Ukraine’s spring counter-offensive may begin simultaneously in the southern and eastern directions, CNN reports , citing experts. Such actions would confuse the Russian force grouping and divert it from the main focus of the Ukrainian military strike, said former Australian Army General Mick Ryan, who recently visited Ukraine.
An employee of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) Kateryna Stepanenko, in turn, notes that it would be a mistake for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU) to focus on only one direction. A one-time offensive in the east and south could complement each other and create additional logistical problems for Russian troops, she said.
A counteroffensive in the south could allow Ukrainians to carve up Russia’s land corridor to Crimea, reclaim some of the best agricultural land, and make Russian defenses in the Kherson region “untenable,” writes CNN. In addition, success in the south potentially paves the way for Ukraine to regain control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and the canal that brings fresh water to Crimea.
According to the channel, Ukrainian strikes on Russian logistics hubs, rear bases and ammunition depots deep behind the front line – both through HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and through sabotage – will make it possible to understand in which direction the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will begin. Splashes of such attacks are already observed in the south of Zaporozhye, as well as in the Crimea. A counterattack by a well-trained grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Bakhmut area could also signal the start of offensive operations, writes CNN.
According to Mick Ryan, before a counteroffensive, Ukrainian intelligence will pay attention to the location of Russian headquarters, logistics, the location of reserve forces, as well as possible weaknesses in the Russian defense. In addition, Ukraine is preparing new corps for the counteroffensive, which will consist of several thousand soldiers. These corps, according to the expert, will also include new equipment, including Western tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, as well as a large amount of engineering equipment.
How Ukraine can use Western technology in a counteroffensive
CNN notes that Ukraine has already received vital offensive equipment, such as explosive munitions, mine-clearing equipment, mobile bridge-crossing vehicles and MRAP mine-clearing vehicles.
At the same time, more than 4,000 Ukrainian military personnel underwent combined arms training in Germany: among them were two brigades equipped with American infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) Bradley and Stryker. At the same time, two motorized rifle battalions consisting of 1.2 thousand Ukrainian soldiers are still being trained in Germany.
According to Kateryna Stepanenko, the infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers supplied by the Armed Forces of Ukraine will allow the Ukrainians to ensure the safe transfer of infantry to the combat zone. Western tanks, in turn, will perform the function of the “spearhead”. However, it is not known whether Kyiv received a sufficient number of tanks, which would be decisive in the counteroffensive, writes CNN. According to information from open sources, which the journalists of the TV channel got acquainted with, at the moment there are less than 100 Western tanks in Ukraine.
In addition, the ambitious tasks that Ukraine sets itself in the counteroffensive will require a large amount of fuel, ammunition, food and medicine, Mick Ryan stressed in turn. In future operations, logistics will be crucial, which in turn may be hindered by bad weather, the expert believes. As Stepanenko noted, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will also need a high level of coordination between brigades, which will use Western equipment of various models, in order to conduct a successful counteroffensive.
At the same time, Moscow understands that Ukraine is planning counter-offensive operations, CNN emphasizes. Russia has used the last few months to create several defense echelons, especially in the south, the TV channel concluded.
- Representatives of official Kiev have repeatedly stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing for a spring counteroffensive. In particular, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine noted that the counteroffensive could take place in April and May, and also stressed that the attack would be carried out in several directions.
- Based on the words of Western experts, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) newspaper wrote that the spring counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine could begin with missile strikes, followed by a tank attack supported by armored vehicles. According to the newspaper’s forecast, as part of the counter-offensive, the Armed Forces of Ukraine intend to cut the land corridor that Russia has established along the southeast of Ukraine, as well as move from Zaporozhye towards Melitopol and the Sea of Azov.
- A “high-ranking NATO official” told Bild that during the offensive, Ukraine will try to pave the way to Crimea by land. He also did not rule out an attack on the territory of the peninsula itself. The fact that Ukraine intends to “block Crimea” was also said by the head of the PMC “Wagner” Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Source : RTVI