Speed Reads

the shape of the war

Ukrainian forces launch counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast

Ukrainian forces have launched a counteroffensive into Kherson Oblast, the first part of the country to fall under Russian control when the invasion began in February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday.

Ukrainian artillery is reportedly targeting bridges in the region, aiming to hinder the delivery of supplies to the Russian occupiers.

Zelensky said his country's forces are advancing "step by step" into the region, but more detailed information has been scarce. According to an assessment from the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War published Saturday, Kherson officials have "called on Ukrainian civilians to remain silent on the progress of the counteroffensive until Ukrainian authorities release official statements."

Meanwhile, fighting continues in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, where two U.S. citizens were recently killed, the State Department announced Saturday. A spokesperson said the State Department is providing "consular assistance" to the families of the deceased but did not provide the names of the two Americans or the dates and circumstances of their deaths.

As the war enters its sixth month, Russia is searching the globe for allies in an attempt to shore up international support during a conflict that could last for years. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov traveled to Egypt on Sunday with additional stops planned in Ethiopia, Uganda and the Republic of Congo. In an op-ed published in all four countries, he blamed the U.S. and Europe for the global food crisis and called on African nations to resist Western attempts "to impose a unipolar world order."