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turning the tide

Ukraine is fighting to 'regain territory,' Pentagon says

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.

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.