A much-talked-about spring counteroffensive by Ukraine would actually benefit Russia, as Moscow’s troops would have an opportunity to fight in more favorable conditions, Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, suggested on Saturday.
In a Telegram post, Kadyrov said he was surprised by “empty speculation” and concern swirling around Kiev’s supposed plans to launch an offensive, which is widely expected to kick off within several weeks.
“Personally, I’m all for it. For a successful counteroffensive, they need large resources; losses among the attackers are inevitable. At the same time, we have taken up favorable and fortified positions,” he wrote.
The Chechen leader also factored that Russia had honed its tactics and could predict Ukraine’s maneuvers on the battlefield. “The defensive position of our troops will allow us to use fewer resources,” he noted.
Kadyrov reasoned that the counteroffensive by Kiev's forces “and NATO mercenaries will play into our hands on all counts.” He added that “trophies, foreign technology samples, crowds of POWs, who, as always, [claim to be] field cooks or electricians while being filmed”would be “the cherry on top.”
Rumors about an upcoming counteroffensive by Kiev have been circulating for months, fueled by Ukrainian and Western officials alike. On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that Kiev’s attack could begin in the next few weeks while last month Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov predicted that it would start in April or May and could develop in several directions.
However, in late March, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted that Kiev was still lacking enough ammunition to launch an offensive. That same month, General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Kiev would have an extremely hard time recapturing all its former territories from Russia.
This week, Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Zelensky, made the additional claim that Kiev intends to seize Crimea within seven months, while also stating that Ukraine “must eradicate everything Russian” on the peninsula. Crimea overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in 2014, after a Western-backed coup in Kiev.
On Friday, commenting on Blinken’s remarks about the anticipated counteroffensive, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that the Russian military “thoroughly tracks all relevant information” on the matter.
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