Ukraine is waiting for better weather before it launches its long-awaited spring counteroffensive, the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK told Sky News on Tuesday.
Ambassador Vadim Pristayko said heavy tanks that Ukraine received from its Western backers cannot move in the mud. “Obviously, the weather is not allowing so far the heavy tanks to move in the Ukrainian usual spring mud,” he said.
Pristayko also said Kyiv does not want to let the Russians know when the counteroffensive will be launched. “So the weather is playing a key part … then we’re not, you know, telling them an exact day, an exact direction,” he said.
The counteroffensive is expected to focus on Russia’s land bridge to Crimea in the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. But there are increasing doubts among Kyiv’s Western backers that a Ukrainian offensive will be successful.
According to documents allegedly leaked by Jack Teixeira, the Biden administration does not expect Ukraine to regain any significant territory in the counteroffensive. POLITICO recently reported that the administration is preparing for the possibility of a Ukrainian failure.
But Ukrainian officials maintain that their goal is to push Russia out of all the territory it controls, including Crimea. An offensive against Crimea would risk a major escalation from Moscow as even Secretary of State Antony Blinken has acknowledged the peninsula is a “red line” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.