EDF intel chief: Ukrainian forces must strike at optimum pressure point

Col. Margo Grosberg.
Col. Margo Grosberg. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Ukrainian forces are still looking for ideal pressure points at which to press home a counter-offensive, thought it is too early to say whether a repeat of what was achieved in the counter-attack in the Kharkiv region last autumn can be replicated, Estonian defense intelligence chief Colonel Margo Grosberg says.

Col. Grosberg said this is not yet the main focus of the counter-offensive, but instead, Ukrainian forces are engaged in potential formative operations, i.e. looking for possible places for breakthroughs, which could then be exploited by involving reserves.

Appearing at his regular Friday afternoon press conference, Col. Grosberg said: "But it could also be the case that we may not see a large-scale and huge offensive of the scale seen last fall in Kharkiv. Let's face it, Russian armed forces have had time to prepare over the last nine months too, so looking for points at which to make this breakthrough might take a long time," he said.

This should not be taken to mean that there have been any substantive failures, however, Grosberg went on. "This offensive operation will definitely be more challenging, more complex than was the case in the direction of Kharkiv last autumn," he reiterated.

This means the direction Ukraine may take with its counteroffensive is still up in the air, he added. "It all depends on where that breaking point, so to speak, can be found ... I think there are opportunities along the entire front line," he added.

In any case, this means the fighting will likely become increasingly intense, Grosberg added, depending on the preparation and the will to defend on the part of the Russian armed forces. 

Given the Ukrainians are liberating their homeland, their forces are likely to have the high-ground in terms of morale, he added.

Potential causes of concern in any counter-offensive would be protecting the flanks and ensuring no units get too far ahead and then get cut off from logistics and other units.

Last fall's offensive had made good use of intelligence in finding the correct point at which to strike; the front there had essentially collapsed, he added.

At the same time, given the months Russian forces have had to prepare and the more complicated and dynamic situation, this does not mean that last fall's scenario will be exactly repeated, Grosberg went on.

Grosberg said at present, much of the fighting is taking place in the familiar places around Bakhmut, Donetsk oblast, though the intensity has increased especially in the Zaporizhzhia region, for instance in Orihiv, and also towards Velyka Novosilka and to Mariupol, both in Donetsk oblast.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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