The German newspaper Welt has published an article saying that the counteroffensive planned by Ukraine for 2024 will obviously be the one planned by Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, for this summer.
Source: Welt with reference to German security expert and political consultant Nico Lange
Details: Welt believes that even though the Ukrainian counteroffensive has clearly reached a “stalemate” and the West is hesitant to support it, there are signs that Kyiv is preparing a plan.
After the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, pessimism has spread in society. Bad news about the lack of ammunition in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a shortage of soldiers, weaknesses in the supply of weapons systems from the West, and a decline in Ukrainian morale have fuelled the mood.
“Many people forget that most of the tanks and armoured combat vehicles are still there, and that many of the promised weapons are still being delivered,” argues Nico Lange.
This applies, for example, to 200 German Leopard 1 tanks, of which only about 30 have arrived in Ukraine.
Moreover, Ukraine still has access to more than 95% of all weapons systems supplied by the West, as they have not yet been used in the counteroffensive. This is based on estimates by Oryx, a Dutch open-source website that analyses data on the supply and destruction of military equipment.
Welt notes that in the south, the Ukrainian Navy is holding and expanding a bridgehead near Kherson on the Russian-occupied left bank of the Dnipro River. From here, it is only 60 kilometres to Crimea. This has been a weak point for the Russian army since Ukraine forced the Black Sea Fleet to withdraw from there and destroyed important air defence systems and other Russian military facilities.
Quote from Lange: “Ukraine still has big plans. This is evidenced by the list of desired weapons that Ukraine has sent to the United States. These include Black Hawk and Apache attack helicopters, F-16 and F-18 fighters, long-range missile systems, Abrams tanks, and a number of drones and ammunition. But people are really talking about the F-18s”.
More details: According to media reports, Zaluzhnyi was never in favour of an offensive without air support, and agreed to it only “for political reasons”, but the “big counteroffensive” that was supposed to lead to Melitopol and Berdiansk was eventually cancelled.
The journalists add that Zaluzhnyi, by deciding to attack with small units, saved the lives of his soldiers, secured weapons systems from the west and gained important time.
Quote: “Ukraine is probably gathering resources for a new counteroffensive next year. One of the starting points could be a bridgehead in Kherson. With the necessary fighter jets, attack helicopters and drones, Ukraine could provide sufficient support to advance its troops, especially since there are almost no Russian fortifications in the region.
This would have been exactly the kind of counteroffensive that Zaluzhnyi probably had in mind from the beginning.”
Джерело: Українська правда