Specifically, Kyiv intended to liberate, in addition to Kherson Oblast, the occupied part of Zaporozhye Oblast further north, including the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
According to CNN, however, American military experts have convinced the command in Kiev in recent weeks that this is too big a bite. They made them concentrate exclusively on the southern part of the occupied territory and reduce the number of intended targets and the territorial extent of the planned operation.
The warning against the overly ambitious plan came from joint Ukrainian-US military drills.
The Americans have been supporting the Ukrainian army for a long time, materially (including weapons and ammunition), personnel (training soldiers) and tactically (passing on intelligence information).
“We will not comment on the details. But in general, we can say that we provide Ukrainians with information that helps them understand the threats they are exposed to and defend themselves against Russian aggression. But the final decisions always rest with the Ukrainians,” Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder told CNN.
The Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Kherson region began this week. However, information from the battlefield is very vague. The Ukrainian army reports numerous successes, including the destruction of several bridges crucial for the movement of Russian military equipment. But Moscow downplays the progress of the Ukrainian troops. In addition, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi announced that Kyiv will not disclose details of the planned operation for tactical reasons.
Ukrainian pilots are already firing American HARM missiles against radars
The counterattack is apparently successful
From available reports, it seems that the Ukrainians are making some progress. “I don’t think we can confirm the extent of Ukraine’s progress at the moment, but they certainly have an effect on Russia’s movement south and north across the Dnieper River thanks to the attacks on the bridges,” said an unnamed high-ranking NATO official, according to CTK. However, some sources are hesitant to call it a “counter-offensive”, writes CNN. According to Ukrainian officials, the operation will likely be slow, and its speed will also be affected by the coming winter and subsequent spring mud.
According to another source, a particularly smart strategy is Ukrainian attacks on the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula, which Moscow uses as a springboard for its operations in the war against Ukraine. In addition, Russia had to withdraw forces from eastern Ukraine “purely because of reports that the Ukrainians might move to a larger attack in the south,” White House security spokesman John Kirby said Monday.
Russia is already openly threatening Moldova