Ukraine is trying to penetrate Russian lines in the event of a possible launch of a counter-offensive

Responding to Russia’s statements that it repelled Ukrainian attacks, an American official said on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive issues.

Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Malyar announced that the Ukrainian military has achieved success.

“Despite the fierce resistance and the enemy’s attempts to keep the occupied lines and positions, our units advanced in several directions during the combat operations,” he said.

Mallyar did not differentiate between the phases of the war, arguing that Ukraine’s defense against Russian invasion “includes everything, including counteroffensive operations.” He admitted that Kiev’s forces “in some regions … are going on the offensive.”

Sir Richard Barons, a general who is a former commander of the United Kingdom’s Joint Forces Command, said Ukraine was “clearly in the early stages of its counter-offensive” and would probe Russian defenses for weak points and then focus its resources to penetrate them. and keep the land.

Ukrainian soldiers board an armored personnel carrier on the front line near Bakhmut.

Ukrainian soldiers board an armored personnel carrier on the front line near Bakhmut.Credit: AP:

Barons, now co-chairman of UK-based strategic consultancy Universal Defense and Security Solutions, said the Ukrainians are “trying to increase the chances of being surprised when you do it, where you do it and how you do it”.

Commenting on the Russian military’s claim that it thwarted a major Ukrainian offensive, he said it could be part of a Ukrainian effort to probe Russian defenses and test its units in combat. He added that Moscow could have exaggerated the scale of the fighting and claimed victory to appease its domestic Russian audience.

Barrons predicted that the Ukrainian counteroffensive would involve a series of steps and take weeks. “It’s a process, not an event,” he said.

Ukraine often waits for the end of its hostilities to confirm its actions.

Ukrainian soldiers smile as they get into a pickup van on the front line near Bakhmut.

Ukrainian soldiers smile as they get into a pickup van on the front line near Bakhmut.Credit: AP:

A video from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine shows soldiers putting their fingers to their lips as a sign of silence. “Programs love silence,” the screen said. “There will be no announcement about the start”.

Zaporozhye and Donetsk are two of the four provinces that President Vladimir Putin has declared as Russian territory and that Moscow partially controls.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had repelled a “large-scale” attack Sunday in five locations in Donetsk region. The statement could not be independently verified, and while Ukrainian officials said fighting was ongoing in the area, they did not confirm the retreat.


Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in an unusual night video that 250 Ukrainian servicemen were killed, 16 Ukrainian tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles and 21 armored vehicles were destroyed during the fighting in Donetsk region.

In response, the Strategic Communications Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that Russian forces were “strengthening their information and psychological operations.”

“In order to demoralize Ukrainians and mislead the community (including their own population), Russian propagandists will spread false information about the counter-offensive, its directions and losses of the Ukrainian army. Even if there is no counterattack,” Telegram said in a statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russians overreacted to his latest attack.

“We see how hysterically Russia perceives our every step, any position we take,” he said in his nightly address.

Ukrainian officials have said for months that a spring campaign with advanced weapons provided by Western allies was planned to retake territory captured by Russia during the war, but they have been tight-lipped about when, how and where it might begin, or if it has already happened. started.

Recent military operations, including drone attacks on Moscow, cross-border attacks into Russia and sabotage and drone attacks on infrastructure behind Russian lines, have unnerved the Russians. Analysts say the actions could be the start of a counter-offensive.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said television and radio transmissions were disrupted in several regions of Russia on Monday. The fake broadcast featured a voice impersonating Putin and stated that Ukrainian forces had invaded Russia’s Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk regions.

During the war, those regions of Russia were occasionally targeted by cross-border strikes.

The impersonator announced that martial law had been declared in those regions, where people were called to evacuate, and all Russians were being mobilized for combat duty.

The Russian military said Monday it had repelled Ukraine’s latest incursion into the Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine. The Russians, believed to be fighting alongside Ukrainian troops, said they attacked on Sunday. They were pushed back as a result of airstrikes and artillery fire, reports the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin.Credit: AP:

At least two factors affected the timing of the counteroffensive: better ground conditions for the movement of troops and equipment after winter, and the deployment of more advanced Western weapons and the training of Ukrainian troops to use them.

Ukraine’s Western allies have sent the country more than 65 billion euros ($105 billion) in military aid to help with its defense. Pushing out the Kremlin’s forces is a daunting challenge for Kiev’s planners. Russia has built extensive defensive lines, including trenches, minefields, and anti-tank obstacles.

After months of stalemate on the battlefield, in which neither side suffered significant gains and losses in personnel and weapons, Ukraine may launch simultaneous thrusts in different parts of the front line, which stretches for about 1,100 kilometers, analysts say.

In the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, site of the longest and bloodiest battle of the war, Deputy Defense Minister Malyar said Ukrainian forces were advancing and “capturing dominant heights”. Zelensky said in his night message.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Russian Wagner mercenary group, a frequent critic of his country’s military whose statements are sometimes unreliable, said Russian forces had lost control of part of the village of Berkhovka outside Bakhmut. Prizoghin said last month that his forces had captured all of Bakhmut, while Ukrainian forces continued to control many surrounding areas.


Get a note directly from us overseas reporters about what is making headlines around the world. Sign up for the weekly What in the World newsletter here.

Source link