Ukrainian intel officer reveals plans to liberate Crimea
Vadym Skibitskyi, Deputy Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine (Photo:Main Directorate of Intelligence)
The Ukrainian Armed Forces will be prepared to launch a counteroffensive in the spring, and one of the strategic objectives will be to "drive a wedge into the Russian front in the south – between Crimea and mainland Russia," Deputy Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, Vadym Skibitskyi, said in an interview with German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost published on Feb. 26.
The exact timing of the offensive will depend on several factors, including the supply of Western weapons, he said.
Skibitskyi emphasized that the goal of the counteroffensive is to liberate all occupied territories of Ukraine, including Crimea.
"We will stop only when we restore the country to its 1991 borders," he announced.
Skibitskyi also noted that, according to information available, Russia currently has not received any weapons or ammunition from China.
"It (Russia) has long been negotiating arms supplies with many countries: China, Iran, North Korea, or former Soviet republics," he said.
According to Skibitskyi, there are currently about 370,000 Russian ground troops in Ukraine.
"In total, almost 520,000 Russian troops are now involved in the war against Ukraine," he concluded.
"They are deployed either in Ukraine or near the border with Ukraine — either in Belarus or in the far west of Russia."
Earlier, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, said that decisive battles would take place in Ukraine from the middle to late spring, serving as a turning point in the war.
Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff Oleksiy Hromov noted that Russia's strategic goal is to seize key locations in Donetsk Oblast in the near future, and to capture Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts by summer.
According to The Washington Post, U.S. officials, including those from President Joe Biden's administration, believe that a "turning point" in the full-scale war will occur this spring.
On Feb. 14, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed that Ukraine’s partners would help it advance during the counteroffensive in the spring.
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