U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin believes that Ukraine has a "very good chance" of launching a successful counteroffensive in the spring of 2023 due to the significant depletion of Russian forces and Western weapons.
Source: Austin, during a hearing at the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, reports European Pravda
Details: Austin said that Ukraine currently has a "significant advantage" over Russian forces, although the front line has been shifting back and forth lately, and there are currently "quite serious battles in the Bakhmut area."
"The Ukrainians have inflicted significant losses on the Russians, and they have depleted their armoured vehicles in a way that no one could have ever imagined. And now we see Russia decommissioning T-54 and T-55 tanks because of the level of losses that the Ukrainians inflicted upon them", the Pentagon chief emphasised.
He added that in view of this, Russia's resources are running out; it is increasingly facing a shortage of artillery ammunition and other things and is forced to turn to Iran and North Korea for help.
"So I think we will see an intensification of hostilities in the spring as the conditions for manoeuvring improve and also based on what we have already done and continue to do. I think Ukraine will have a very good chance for success," Austin emphasised.
Earlier, the media, citing American officials, reported two possible scenarios for Ukraine's counteroffensive, which is expected in late spring 2023: the first is for Ukraine's forces to move south through Kherson to Crimea, and the second is to move east from their northern positions in the northern part of Donbas to its south, cutting through the Russian land corridor, which is a vital supply route that links Russia and Crimea.
According to the former Chief of the British General Staff, General Richard Dannatt, after Kyiv's successful counteroffensive, Vladimir Putin "may be swept out of the Kremlin."