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Western tanks and trained soldiers, this is how Ukraine is preparing for the offensive –

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From our correspondent
how – Is the Ukrainian attack really imminent? The question arose spontaneously even a week ago, while we were visiting the Ukrainian front lines committed to defending the salient between Liman and Bakhmut, the hottest sector of the entire Donbass front.

I often happened to meet poorly trained soldiers, Those who had the task of quickly gaining experience and somehow supporting the rarest units of veterans, recruited since the time of the Russian invasion in 2014, and now vying to stop the most massive unit launched 13 months ago. We are worried. We didn’t fire a shot, We don’t know what to do under the bombs,” they told usAmong the many, four fearless infantrymen in their forties, recruited in early January e. thrown into the “meat grinder” of Bakhmutwhere even the superstitious old people put the sign of the cross before boarding the armored vehicles that crossed almost 5 km “death” under the direct fire of Russian tanks clearly visible between the village of Chasev Yar and the ruined outskirts of the besieged town.

But why doesn’t the General Staff send men trained in this very crucial sector? We insisted and the response of the commanders was always the same: «Our chief of staff, Vali Zaluzhny, knows what he has. He is preparing for the spring offensive, The best units are sent to train abroad with NATO. We have fellow soldiers in the United States, in England, in the fields and between regions in Poland and the Baltic states. Soon they will be back and then we will be Ready to launch a counterattack with the new weapons provided by the Allies ».

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Their explanation sums up the essence of the following Ukrainian moves: It is from the end of the two successful offensives between September and November, when the Russians were forced to abandon the Kherson regions west of the Dnipro River and then withdraw from Izyum and Liman, that Tens of thousands of Ukrainians are learning fighting strategies using NATO weapons. It is estimated that a year ago only a fifth of the national defense system was born, now it has risen to a third. According to 59-year-old Air Force Colonel Roman Svetan, a retired defense consultant: At least 60,000 soldiers have just returned from training abroad And today they can already be sent to fight ». This confirms the estimates recently issued by the US and British military institutes One hundred German tanks of the latest Leopard 2, Most of it was donated by Poland and the Baltic states, and will already be available to the Kiev orders.

But not only. Still from the former Soviet provinces of Europe, fearful of the possibility that if Putin wins in Ukraine, the next front line will be at home, 250 T-72 tanks of old Soviet production, Plus about sixty more advanced T-72s. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic and Poland are sending their last stocks MiG-29 fighter. Finally, for several weeks, near the Donbass River and on the approaches to the Zaporizhia and Kherson fronts, the American Bradley and Stryker armored vehicles have been accelerating, strong and fast even on melting black slurry.

This explains the words said two days ago by General Oleksandr Sersky, the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, which have been cited everywhere in the past few hours. We see the Russians still trying to take Bakhmut, but they look tired, as if their strength is running out. “We will take advantage of this opportunity very soon,” he said. The Russian reaction was not long in coming. yesterday Artillery resumed shelling of the entire Donbass front, Especially in the Kreminna, Lyman and Svatove sector north towards Kharkiv. The United Nations condemns the treatment of prisoners from both the Russian and Ukrainian sides. Going gets tough. The next few weeks seem destined for important turning points.

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