Ukraine to soon launch counteroffensive against Russian forces: senior commander

A top Ukrainian army commander has said his country’s troops will soon launch a fresh counteroffensive against Russia’s invading forces.



Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, who is commander of the Ground Forces of Ukraine, made the statement in a social media post on Thursday, according to news outlets.

He said Ukraine’s forces had withstood Russia’s “brutal winter campaign” and were preparing to counterattack, the Euractiv website reported.

According to Syrskyi, Russia’s Wagner mercenaries, who have been at the forefront of Moscow’s assault on eastern and southern Ukraine, notably the embattled city of Bakhmut, “are losing considerable strength and are running out of steam.”

The Ukrainian general stated, as quoted by Euractiv: “Very soon, we will take advantage of this opportunity, as we did in the past near Kyiv, Kharkiv, Balakliya and Kupiansk.”

He was referring to Ukraine’s successful counteroffensives in 2022 that liberated vast areas from Russian occupation, according to news outlets.

Russia shifting forces away from Bakhmut?     

A slowdown by Russia in Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, could mean it is diverting its troops and resources to other areas, the Reuters news agency reported on Friday morning.

Russian troops had made gains farther north this month, partially regaining control over the approaches to the town of Kreminna in the Luhansk region, according to Britain’s defence ministry. 

Intense battles were also under way farther south, news outlets reported.

According to Reuters, a shift in momentum in Bakhmut, if confirmed, would be remarkable, as the city has been the symbolic focus of Russia’s offensive, while the scale of the losses on both sides has turned the battle of Bakhmut into “Europe’s bloodiest infantry battle” since World War II.

Ukraine’s Zelensky urges West to send more weaponry

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday renewed his appeal for more long-range weapons from Western allies to help his country fight the Russian invasion, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported. 

Speaking to an EU summit via video link from a train, Zelensky recounted the “devastating” scenes he had witnessed close to the front, where fighting has been the most intense, according to news outlets.

The Ukrainian president urged Europe to increase and speed up its supply of weapons, reiterating his call for long-range missiles, ammunition and modern aircraft, as well as additional sanctions on Russia, Euractiv reported.

“If Europe waits, the evil may have time to regroup and prepare for years of war,” Zelensky warned. 

Meanwhile, EU leaders meeting in Brussels endorsed a plan, agreed by foreign ministers on Monday, to send 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine over the next year, news agencies reported.

Russian strikes kill seven in Donetsk, Sumy: reports

At night, Russian troops shelled “a point of invincibility” humanitarian shelter in Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region, according to Ukraine’s state broadcaster Suspilne. 

Three resettled women from other settlements of the region died under the rubble, and two more people were wounded, according to officials.

The overnight death toll in Kostyantynivka later rose to five, local emergency services said.

Meanwhile, the northeastern Sumy district came under massive fire at night as Russia used about 10 fighter jets, artillery and “Shahed drones,” Suspilne reported, according to The Guardian

Two people were killed in the city of Bilopillya, while nine others were injured, officials said.

In Kryvyi Rih, in Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region, there were five hits by Shahed drones, The Guardian reported, citing Suspilne. 


Source: Euractiv, Reuters, The Guardian 

Radio Poland>>>

Jan Bogatko: Bruksel
Zmiana czasu na letn