremendous losses in the first year. The Soviet Union lost about 4.5 million soldiers between June and December 1941. Practically the whole army. 

There were various reasons for this, which we will not go into here, but uncoordinated assaults, poor logistics and simply going into battle with hooray, the Russians certainly don’t do that anymore. The Russian people would not accept such a war. Presidential elections are coming up in Russia next year, Mr. Putin must be re-elected and he knows it.

The loss figures of the Russians prove them right. Furthermore, the Russian military-operational approach has for centuries weighted certain factors completely differently in its considerations than their respective opponents did and still do.  While Ukraine has to present short-term successes to its supporters in Washington, Brussels and elsewhere in order to maintain financial and military support, Russia uses time as an element of strategy.


The Russians began systematic bombing of infrastructure (electricity), weapons depots, command bunkers, etc. only in the second stage – starting in the fall. 

Since the announcement of the major offensive, dozens of bases of the respective battalions were knocked out with precision strikes, as well as fuel depots. 

This is the first major land war since World War II with unprecedented technical surveillance capabilities on both sides. Massing troops undetected in preparation for a strike is difficult to impossible.

What is the goal of the Russians?

The Russians are ready to hold peace talks at any time. However, it is not only the Ukrainian preconditions that stand in the way of these talks. Ukraine is only willing to engage in peace talks if the Russians return all four regions and Crimea. That is not going to happen.

Moreover, Ukraine even passed laws forbidding to negotiate with the Russian leadership at all.

Thus, the war will continue and I expect the Russians to push further west and conquer all ethnic Russian territories, including Odessa and Kharkov. 

In doing so, the Russians have only advantages when viewed coolly. First, Russia now has five to seven times more population – Ukraine is said to have only a little over 20 million today; in February 2022, it was about 38-40 million – and the Ukrainians are losing between three and seven times more soldiers. Second, Russia can obviously sustain this conflict for a long time because it is financially strong and can easily replace the losses in men and material.

What’s next?

It will probably depend on the West, i.e., the U.S., when this conflict will end. 

“Unfortunately, Switzerland has also taken itself out of the game as a mediator”

In my opinion, the Americans already know that the Ukrainians cannot win this war despite the huge financial and military support. This is already clear from the Pentagon Papers 2.0, which we have reported on. 

A Russian victory would not only be another foreign policy defeat for the Americans, but probably the end of NATO – with all the resulting negative consequences, especially for the United States. This is one of the reasons why the U.S. continues to fight this war in which it is not losing soldiers.

In my opinion, the Americans will not let up in their efforts to weaken Russia in the long term, which so far they have not succeeded in doing either economically or militarily. I look with concern at Serbia and Moldova, where the Americans have already begun to spark new crises. 

All this points to a very long conflict, and it is difficult to judge how long it will take for the Europeans to see through what is, in my opinion, a transparent game played by the United States. 

Germany, the strongest power in Europe, would probably be able to turn the tide. But the current government is so bogged down in its hate speech against Russia that it will take a new government in Berlin before that can happen. How long this will take is impossible for me to judge and depends not so much on the course of the war, but on the economic situation of this great industrial country, which is currently being beaten to ruin with a lot of energy from the traffic light government.

Unfortunately, Switzerland has also taken itself out of the equation as a mediator and will no longer be eligible as a mediator after giving up its neutrality.

Great Ukrainian counteroffensive

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