Senior US officials have advised Ukraine not to hit back hard against Russian forces until Washington hands over the latest aid package and complete training.
Speaking to the press on January 20, an unnamed senior US official said that Washington only discussed with Ukraine a major counter-attack plan against Russian forces when Kiev received the latest batch of weapons from Ukraine. Washington aid and full operational training.
This week, Washington announced it would deliver hundreds of armored vehicles to Ukraine. However, the official said, at present, the US still holds the position of not supplying Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine on the grounds that the equipment is very expensive and difficult to maintain.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday that NATO allies have agreed to equip Ukraine with more weapons. He believes that this support will not only allow Ukraine to defend against new waves of Russian attacks but also to launch a counter-offensive to regain territory.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is about to enter its 12th month and continues to escalate. Kiev predicts that Moscow is preparing for a decisive large-scale attack in February or March.
Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Lugansk region, said that although the frozen ground in winter could pave the way for new attacks with heavy weapons, the inclement weather also made it difficult to operate. general combat operations.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized that it is important that Western allies and partners accelerate the speed of weapons aid, help Kiev take the initiative on the battlefield, and regain territories from Russia.
However, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said it was “very very difficult” for Ukraine to repel Russian forces on the territory this year.
“From a military point of view, I still think that this year, Ukraine is unlikely to push back Russian forces from controlled territories. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but it is very, very difficult,” said Mr. Milley.
He added: “The front line is currently stretching from Kharkov down to Kherson, and there is heavy fighting; it is more or less a static front right now, except for Bakhmut, Soledar”. According to General Milley, the situation of the war in Ukraine depends greatly on the speed of Western arms aid and operational training.
On January 20, defense leaders of Western countries that support Ukraine had an important meeting at the US military base in Ramstein, western Germany to discuss equipping Kiev with heavy weapons. The parties agreed to provide new aid packages but failed to reach an agreement on the transfer of main battle tanks such as Abrams or Leopard to Ukraine.
Germany is under great pressure to “give the green light” to other countries to move to the Ukrainian battlefield Leopard tanks manufactured by Berlin. However, Berlin claims, it will do this when Washington agrees to aid Abrams tanks.