Day 426: Ukraine likely to begin counteroffensive in May

Ukraine will likely begin a counteroffensive in May. A Russian missile strike on Kupyansk in Kharkiv region destroys museum, killing two. Ukrainian troops advance near Kreminna.

Ukraine likely to begin counteroffensive in May

Ukraine is preparing to launch a counteroffensive against Russian forces as early as next month, American officials say, as quoted by The New York Times, in the face of immense risks: without a decisive victory, Western support for Ukraine could weaken, and Kyiv could come under increasing pressure to enter serious negotiations to end or freeze the conflict.

Twelve Ukrainian combat brigades of about 4,000 soldiers each are expected to be ready at the end of April, according to leaked Pentagon documents that offer a hint of Kyiv’s timetable. The United States and NATO allies are training and supplying nine of those brigades, the documents said.

Although Ukraine shares few details of its operational plan with American officials, the operation is likely to unfold in the country’s south.

American officials have assessed that it is unlikely the offensive will result in a dramatic shift in momentum in Ukraine’s favor. And yet American military officials say it is possible that Ukraine’s army could once again surprise them.

Russian missile strike on Kupyansk in Kharkiv region destroys museum, killing two

A Russian missile strike on Kupyansk, in Kharkiv region, on April 25, destroyed a local history museum, killing two people and injuring 10 others. 

According to the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration Oleh Synehubov, there were no military facilities near the museum that was hit by a Russian S-300 rocket. A museum worker was killed, and the body of another woman was found under the rubble.   

Russia occupied Kupyansk in the early days of the full-scale invasion. Ukrainian troops liberated the city during a counter-offensive in Kharkiv region in September 2022.

Putin changes generals as Ukrainian troops advance near Kreminna

Putin signed a decree on April 20 about a series of military command changes and formally dismissed a number of high-ranking Russian commanders who had served in the role overseeing battles in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have made marginal gains south of Kreminna, in Luhansk region, the Institute for the Study of War said in a report on April 24.

Ukrainian forces continue to target Russian logistics nodes in rear areas of Luhansk Oblast. Geolocated footage posted on April 24 shows that Ukrainian forces have made marginal advances northeast of Verkhnokamianske (18km south of Kreminna) and southeast of Bilohorivka (12km south of Kreminna) on unspecified dates. A Russian milblogger claimed on April 24 that Ukrainian forces recaptured unspecified positions near Bilohorivka and that Russian forces conducted unsuccessful ground attacks near Nevske (18km northwest of Kreminna) and Makiivka (22km northwest of Kreminna). The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces did not conduct offensive actions along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line on April 23 and 24. Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi stated on April 24 that Russian forces are conducting unsuccessful assaults in the Lyman direction, however, the Institute for the Study of War said.

Romanian support since the beginning of the invasion. Ukraine in Flames #411 

Romania has the longest border with Ukraine of any member of NATO. More than 3 million Ukrainians have fled to Romania since February 24th, around half of them through neighbouring Moldova. The Romanian government has sent ammunition, bulletproof vests and helmets to Ukraine, and has also served as a transit point for other countries’ contributions to the Ukrainian war effort. Watch Ukraine in flames #411 to find out about the attitude towards Ukraine among Romanians and the support Romania has provided since the first day of the invasion.


  • Marianna Prysiazhniuk, Ukrainian Journalist based in Romania
  • Iulian Chifu, State Counselor of the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, Security and Strategic Affairs
  • Korneliu Katsel, Volunteer, Founder of Volia Ukrainian Foundation (Bucharest)