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NYT: US officials believe Ukrainian counteroffensive to start in May
U.S. officials believe that Ukraine may launch its highly-anticipated counteroffensive in May, the New York Times reported on April 24.
Citing leaked Pentagon documents, the New York Times wrote that 12 Ukrainian combat brigades totaling 4,000 soldiers would be ready to head to the front line by the end of April.
Nine of the brigades are being trained and supplied by the U.S. and other NATO allies.
In January, Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, said that Ukraine was planning a major counteroffensive in spring, with the "hottest" fighting expected in March.
However, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on March 25 that Ukraine couldn’t start the counteroffensive due to a shortage of weapons, including heavy equipment and fighter jets.
In late March, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that the counteroffensive was being planned "in several areas."
At the same time, "complex measures" of Ukraine's planned counteroffensive are "already underway" in the east, according to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar's comments on national television on April 19. Maliar added that the counteroffensive should not be reduced to specific dates and actions.
The outcome of the counteroffensive is expected to be a critical turning point in the war that will determine whether Ukraine reclaims more of its territory or is pressured by allies to meet with Russia at the negotiating table.