The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Inside the Ukrainian counteroffensive that shocked Putin and reshaped the war

By Isabelle Khurshudyan

29 Dec 2022 · 19 min read

Editor's Note

The Washington Post dives deep to tell the story of Ukraine's counteroffensives in Kharkiv and Kherson, showing how cooperation with the U.S. and other NATO partners helped turn the tide of the war.

KHARKIV, Ukraine - After weeks of fighting for scraps of territory on the war's bloodiest front, Oleh, a 21-year-old Ukrainian company commander, was summoned suddenly last August, along with thousands of other soldiers, to an obscure rendezvous point in the Kharkiv region.

At his last position, relentless Russian artillery fire had stalked his men's every step. But here, in a patch of villages, farmland and streams in Ukraine's northeast, the quiet was deeply alarming. "The silence bothered me the most," Oleh said. "It seemed off. How could this be?"

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