Ukraine Plotting Large Scale Counteroffensive, Wagner Channel Suggests

Ukraine appears to be plotting a large scale counteroffensive against Russian forces, a Telegram channel affiliated with the Wagner Group has suggested.

An author at Reverse Side of the Medal, a Telegram channel affiliated with the Wagner Group, published a lengthy post on Monday, detailing "evidence" that Kyiv is preparing for a strike, according to the War Translated project.

A Ukrainian infantryman outside of Bakhmut
A Ukrainian infantryman with the 28th Brigade takes cover in a partially dug trench along the frontline facing Russian troops who were 250 meters away on March 5, 2023, outside of Bakhmut, Ukraine. Russian forces have been attacking Ukrainian troops as part of an offensive to encircle Bakhmut in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region. John Moore/Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's top aide, Mykhailo Podolyak, said in an interview that the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are preparing for a counteroffensive that will begin in about two months. Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, also told Newsweek in a February interview that a counteroffensive was coming, and that Russia had already begun its own offensive.

Twitter user Dmitri of the War Translated project, an independent project concerned with translating various materials about the war in Ukraine, shared the Telegram post, tweeting that an anonymous senior figure in the paramilitary outfit, the Wagner Group, is essentially saying Ukraine is preparing for a strike, "but likely along the whole frontline," citing evidence about movements of equipment and troops.

The Wagner Group is heavily involved in the current fighting in Ukraine, particularly in the war-ravaged city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region, although the group has been playing a less prominent role in recent weeks.

"He says evidence all points to the accumulation of UA forces not only in the south but also in the north, in the Kharkiv region. Meaning it may take a truly large-scale form," Dmitri wrote.

The Telegram channel said that based on the accumulation of forces "along the entire line of contact" including in the Mykolaiv, Kherson, Kriviy Rih, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv directions, and in the Donbas, Ukraine is "preparing something like a revanche."

"From the beginning of February to the present day, the transfer of new brigades to the Armed Forces of Ukraine continues."

The anonymous Wagner Group figure said that "more and more details of the regrouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Zaporizhzhia sector and the transfer of new brigades assembled from former territorial defense and trained according to new NATO standards for the Ukrainian army are becoming known."

On Tuesday, state-run news agency RIA Novosti cited Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official, as saying the Ukrainian authorities have begun the transfer of "military aviation" to the Zaporizhzhia direction.

In September 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed four partially Russian-controlled regions—Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. Ukraine has vowed to take them back.

Gerashchenko told Newsweek last month that Ukraine is "waiting for the supplies of Western equipment to start our own counteroffensive." Podolyak, adviser to the head of the presidential office told the Italian newspaper La Stampa that Ukraine's military is focusing now on trying to retain control of the city Bakhmut.

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