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Zaluzhnyi plans new counteroffensive next year - Welt

Zaluzhnyi plans new counteroffensive next year - Welt Photo: Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluznyi (facebook com vzaluznyj)

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, is planning a new counteroffensive. Ukraine is likely gathering resources for new operations in 2024, according to German publication Welt.

The publication notes that much of the promised armored equipment, which partners pledged to provide to Ukraine, has not yet been utilized. Some of the equipment hasn't even arrived in Ukraine, particularly mentioning the Leopard 1 tanks. Germany and its allies promised to provide 200 tanks of an older version, of which, according to Welt, Ukraine has only received 30 units.

German security expert and political advisor Niko Lange believes that Ukraine is focusing on exhaustion.

"They are no longer trying to hold positions, like in Bakhmut. Instead, they want to slow down Russian forces and make them bleed," he said.

The publication claims that Ukraine has significant plans, evidenced by the list of armaments Ukrainian leadership handed over to the United States. Previously published by Reuters, the list includes Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, F-16 and F-18 fighter jets, long-range missile systems, Abrams tanks, numerous drones, and ammunition.

According to Niko Lange, Ukraine is attempting to transition to mobile warfare, which was not realized during the summer counteroffensive.

Welt added that Zaluzhnyi agreed to the summer counteroffensive only for political reasons. According to the publication, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not see chances of success without sufficient aviation support. Therefore, he replaced the offensive with small infantry group assaults.

Journalists believe that without mechanized support, a rapid breakthrough was impossible. Zaluzhnyi's substitution was a wise move, preserving his soldiers, Western-supplied weaponry, and buying crucial time.

"Ukraine is likely gathering resources for a new counteroffensive next year," said expert Lange.

The German publication adds that one of the directions of the offensive could be a foothold in the Kherson region.

"With the necessary fighters, attack helicopters, and drones, Ukraine could adequately support the advancement of its troops, especially since there are almost no Russian fortifications in this region. This would be the counteroffensive that Zaluzhnyi probably had in mind from the beginning," the journalists add.

Frontline situation

In the summer of 2023, Ukrainian military forces launched a counteroffensive in the south and east of the country. The Armed Forces of Ukraine successfully liberated over a dozen settlements in the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. However, the main objective of advancing to the Sea of Azov was not achieved.

Currently, Ukrainian military forces are mostly engaged in active defense and, when possible, conduct attacks. This includes areas around Bakhmut and in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Recently, it was reported that Ukrainian soldiers repelled occupiers from of the spoil heaps near Horlivka in the Donetsk region. Additionally, the fighters managed to capture enemy positions.

For more detailed information on the frontline situation, you can refer to this material.