Ukraine stands ready to launch a major offensive against Russia’s armed forces in the New Year if NATO and the US supply enough supplies to Kyiv in time, Lord Dannatt believes. Winter is due to freeze the frontlines in Ukraine with both sides expected to use the pause to prepare for large offensives in Spring.
Lord Dannatt told Sky News: “We have to think through very carefully how much more military equipment we’re going to give to Ukraine.
“Because we know that the Russians have mobilized some 300,000 additional soldiers and they will be giving them some training probably in preparation for an offensive in the spring.
“But here’s the big question is the West and the United States, in particular, going to go on supplying sophisticated weapons and equipment and ammunition to Ukraine so that they can mount a major offensive in the spring?
“There is a view which I have some sympathy with, that if the Ukrainians are able to mount a really bold counter-offensive in the spring, it may be sufficiently effective that it could destroy the Russian army’s morale and bring about a collapse in the Russian military.”
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He continued: “That might be wishful thinking, but it’s a big issue for the West.
“Do they go on supplying Ukraine with all the weaponry, equipment, and ammunition that they need?
“To be able to mount a big counter-offensive in the spring?
“I certainly hope so.”
“But it also serves as a sort of killing ground for grinding up the Ukrainian forces, and this is what they want to do.
“If they can put unbearable pressure on these Ukrainian forces, before they can bring the other forces back from Kherson to bear.
“If they can cause the Ukrainians to blink to request a ceasefire, to ask for a breathing spell Putin wins.
“So he’s got a place where the Ukrainians do have to hold, they are dug in, they are holding, but they’re taking heavy losses. So it’s a meat grinder.”