At the last meeting of the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander of Ukraine, decisions were made on “the timing of how [the Armed Forces of Ukraine] will move.” This was stated by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky following the meeting, the press service of the politician reports.
At the same time, he did not announce exactly when the Ukrainian counter-offensive should begin.
“Not only the provision of ammunition, not only the training of new brigades, not only our tactics [were discussed]. But also timing. This is what is most important. Deadlines as to how we will move. We will. Decisions have been made,” Zelensky said in a video message.
He also expressed gratitude to “every soldier and sergeant, officer and general, every brigade that prepared.”
On Monday, May 29, Alexander Syrsky, Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, announced that an offensive in the Liman direction should begin soon. According to him, the tasks for preparing the operation were determined by his headquarters.
“I noted that the time will soon come when we will move on to active offensive operations, and defined specific tasks for preparing for them,” Syrsky’s Telegram channel says.
On May 16, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Igor Zhovkva said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have enough armored vehicles to launch a counteroffensive. “Unfortunately, the level of equipment that we have is still not enough to launch a counteroffensive,” Igor Zhovkva said in an interview with Sky News.
On May 23, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kirill Budanov, said that the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine would begin in the near future.
“We already have the necessary minimum of weapons. I can only say that it will begin in the near future, ”said the head of Ukrainian military intelligence in an interview with the Japanese television and radio company NHK.
Budanov also added that the Ukrainian military still needs a large supply of weapons and ammunition to successfully continue its operations. “We need more weapons. We need fighters. I hope that the international community is ready to help Ukraine,” the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate emphasized.
On May 28, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that the Ukrainian authorities had switched to aggressive methods of mobilization in an attempt to make up for losses in anticipation of a counteroffensive.
The publication cites the words of one of the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who was re-conscripted for military service after returning from captivity. According to him, the command of the Ukrainian troops is trying to increase the number of personnel on the eve of the counteroffensive. According to The Daily Telegraph sources, subpoenas are handed out right on the street.
On the same day, James Holmes, a former US Navy officer and professor at the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, said in an article for the 19fortyfive portal that Ukraine was promoting the counteroffensive in order to get more weapons from the West.
“Ukrainian leaders have used the upcoming offensive as leverage to support Western arms supplies,” he wrote.
According to Holmes, for several weeks the world has been discussing the spring counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army, but the spring is ending, and the operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has not yet begun. The ex-Navy officer noted that Kyiv “acted in the most clumsy way”, preparing a “strategic surprise” for the enemy.
The author believes that the Ukrainian army can feint in one or two places before launching a general offensive along the entire line of contact, but it is doubtful that it will decide on a frontal attack.
On May 27, the head of the Security Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to launch a counteroffensive as soon as the command gives such an order, that is, at any time. At the same time, there is no consensus among Ukrainian officials on the counteroffensive. Earlier, Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the country’s presidential office, said that the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine “has been going on for several days.”