Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Kyiv Readies for Counteroffensive, NATO ‘confident’ Ukraine Ready to Liberate More Territories; Ukraine Trains 40,000 Storm Brigade Troops for Counter-Offensive; Allies Deliver Over 230 Tanks to Ukraine Over Past Months; Military Operations on Russian Territory 'completely normal', LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo by Sergey Shestak/AFP via Getty Images
Ukraine war latest: Kyiv readies for counteroffensive, NATO ‘confident’ Ukraine ready to liberate more territories:
NATO and President Volodymyr Zelensky signaled Ukraine’s readiness to launch an anticipated counteroffensive in the near future as the Ramstein conference kicked off on April 21.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who visited Zelensky in Kyiv a day prior to the 11th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the Ramstein Air Base, said he is “confident” that Kyiv is ready to liberate more territories – without disclosing where or when.
“I'm confident that they will now be in a position to be able to liberate even more land," Stoltenberg said on the sidelines of the conference, adding that amongst the goals of the meeting was to ensure that Ukraine had "all the different capabilities, systems, supplies” for the counteroffensive operation.
Zelensky, who said he was waiting to hear about the conference’s results from Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, stressed on April 21 that preparation work is underway for a counteroffensive.
"We are actively preparing new brigades and units that will still prove themselves at the front,” Zelensky said in his evening address.
“The issues of their provision, training, integration into the general defense plan – we add important details every time at the Staff meetings,” he added, referring to the regularly-held briefings with top military officials, including Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhny.
The heightened anticipation of a counteroffensive comes as Kyiv has for months talked about a major spring operation, in which it said Ukrainian forces are expected to liberate more territories.
As representatives from around 50 countries met at the Ramstein base in Germany, Ukraine again pled for Western fighter jets and long-range rockets. Zelensky on April 20 asked NATO to “overcome the reluctance” of some alliance members regarding their possible transfer. --->READ MORE HERE
REUTERS/Alina Yarysh
Ukraine trains 40,000 storm brigade troops for counter-offensive:
More than a year into Russia's full-scale invasion, Aleks, a translator with no prior military experience, was advancing through forest with rifle raised, training to ambush enemy forces in one of Ukraine's newest military units.
Border of Steel is one of eight new storm brigades totalling 40,000 soldiers that Ukraine wants to use during a counter-offensive against Russian occupiers in coming weeks or months.
"I want the war to be over as soon as possible and I hope the strike brigade will make it happen a lot faster," Aleks told Reuters at a training facility in a secret location in Ukraine.
He declined to give his surname for security reasons.
The units have benefited from an aggressive recruiting campaign on social media and billboards with the aim of attracting highly motivated volunteers.
The drive comes as Kyiv may face growing challenges recruiting new troops.
Its forces have been weathering a Russian onslaught for months in towns like Bakhmut in the east, where thousands of soldiers have died. Kyiv does not disclose its military losses.
The new brigades, drafted by the Interior Ministry, will fight alongside regular army units bolstered by new Western battle tanks and thousands of fresh troops trained by allied armies outside Ukraine.
The brigades have catchy names: Hurricane, Spartan, Chervona Kalyna, Frontier, Rage, Azov and Kara Dag, a mountain in Crimea.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko told Reuters he believed Ukraine still had considerable mobilisation potential and that his recruits included women, people with no military experience and former police officers and servicemen.
A great deal is riding on the counter-offensive for Kyiv. --->READ MORE HERE
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