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Ukraine plans new counteroffensive – ground forces commander

Ukraine plans to reorganize its troops and launch a new counteroffensive this year, the commander of the ground forces has said.

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Speaking to ICTV on Wednesday, Lieutenant General Aleksandr Pavlyuk said the most pressing goal is to stop Russian advances and to regroup Ukrainian units, so that exhausted forces can be pulled back from the front line and replenished. It would then allow Kiev to “create a strike group and carry out counter-strike actions.”

“I think we will stabilize the situation shortly,” Pavlyuk said, adding that the command is trying to “do everything possible to prepare the troops for more active actions, and to seize the initiative.”

The Ukrainian army has been losing ground in the Donbass, where Russian forces seized the heavily fortified city of Avdeevka last month. The loss occurred amid Kiev’s worsening ammunition shortage and delays in deliveries of Western military aid.

Ukraine’s last major counteroffensive ended in failure, resulting in heavy casualties and the destruction of many Western-supplies tanks and other hardware.

The much-anticipated operation began in June 2023 and effectively ground to a halt in the fall of that year, as Ukrainian armored units struggled to cross thick minefields and were ultimately unable to break through Russian fortified positions.

More than 166,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded during last year’s counteroffensive, according to estimates from the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Ukrainian war effort has been further hampered by months of in-fighting in the US Congress, with Republican legislators blocking $61 billion worth of additional military aid.

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