Russia will try new offensive in Ukraine as early as May, Zelenskiy says

February 26, 2024 12:47 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Russia is preparing a new offensive against Ukraine starting in late May or summer, but Kyiv has a clear battlefield plan of its own, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday.

Speaking a day after the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Zelenskiy said it was vital for Kyiv and its Western allies to remain united and reiterated that Ukraine’s victory depends on continued Western support.

“We will prepare for their assault. Their assault that began on Oct. 8 has not brought any results, I believe. We, for our part, will prepare our plan and follow it,” Zelenskiy told reporters in Kyiv.

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Zelenskiy said that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since February 2022, giving the first official toll in more than a year. The Russian foreign ministry rejected the Ukraine figure as untrue.

Zelenskiy said that troop rotations would be critically important for the war effort and emphasised that Ukraine needed to better prepare its reserve forces.

A New York Times report in August cited U.S. officials as putting the Ukrainian death toll at close to 70,000.

The same report said as many as 120,000 Russian troops had died during the war.

The tallies could not be independently verified.

Both Russia and Ukraine have often underestimated their military casualties in the war, while exaggerated the losses they claim to have inflicted upon each other.