The first Canadian Leopard 2 battle tank to be donated to Ukraine arrives by air transport in Poland. Kyiv expects Putin’s troops to launch an all-out assault to capture as much ground as possible before Western tanks can be deployed
- Ukraine’s defence minister warned of a likely Russian offensive in coming weeks
- Tanks sent by Western allies to Kyiv will take weeks to arrive at frontlines
- It comes as Russia claimed to make gains around embattled city of Bakhmut
Ukraine’s armed forces are bracing for an imminent all-out assault by renewed Russian forces, officials have claimed, as Putin and his commanders seek to make gains before Western tanks can reach Kyiv.
Ukraine’s outgoing defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov yesterday said he was expecting Russia to launch a fresh attack on the partially occupied south and eastern regions on or around the anniversary of the war on February 24.
This offensive could even come by February 15, an adviser to the Ukrainian military told the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, tanks pledged by the West are on their way to Ukraine, with some having already arrived in Poland, but it will be weeks before they are ready to be deployed to the front. More than 130,000 Russian troops have now been killed since the invasion began, Kyiv claims.
‘They like symbolism,’ said Mr Reznikov, who is set to be replaced by military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov.
Ukrainian soldiers fire an anti-aircraft gun at a position near Bakhmut in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, this month
A Leopard 2A4 tank is loaded onto a Royal Canadian Armed Forces aircraft to be sent to Ukraine
‘Of course we expect possible offensives. Not all western weapons will arrive by then, but we have the resources and reserves to help stabilise and sustain the offensive.’
Ukrainian intelligence official Andriy Chernyak meanwhile told The Kyiv Post: ‘Putin gave the order to seize all of Donetsk and Luhansk regions by March.
‘We’ve observed the occupying forces are redeploying additional assault groups, units, weapons and military equipment to the east.’
The US and UK in recent weeks pledged battalions of M1 Abrams and Challenger 2 tanks to help Kyiv beat back the occupiers.
READ FULL ARTICLE:
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter