When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

TOPIC: ukraine counteroffensive

In The News

Worldcrunch Magazine #43 — A Kherson Replay?

July 24 - July 30, 2023

This is the latest edition of Worldcrunch Magazine, a selection of our best articles of the week from the best international journalists, produced exclusively in English for Worldcrunch readers.


Watch VideoShow less

On The Donetsk Front, Ukraine's Counteroffensive Follows The Kherson Playbook

For many observers, Ukraine's counteroffensive seems to be progressing too slowly, with losses leading some critics to call it a "suicide mission." Yet the view from the frontline makes clear that Kyiv is pursuing a strategy that has already proven successful.

VREMIVKA — Roofs of houses are torn off, side walls collapsed. Window frames dangle in the wind, refrigerators, tables and chairs lie scattered. Wrecked cars, pieces of metal, chunks of stone, splintered branches and trees are everywhere on the streets. The destruction is unspeakable.

None of these houses, with their vegetable gardens and fruit trees, so typical of rural Ukraine, are even remotely habitable. The road runs through the heart of the chaos, over two pontoon bridges that cross the Mokri Jaly River, and then continues along a dirt road filled with white gravel. This is the route the Ukrainian army paved to stab the Russian occupation forces in the back at Vremivka.

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

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

This village on the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhya Oblasts had been divided in two since last year. The front line between Russian and Ukrainian troops ran right through the village, which was home to just 1,300 people.

Vremivka has been liberated - as have six other villages near the small town of Velyka Novosilka. Ukrainian forces recaptured these villages between June 10 and 12. The area, which covers a total of 139 square kilometers, is so far the largest territory that Kyiv has been able to free as part of its current counteroffensive.

"Nowhere else have so many villages been captured," says Ivan, a press officer with the 35th Marine Brigade, which was instrumental in the recapture. Like most Ukrainian soldiers on combat duty, he asks to keep his last name private.

Keep reading...Show less

Why Negotiating With Russia Would Be A Disaster For Ukraine — And The World

A month into Ukraine's counteroffensive, claims that it has failed are wildly premature. Even more troubling are the steady whispers that Kyiv must sit down with Russia to negotiate. But it's clearer than ever that only complete Ukrainian victory can bring lasting peace.


KYIV — "The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it," George Orwell once remarked.

We're reminded of those words recently as we hear more and more calls for negotiations. Since mid-June, about 10 to 12 days after the Ukrainian counteroffensive began, a number of Western political scientists and journalists, claiming to cite anonymous government sources, have argued that the Ukrainian offensive is proceeding too slowly. If it continues to stall, they say, the West will reduce or completely withdraw support from Ukraine, forcing Kyiv to agree to a ceasefire and enter into negotiations with Russia.

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

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

American political scientist Graham Allison argues that if Ukraine does not seize the chance presented by the recent Wagner coup “to break the stasis that governs the battlefield in eastern Ukraine, we will enter a very different chapter in this conflict... Many of Ukraine’s supporters in Europe and even in the United States will join the Global South’s chorus calling for both sides to stop the killing and begin serious negotiations about a cease-fire."

Russian voices, including those who consider themselves in opposition to the current regime, echo the Western skeptics.

The reasoning behind this type of thinking is straightforward: if the Ukrainian Armed Forces were unable to achieve immediate success by overpowering the enemy's defenses, penetrating operational territory, and capturing Melitopol and Mariupol in one decisive strike, it would be more prudent to avoid sacrificing the lives of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers.

Instead, it would be preferable to engage in diplomatic negotiations. This outcome would please activists from the Global South, left-wing pacifists, and certain circles in Western countries who may desire to maintain Russia's presence, possibly by replacing Putin with a more acceptable dictator.

Keep reading...Show less

Summer In Moscow, A Guide For Living As If The War Didn't Exist

The outdoor cafés are joyful, the metro is expanding and the city is becoming more modern. A visit to the Russian capital finds citizens trying to keep the war as far away as possible — even as it creeps closer.

MOSCOW – A few days ago, unusual explosions woke several southwestern suburbs of Moscow up. "Ukrainian" drones targeted residences in upscale neighborhoods. For months, the consequences of Western sanctions have been visible on the Russian economy, disrupting its resilience. Prices are rising, and some European products are off the shelves.

"But life is beautiful!" says Piotr, a typical representative of the Moscow middle class, who has become accustomed to living while ignoring the conflict in Ukraine. The young and dynamic man in his thirties – a sales executive in an agricultural company – does not hide his care-free attitude as he sits on a terrace at one of the city center's trendy cafés.

Keep reading...Show less
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Yevhen Buderatskyi and Olha Kyrylenko, Roman Romaniuk, Roman Kravets

Ukraine's Spring Counteroffensive Has Been Delayed Again — Here's Why

Analysts have been talking about a Ukrainian counteroffensive since the end of last year. But when, where and how it will happen is still a closely guarded secret, thrown into further turmoil by the embarrassing leaks from inside the U.S. Defense Department. Ultimately, however, there are other factors that matter more.


KYIV — All last winter and into the spring, media and military analysts talked about the Russian offensive in Donbas and the upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive. But military and political leaders say all of this talk is nothing more than reading tea leaves. According to the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, at most five people know where and when the Ukrainian counteroffensive will begin.

In early February, top Ukrainian military and political leaders held closed-door briefings for G7 diplomats. At the time, the counteroffensive was planned for April or May. But in early April, secret Pentagon documents were leaked to the public on gaming servers.

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

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

The head of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, believes that this was a Kremlin information operation to strike at relations between Ukraine and the U.S., while other Ukrainian military officials believe that the U.S. will benefit the most from it: both Kyiv and Moscow discovered that Washington has a wide range of data on their forces.

Still, the Ukrainian military says the U.S. leak hasn't disrupted planning. "This data leak will not affect the counteroffensive in any way. There is no word about our real plans," says a senior Ukrainian security official. "We have plans, the General Staff has approved them, and we are moving slowly. The next couple of months will be difficult."

Watch VideoShow less