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Official: ‘No more than 5 people’ have information on Ukrainian counteroffensive plans
“No more than five people” are filled in on Ukrainian plans for a counteroffensive operation in the next few months, National Security and Defense Council head Oleksii Danilov said on April 6.
“Information on when the military actions might begin will be known to a limited number of people,” Danilov said in an interview with RFE/RL, adding that Ukrainians will find out when the offensive actually begins.
Danilov also stressed that people should be cautious of statements made by other commentators without any real knowledge of the plans.
Ukraine’s much-anticipated spring/summer counteroffensive has been a hot topic of discussion both in Ukraine and abroad, as the success of a new Ukrainian push against fortified Russian lines will likely have a decisive impact on the further course of the war.
Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, in January said in an interview with ABC News that Ukraine is planning its offensive in spring.
“This [the offensive] will happen throughout Ukraine, from Crimea to the Donbas,” said Budanov.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on March 16 said that "Ukraine doesn't have any time to waste” ahead of the country’s upcoming counteroffensive.
Previously, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in late March also confirmed in an interview with Estonian television channel ERR that the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces is planning a counteroffensive in several areas in spring.
Reznikov added that a lot depends on the weather conditions. “In spring, the soil is very wet. Only tracked vehicles can be used then.”
Russia has been preparing several lines of fortifications along the front line in occupied territories in Ukraine's east and south in anticipation of an offensive.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is building up new units, to be equipped with technologically superior Western-built tanks and armored vehicles, expected to form an offensive spearhead that will lead the attack.
Concerning the German Leopard-2 tanks provided by Ukraines allies, Reznikov said they would be seen at the front and used in April-May.
During his visit to Poland on April 5, President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Warsaw for its assistance and urged Ukraine's partners to continue their support of Ukraine's military.
“When a battle requires artillery, it should be provided; when victory requires tanks, their roar must be heard on the frontline. " Zelensky said.
"When independence needs airpower, you shouldn’t pay attention to how Russia will react to our planes, you shouldn’t guess which number will look safer next to the letter F - 16 or some other. You need to take action.”