Ukraine: is the counter-offensive taking off?

For a long time, the Ukrainian counter-offensive launched on 4 June didn’t seem to be making much progress. Now the Ukrainian forces say they have broken through the first of two Russian lines of defence near Zaporizhzhia — just a few days after reporting the recapture of the nearby village of Robotyne. Is this a major turning point in the war? Commentators are divided.

Público (PT) /

The tables are turning

Público sees signs that the war is going in Ukraine’s favour:

“Their ‘drone battalions’ have a basic mission: to show the Russians that they won’t emerge unscathed from the war unleashed by Vladimir Putin. They are beginning to see and feel it on the streets of the capital and in many other parts of the country, far away from the battlefield. ... The ability of Ukrainian special forces to push through to Crimea is another strong indication that things are going better than it may seem. The ultimate proof of this came directly from Moscow, which has now resorted to the nuclear threat again.”

Teresa de Sousa
Népszava (HU) /

Patience needed

The West must not abandon its support for Ukraine, writes Népszava:

“The ‘major’ summer offensive which the public and politicians of the democratic world — and in our country the patriots outside the [ruling party] Fidesz — had expected would quickly lead to the end of the war and the overthrow of the new Soviet imperial experiment seems to have stalled ... It may sound dreadful, but there seems to be no other option but to ‘bomb’ Russia back decades economically with sanctions and destroy its army as best we can. ... Neither will happen overnight, so patience and continued support for Ukraine are needed.”

Mihály Bak
Új Szó (SK) /

SIgns of war-weariness

Commenting in Új Szó, Rastislav Boldocki, editor-in-chief of Plus 7 dní magazine, doubts that the counter-offensive will bring a breakthrough:

“There are growing signs that this will be a protracted conflict with an unclear outcome. The Washington Post recently published estimates from intelligence sources that Kyiv’s counter-offensive will not achieve its goals this year. The British magazine The Economist talks of war fatigue on the Ukrainian side. ... Perhaps the most far-reaching vision of the future, however, was outlined by Stian Jenssen, head of the Private Office of Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who admitted that our eastern neighbour might have to give up some territory in return for Nato membership.”

Rastislav Boldocki