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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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International

Ukraine won’t announce start of spring counteroffensive

Apr 19, 2023

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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Ukraine’s much anticipated spring counteroffensive against Russian forces could come any day. Don’t expect a major announcement, though.

On April 19, in an interview with local media, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the government won’t announce the start of the counteroffensive for a few reasons. First, it’s warfare and Ukraine doesn’t want Russia knowing its battle plans. Second, she said the public shouldn’t boil the counteroffensive down into one particular large-scale advance, adding in some ways the counteroffensive is already underway.

“We shouldn’t publicly boil down the counteroffensive to particular large-scale advances, because we are talking about the strategic goal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to free all our territories. We aim at freeing our territory and stopping the enemy in their advances.”

Ukraine Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar

Maliar said Ukraine’s plans to oust Russia from all of its territory, including Crimea, contains a “colossal variety of actions and measures,” like preparing personnel for any number of offensive and defensive tactics. Maliar said when the decision is made to advance, it will happen in a very short period of time when the enemy cannot react.

From an outsider’s perspective, though, it looks like that decision is probably coming sooner rather than later.

On the same day Maliar downplayed talks of Ukraine advancing on the battlefield, U.S.-made Patriot guided missile systems arrived in Ukraine. Along with the United States, Germany and the Netherlands also donated Patriot systems. Patriots can target aircraft, cruise missiles and shorter-range ballistic missiles. They’ll go a long way to shore up Ukraine’s air defenses.

In addition to Western-made main battle tanks like the Challenger and Leopard 2, Ukraine also received self-propelled howitzer cannons. Called Paladins, the mobile artillery system is battle-tested and will help Ukraine counter the onslaught of Russian artillery which is leveling villages all along the frontlines.

For the HIMARS and other rocket systems already in use in Ukraine, the U.S. sent the newly developed ground launched, small diameter bombs. The GLSDBs have a range of about 94 miles, are accurate to within a meter, and are resilient to electronic signal jamming.

There were concerns Ukraine’s counteroffensive plans may have been compromised when hundreds of classified Pentagon documents showed up on the Discord social media platform.

However, Ukraine’s leaders said they aren’t too worried about the leaks because they hold the most sensitive battlefield plans back from Americans as a result of doubting Washington’s ability to keep those secrets safe.

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