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Zelensky, new counteroffensive against the Russian occupation forces

2024-02-25 22:55:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Zelensky, new counteroffensive against the Russian occupation forces

Ukraine has a clear plan for a new counteroffensive against Russian occupation forces, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday, adding that he could not reveal the details.

Last year, Ukrainian troops launched a counteroffensive, but were unable to break through the Russian aggressor's reinforced line in the south and east of the country.

"We have a clear plan for a counterattack, but I can't tell you the details," Mr. Zelensky said during a press conference in the capital, Kiev. He said the changes in military leadership earlier this month were related to the new battlefield plan. He said that several plans were being drawn up as a result of the leak, without giving further details.

Zelensky said earlier that Kiev's plans for last year's counteroffensive had been completed "in the Kremlin" before the operation began. He did not say how the leaks happened.

President Zelensky said on Sunday that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the Russian aggression began two years ago, the first official figure in more than a year. He told a news conference in Kiev that he could not reveal the number of wounded because it would help Russian military planning.

"31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in this war. Not 300,000 or 150,000. Putin lies. But still, this is a big loss for us" , said the Ukrainian president.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an aide to the president, said in late 2022 that 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the start of the aggression on February 24.

In August, the New York Times quoted US officials as saying the Ukrainian death toll was close to 70,000. The same article stated that Russia had lost 120,000 troops in the war.

Mr Zelensky told reporters that 180,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the fighting. Russia does not publish battlefield losses, considering them a state secret. Both countries describe the losses of the opposing side as great.

The Ukrainian leader also said that tens of thousands of civilians had been killed in areas occupied by Russian forces. Kiev says it cannot accurately assess the extent of losses because it does not have access./ VOA

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