The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are preparing for a counteroffensive, which will begin in about two months, Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the head of the presidential office has said.
“We are not in a hurry, we will reorganize over the next two months. We will exhaust the Russians in Bakhmut and then focus elsewhere,” Podolyak said in an interview published today by the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
Russia had concentrated most of its trained military personnel in Bakhmut, along with the most combat-ready private military companies, he added.
As such, Ukraine is pursuing two main goals in its defense of Bakhmut: to gain time to replenish its forces, and to inflict heavy losses on the Russian army. He added that the decision to make the defense of a key area a priority task was a joint strategy developed by the country’s military leaders with the approval of the President of Ukraine.
“It is important for them to move in this direction. Therefore, we have two goals: to reduce their combat-ready personnel as much as possible and squeeze them into several grueling key battles, disrupt their offensive, and concentrate our resources elsewhere for a spring counteroffensive,” Podolyak said.
He added that he considered the AFU tactics in Bakhmut to be “quite effective today, surpassing its key tasks.” Russia is losing five to seven times more military personnel than Ukraine, he noted. There are about 40,000 dead and wounded invaders in Bakhmut.
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Podolyak also stressed that the UAF needs long-range missiles for the offensive, and Western partners should increase the supply of heavy 155 mm artillery shells.
The defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov recently confirmed that preparations for the Ukrainian counteroffensive are underway.
The U.S. expects that Ukraine will be able to launch a counteroffensive in the spring.
The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said there would be decisive battles in Ukraine from mid to late spring.
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