Sunday, April 2, 2023

Reznikov Says Kyiv’s Spring Counteroffensive Planned in Several Areas; Zelensky: Ukraine Must Hold Bakhmut or Russia Will ‘smell that we are weak’; Total of 321 Heavy Tanks Promised to Ukraine; RU's Wagner Chief Says Battle for Bakhmut Has Damaged His Force, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

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Kyiv’s spring counteroffensive planned in several areas, says Reznikov
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that the Ukrainian counteroffensive involving Western tanks may begin in April or May.
In an interview with Estonian channel ERR, Reznikov said that German Leopard tanks, which have started arriving in Ukraine, will be part of "the counteroffensive campaign under the decision of our General Staff."
"I am sure that we will continue to liberate temporarily occupied territories, as was done in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson (oblasts). This will all continue," Reznikov said.
The minister believes that in 2023, the world will see “positive changes for Ukraine," adding that a lot depends on the weather conditions.
Earlier this week, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine can’t start the next counteroffensive due to a shortage of weapons, including heavy equipment and fighter jets.
“We cannot send them (our troops) under such conditions," he told a Japanese newspaper.
Kyiv officials have been talking about a spring counteroffensive for months, with Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, saying in January that the “hottest” fighting was expected in March.
On March 25, Zelensky admitted the situation on the eastern battlefield was “not good” due to a “lack of ammunition.” The Russian forces fire three times more shells than the Ukrainian troops daily, he said.
On its side, the U.S. said that “Ukraine doesn't have any time to waste” ahead of the counteroffensive.
“We have to deliver swiftly and fully on our promised commitments,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on March 16.
“That includes delivering our armored capabilities to the battlefield and ensuring that Ukrainian soldiers get the training, spare parts, and maintenance support they need to use these new systems as soon as possible.”
On March 29, Ukraine's Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said that Kyiv urgently needs "at least" four modern fighter jets. He explained that the Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets supplied by Poland and Slovakia were not enough to defend Ukrainian territory on air, land, and sea.
"The (American) F-16 or another multi-role aircraft of the same type will help," Ihnat added --->READ MORE HERE
AFP via Getty Images
NY POST: Zelensky: Ukraine must hold Bakhmut or Russia will ‘smell that we are weak’:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has raised the stakes in the battle over Bakhmut, warning that if Russia conquers the eastern city, Moscow could begin building international support for an armistice that would be undesirable for Ukraine.
If Bakhmut ​falls, Russian President Vladimir Putin would “sell this victory to the West, to his society, to China, to Iran,” Zelensky ​told the Associated Press during a train ride from the northeastern city of Sumy to Kyiv on Tuesday.
“If he will feel some blood — smell that we are weak — he will push, push, push.”
Ukraine has been fighting Russian forces in Bakhmut for nearly eight months in some of the bloodiest battles in the 13-month-old war, and Zelensky said a loss in the city, or any other contested cities, could sap the momentum of Ukraine’s military.
“We can’t lose the steps because the war is a pie — pieces of victories. Small victories, small steps,” he said.
The 45-year-old, who recently visited Bakhmut, said a defeat there would be more of a political loss than a tactical one, and build pressure among Ukrainians and the international community to force him to accept an unacceptable truce.
”Our society will feel tired​. ​Our society will push me to have compromise with them​,” Zelensky said.
At this point in the war, the United States and its Western allies have backed Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, offering billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid. --->READ MORE HERE
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