Ukraine Touts Massive Russian Losses 2 Weeks Into Counteroffensive

Two weeks into Ukraine's counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region, President Volodymyr Zelensky's forces have been able to advance dozens of kilometers while destroying scores of Russian equipment and personnel, according to a Ukrainian official.

Nataliya Humenyuk, head of the joint coordination press center of Ukraine's Southern Defense Forces, detailed the gains at a briefing with the Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform on Monday. She said that in addition to Ukraine advancing a "couple of dozen kilometers," it had "liberated areas of close to 500 square kilometers." Two dozen kilometers is equal to about 15 miles, while 500 square kilometers is equal to about 193 square miles.

Humenyuk also said that Ukraine's Armed Forces had eliminated more than 1,800 Russian soldiers, more than 500 units of armored vehicles, 122 tanks, two jets, two helicopters and about 10 cruise missiles in the southern area in the last two weeks.

Days into the Kherson counteroffensive, a local Ukrainian official said that the push had already resulted in "successes" in the occupied region. Humenyuk's briefing provided more insight on what the effort has achieved two weeks since it began, while Ukraine is conducting a simultaneous counteroffensive in the occupied eastern Kharkiv region that allegedly has caused Russian troops to flee.

Ukraine Touts Kherson Successes
A view of the destroyed Fabrika shopping mall in the city of Kherson on July 20, 2022. Two weeks into Ukraine's counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region, President Volodymyr Zelensky's forces said they have advanced dozens of kilometers while destroying scores of Russian equipment and personnel. Stringer/AFP via Getty Images

In his Sunday address, which came on day 200 of the war that began on February 24, Zelensky praised the work of the Ukrainian soldiers fighting against the Russian army on several fronts.

"Our fighters, who heroically restrained the enemy, and now they do not restrain themselves," he said. "And they drive the occupiers out in the north, south and east. In all directions, but moving in only one direction—forward and towards victory."

"Step by step in the Kharkiv region, Kherson region, Donbas, with weapons, shovels, hands, teeth—you are 'gnawing away' every meter, every frontier, every city and village of ours," he added.

In its September 9 campaign assessment, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote that a "strict operational silence" in southern Ukraine might make it seem like Ukrainians are not advancing in the area, and that its troops are "likely operating in several directions in Kherson Oblast."

The settlements of Visokopilya, Novovoznesensk, Bilogirka, Sukhy Stavok and Myrolyubivka have been freed from Russian control amid the Ukrainian push in Kherson, the New Voice of Ukraine reported.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has been conducting a campaign to inform Russian soldiers on how they get out of the conflict in Ukraine, as well as how they can prevent Russia's army from being combat ready by "slightly" destroying their own military equipment to make it unusable, Humenyuk told Ukrinform.

Newsweek reached out to Russia's Defense Ministry for confirmation and comment on the reported Ukrainian successes in Kherson.