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Senior Ukrainian general forecasts critical phase of war in next 2 months

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Senior Ukrainian general forecasts critical phase of war in next 2 months

Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavliuk, Commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces, believes that the next two months will be critical at the front, as Russia is sending all combat-ready equipment to the battlefield ahead of much-anticipated Western aid reaching Ukraine.

Source: Pavliuk in an interview with The Economist

Details: Pavliuk forecasts the critical phase of the war in the next two months.

As US aid is just starting to arrive on the battlefield, the Russians are deploying all the combat-ready equipment they have to challenge the exhausted and under-supplied Ukrainian forces.

Quote: „Russia knows that if we receive enough weapons within a month or two, the situation could turn against them.“

Details: The general noted that Ukraine urgently needs more air defence, and the expected delivery of F-16 fighter jets in early June will provide a significant boost. However, it remains uncertain whether Ukraine will receive the newer versions of the F-16s (block 50 onwards) necessary to counter Russian bombers.

The commander believes Russia will continue focusing on Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. However, intelligence suggests that Russian forces will soon stretch Ukrainian defences by attacking the northeastern districts of Kharkiv and Sumy oblasts.

Pavliuk reckons that Russia is testing the resilience of Ukrainian defence lines before choosing the most suitable front.

The Economist also emphasised that Ukraine’s loss of the settlement of Ocheretyne allowed Russia to break through the first line of defence and jeopardise essential supply routes.

Pavliuk said the loss of positions was due to „insane“ pressure, Russian „air superiority“ and an artillery ratio of 20:1. Russian artillery fire seven times more shells than Ukrainian ones along the entire war zone.

Ukraine still holds the war-torn town of Chasiv Yar, the key to the group of towns beyond. However, Pavliuk argues that the loss of Chasiv Yar would not be of „decisive significance“ as it is merely „a regular urban settlement“.


Pavliuk revealed that Ukraine plans to create 10 new brigades to prepare for a Russian offensive. Some of them will be used for the potential defence of Kyiv.
In an interview with The Times, Oleksandr Pavliuk confirmed that, based on Ukrainian intelligence, Russia does indeed have a plan for the possible capture of Kharkiv and Sumy.
In an interview with The Economist, Vadym Skibitskyi, Deputy Head of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, also suggested that Russia is preparing for an offensive in Kharkiv and Sumy Oblasts in Ukraine’s north-east. He said that the timing of this depends on the strength of the Ukrainian defences in Donbas. But he suggests that the main Russian offensive will begin „in late May or early June“. 
Oleksandr Pavliuk said that Russia is creating a new grouping of more than 100,000 troops, and it is possible that Russia will try to launch an offensive in one of the areas in the summer.

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