Ukrainian forces have begun “shaping” operations in southern Ukraine to prepare the battlefield for a significant Ukrainian counteroffensive, two senior US officials briefed on the intelligence told CNN.
Shaping operations are standard military practice prior to an offensive and involve striking weapons systems, command and control, ammunition depots and other targets to prepare the battlefield for planned advances.
The US believes the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which has long been anticipated, will include a combination of air and ground operations.
Ukraine indicated Monday morning that the actions were underway.
“Yes, (Ukrainian forces) have started the offensive actions in several directions on the South front towards liberating the occupied territories,” Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Operational Command South, told CNN, adding, “All the details will be available after the operation is fulfilled.”
The plans come as Russia’s war in Ukraine has passed its six-month mark, with US assessments indicating that Russia has been able to deploy fewer units to the frontlines than initially thought, according to a senior US official. [Continue reading…]