For months, the world has been waiting for Ukraine to launch the much talked about spring offensive to retake territories occupied by Russia. Now the presidential advisor Mychajlo Podoljak says that it has begun.
– The counter-offensive has already been going on for days. It is an intense war over a 1,500 kilometer long front, but the measures have already begun, he told Italian Rai.
On Twitter, Podoljak writes that the offensive is not a single event that begins at a set time. Instead, it concerns a number of actions in different directions that Ukraine has carried out and will continue.
“Intensive destruction of the enemy’s logistics is also a counteroffensive,” he writes.
Joakim Paasikivi, teacher in military strategy at the Norwegian Defense Academy, assesses that the so-called pre-emptive action before the offensive has been going on for some time. In it, Ukraine has laid the groundwork for future actions by shelling strategic targets.
However, there is no information about any large-scale advances by the ground forces, and Paasikivi sees Podoljak’s statement as part of warfare.
– The purpose is to make it even more important for Russia to decide in which direction it thinks Ukraine is gathering strength. There, the Russian operational reserve must be ready to defend.
He notes that Ukraine has succeeded well in keeping the details of the offensive secret.
– It is possible that it has started or that it will do so in two weeks. But as long as the Russians look for the offensive, it benefits Ukraine.
He himself believes that the big start will take place in the near future.
– Given the weather and the terrain, Ukraine has been able to start the operation in 1-2 weeks’ time. Now it is up to them to decide when they have sufficient strike power, logistics and a good intelligence situation.
The weapons deliveries from the West are central to Ukraine succeeding in liberating the Russian-occupied areas. Mychajlo Podoljak says the war would have already been over if Ukraine had received weapons such as long-range Storm Shadow robots, tanks and military aircraft a year ago. He also claims that Ukraine will not use the weapons to strike Russian territory.
The statement comes after US media reported that US-made combat vehicles were used in the attack on Russia’s Belgorod earlier this week. The US has previously delivered the same model to Ukraine, which denies direct involvement. Instead, the country believes that the attack was carried out by Russian paramilitary groups critical of the Russian leadership.
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