Russia may undertake a major new offensive focused on the Donbas region in late spring or early summer, the head of the Ukrainian Military Intelligence (HUR) Chief Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview with the German TV channel ARD published Sunday.

The cities of Pokrovsk and Chasiv Yar could be the main targets. 

“They will move a little towards Chasiv Yar. They will move in the direction of Pokrovsk, the strategic direction of Pokrovsk,” he predicted. 

Budanov said that he did not rule out another Ukrainian counter-offensive this year but would not elaborate. 

On Sunday, the Ukrainian army reported that the situation was “difficult and tense” near Chasiv Yar, which lies about 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Kramatorsk, an important rail and logistic hub for the Ukrainian army.

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The Russian army was “using infantry backed by armored fighting vehicles” and “warplanes” on the small towns of Bohdanivka and Ivanivske outside Chasiv Yar, Oleh Kalashnikov, a spokesman for an army brigade deployed in the area said.

“But all their attacks have been repelled,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that delays in crucial security assistance such as ammunition from Ukraine’s Western Allies have forced Ukraine to cede the battlefield initiative to Russia.

Ukrainian officials have warned that Ukraine cannot plan either a successful counteroffensive or defensive effort without knowing when and what kind of aid it will receive.

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