Expert warns of Russians' main push in summer campaign, sees Donbas as main focus

Infantry under the cover of tank armor train to storm enemy positions
Infantry under the cover of tank armor train to storm enemy positions

Military expert Mykhailo Zhyrokhov warns that Ukraine should not be complacent about the possibility of a Russian spring and summer offensive being halted, he told Radio NV on June 3. 

Military expert Mykhailo Zhyrokhov warns that Ukraine should not be complacent about the possibility of a Russian spring and summer offensive being halted, he told Radio NV on June 3. "The Russians have not yet committed their second or third echelons to the battle, but these forces are certainly present and amassed along the border areas," Zhyrokhov stated.

He also speculated that recent military actions in Kharkiv Oblast might be a diversion, suggesting that "this strike in Kharkiv Oblast could theoretically be a distraction, and the Russians may be preparing the main thrust of their summer campaign on an entirely different front."

Should Russian forces have succeeded in Kharkiv Oblast, they would have deployed additional resources there. However, Zhyrokhov believes the aggressor will now seek more vulnerable targets. "I think our General Staff has plans for both defense and counteroffensive," he added.

Zhyrokhov predicts the primary focus might shift to Pokrovsk on the Donetsk front. "Clearly, our command is aware of this, as evidenced by the rapid fortifications being constructed near Kramatorsk and Slovyansk. There hasn't been as much digging over the past year as there has been in just one week," he noted.

This view aligns with that of Oleksiy Hetman, a veteran of the Russo-Ukrainian war and reserve major, who believes Russia might redirect its efforts towards Kharkiv.

Read also: NATO chief confirms Russian setbacks in Kharkiv offensive

On the ground, Russian forces attempted to penetrate Ukrainian defenses near Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, an effort confirmed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as part of a new counteroffensive in the region.

Zelenskyy also reported that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have regained control over the border of Kharkiv Oblast, with the encounter resulting in a casualty ratio of eight Russian soldiers for every Ukrainian.

As of May 30, the Ukrainian Armed Forces controlled 70% of Vovchansk, according to Yuriy Povkh, a spokesman for the Kharkiv operational and tactical troop grouping.

Despite these efforts, Russia has failed to achieve significant advancements in the Kharkiv sector, as stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Read also: Russian offensive in Sumy Oblast possible – Ukrainian Border Guard Service

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine