Ukraine has warned on Monday that it “is possible” they could target sites “on Russian territory” as Kyiv are preparing for their spring counteroffensive.
Ukraine Deputy Military Intelligence chief said that in their spring counteroffensive they will attempt to “drive a wedge” between “Crimea and mainland Russia.”
Vadym Skibitsky told German newspaper, Berliner Morgenpost, “The purpose of our counteroffensive is to liberate all occupied territories of Ukraine – including Crimea.
“We won’t stop until we have our country back in the 1991 borders.”
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The planned spring counteroffensive will be to “drive a wedge in the Russian front in the south – between Crimea and mainland Russia,” as Moscow annexed the peninsula in 2014.
He warned “It is possible that we will also destroy arms depots or military equipment on Russian territory, for example around the city of Belgorod. Attacks on Ukraine will be launched from there.”
Kyiv has warned Moscow that they “will only stop when” the country is restored to “its 1991 borders.”
Skibitskyi told the German newspaper Deutsche Welle, that the annexed Black Sea peninsula is very much their focus.
Skibitskyi insisted that their counter-offensive will only be “to liberate all of the occupied territories of Ukraine including Crimea.”
Ukrainian forces are eyeing up a strategic breakthrough in the Zaporizhzhia region which would “seriously challenge” Russia’s land bridge with Crimea.
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has suggested that Russian forces are building up their fortifications in the Zaporizhzhia region as it is expected that fierce fighting will take place, especially near to the town of Tarasivka.
The MoD statement added, “This is demonstrated by continued construction of defensive fortifications in Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk oblasts and deployments of personnel.
“Russia’s front line in Ukraine amounts to approximately 1,288 km with the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast frontline at 192 km.
“A major Ukrainian breakthrough in Zaporizhzhia would seriously challenge the viability of Russia’s ‘land bridge’ linking Russia’s Rostov region and Crimea; Ukrainian success in Luhansk would further undermine Russia’s professed war aim of ‘liberating’ the Donbas.
“Deciding which of these threats to prioritise countering is likely one of the central dilemmas for Russian operational planners.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine started with the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Zelensky said, “Nine years ago, Russian aggression began in Crimea. By returning Crimea, we will restore peace.
“This is our land. Our people. Our history. We will return the Ukrainian flag to every corner of Ukraine.”