Ukraine is fighting to 'regain territory,' Pentagon says

Ukrainian tank
(Image credit: FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian forces appear to be launching counter-offensives against the invading Russian military, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Tuesday, according to CNN.

The U.S., Kirby said, has "seen indications that the Ukrainians are going a bit more on the offense now."

"They have been defending very smartly, very nimbly, very creatively, in places that they believe are the right places to defend, and we have seen them now, in places particularly in the south near Kherson, they have tried to regain territory," he added.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Ukraine's counter-attacks have not been confined to the area around Russian-controlled Kherson. On Tuesday, Ukrainian forces retook the Kyiv suburb of Makariv, though Russian forces made some gains in other areas near the capital city, The Hill reported.

On Sunday, a Kremlin-aligned Russian tabloid cited a Russian Defense Ministry casualty report that placed the number of dead Russian troops at over 9,800 since the invasion began on Feb. 24. The casualty figures were later edited out of the article.

An assessment published by the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C., concluded that "Ukrainian forces have defeated the initial Russian campaign."

Writing in The Atlantic, Eliot A. Cohen of the Center for Strategic and International Studies argued the "likely truth" on the ground is not that "the war is stalemated," but "that the Ukrainians are winning."

"The Ukrainians are not merely defending their strong points in urban areas but maneuvering from and between them, following the Clausewitzian dictum that the best defense is a shield of well-directed blows," Cohen wrote.

"If the Ukrainians continue to win, we might see more visible collapses of Russian units and perhaps mass surrenders and desertions," he added.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Grayson Quay

Grayson Quay was the weekend editor at His writing has also been published in National Review, the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteModern AgeThe American ConservativeThe Spectator World, and other outlets. Grayson earned his M.A. from Georgetown University in 2019.