When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Now, It's A Russian Counteroffensive Underway In Ukraine

Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops in the northeastern regions of Ukraine that were liberated by Kyiv late last year, which appears to come in response to the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

A T-80BVM tank crew of the Russian Western Military District performs a combat task in the direction of Kupyansk.

The northeastern Ukrainian town of Kupyansk was liberated by Kyiv in September. The nearby Lyman was liberated just weeks later. Now, Ukrainian officials report a Russian offensive unfurling in that very direction.

© Russian Defence Ministry/TASS/ZUMA Press Agency
Valentina Romanenko

KYIV — The northeastern Ukrainian town of Kupyansk was liberated by Kyiv in September. The nearby city of Lyman was liberated just weeks later. Now, Ukrainian officials report a Russian offensive unfurling in that very direction, just as Kyiv's own forces are engaged in a counteroffensive in several Russian-occupied regions to the south.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for the eastern unit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, confirmed the move on the national 24/7 newscast. "The enemy has gathered a very powerful group of forces – more than 100,000 personnel, over 900 tanks, over 555 artillery systems, and 370 multiple-launch rocket systems – on the Lyman-Kupiansk axis,” Cherevatyi said.

The official offered perspective on the scale of the buildup: Russia deployed 120,000 personnel in Afghanistan at the height of its campaign there in the early 1980s.

Diverting Ukrainian reserves

Top Ukrainian officials say the Russians went on the offensive on the Kupyansk front, where it set itself the goal of defeating the Ukrainian defense forces near the town before continuing the offensive into the depths of the Ukrainian battle formations.

He stressed that Ukrainian soldiers are holding the line.

“[Russia] has consolidated its air assault units, its best motorized infantry units, private military companies [on the Lyman-Kupiansk axis], and has deployed territorial forces as reserves there," Cherevatyi said.

He stressed that Ukrainian soldiers are holding the line and preventing Russian forces from taking the initiative in the area.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted that by intensifying operations on the Kupyansk front, the Russians are attempting to divert Ukrainian reserves away from crucial areas, such as Bakhmut, where Kyiv is currently conducting its counteroffensive. The experts believe that the Russian forces will not be able to make an operationally significant breakthrough.

Servicemen of Russia's Western Military District load a shell into a Grad multiple rocket launcher .

Soldiers of Russia's Western Military District load a shell into a Grad multiple rocket launcher .

© Russian Defence Ministry/TASS via ZUMA

Complicated but under control

“All commanders understand the importance of the assigned tasks regarding the destruction of the enemy, the continuation of offensive actions, and the retention of the operational initiative on our side,” Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said. “We continue to move forward, liberating our land step by step."

According to him, the situation is “complicated but under control”. "Under the difficult circumstances, I visited the combat brigades of our group and met with unit commanders to adjust our plans and solve problematic issues on the spot,” Syrskyi said. “Separately, I worked with the commanders and made all the necessary decisions to stabilize the situation on the Lyman front.”

On Telegram, he wrote that the Ukrainian army is advancing elsewhere on the eastern front and that the Russians are forced to transfer its reserves to the Bakhmut area, trying to stop the Ukrainian advance there.

"We continue to fight. We will win," the commander of the Ground Forces emphasized.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


The Problem With Always Blaming Climate Change For Natural Disasters

Climate change is real, but a closer look at the science shows there are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters. It is important to raise awareness about the long-term impact of global warming, but there's a risk in overstating its role in the latest floods or fires.

People on foot, on bikes, motorcycles, scooters and cars navigate through a flooded street during the day time.

Karachi - People wade through flood water after heavy rain in a southern Pakistani city

Xinhua / ZUMA
Axel Bojanowski


BERLIN — In September, thousands of people lost their lives when dams collapsed during flooding in Libya. Engineers had warned that the dams were structurally unsound.

Two years ago, dozens died in floods in western Germany, a region that had experienced a number of similar floods in earlier centuries, where thousands of houses had been built on the natural floodplain.

Last year saw more than 1,000 people lose their lives during monsoon floods in Pakistan. Studies showed that the impact of flooding in the region was exacerbated by the proximity of human settlements, the outdated river management system, high poverty rates and political instability in Pakistan.

There are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters, but one dominates the headlines: climate change. That is because of so-called attribution studies, which are published very quickly after these disasters to highlight how human-caused climate change contributes to extreme weather events. After the flooding in Libya, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described climate change as a “serial offender," while the Tageszeitung wrote that “the climate crisis has exacerbated the extreme rainfall."

The World Weather Attribution initiative (WWA) has once again achieved its aim of using “real-time analysis” to draw attention to the issue: on its website, the institute says its goal is to “analyse and communicate the possible influence of climate change on extreme weather events." Frederike Otto, who works on attribution studies for the WWA, says these reports help to underscore the urgent need for climate action. They transform climate change from an “abstract threat into a concrete one."

In the immediate aftermath of a weather-related disaster, teams of researchers rush to put together attribution studies – “so that they are ready within the same news cycle," as the New York Times reported. However, these attribution studies do not meet normal scientific standards, as they are published without going through the peer-review process that would be undertaken before publication in a specialist scientific journal. And that creates problems.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest