US intelligence reportedly warned in February that Ukraine might fail to amass sufficient troops and weaponry for its planned spring counter-offensive, and might fall “well short” of Kyiv’s goals for recapturing territory seized by Russia, according to one of a trove of leaked defence documents.
A document tagged as “top secret” quoted by the Washington Post said that Kyiv was facing significant “force generation and sustainment shortfalls” and was therefore only likely to achieve “modest territorial gains”. The document is a snapshot of the situation in early February, and it is unclear how far Ukraine, with the support of Nato member states, has been able to make up the shortfalls since then.
Another document, dated 23 February and seen by the Guardian, gives an overview of the progress of building 12 “combat credible” new brigades to lead the counter-offensive, equipped with a target of 253 tanks and about 1,500 other armoured vehicles of different kinds. Three brigades were to be generated by the Ukrainians alone, while the remaining nine were to be established with the help of the US, allies and partners.
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