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Retired US colonel compares Ukraine counterattack to pivotal WWII battle

Retired US Army Colonel Jonathan Sweet likened a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia in the spring to a pivotal moment in World War II.

More than a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched Ukraine’s “special military operation” on February 24, 2022, reports have emerged in recent weeks that Ukrainian forces may be preparing for a spring counteroffensive operation. aimed at recovering more occupied territories.

The move would follow months of conflict largely surrounding the symbolically critical town of Bakhmut and other parts of eastern Ukraine, with Russian efforts stalling amid allegedly high troop losses and other challenges. that torment Putin’s ranks. Although detailed information, including the areas that would be targeted, remains unknown, any military action could potentially shape the outcome of the war.

Sweet, a retired military intelligence officer, wrote in an op-ed with economist Mark Toth in the Monday Kyiv Post that he thinks Ukrainian military leaders are preparing for a military effort “on the scale” of the Battle of Normandy, which began with the D-Day invasion (codenamed Operation Overlord), June 6, 1944.

A Ukrainian serviceman looks through binoculars next to another sitting on an anti-aircraft gun near Bakhmut, Ukraine March 24, 2023. Retired U.S. Army Colonel Jonathan Sweet said he believes that Ukrainian military leaders are preparing for a spring military effort “of the magnitude” of the Battle of Normandy, considered by many historians to be a turning point in World War II.
Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty

“The Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, and the Commander of the Ground Forces, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, demonstrated a high level of strategic and tactical skill, leading an almost scale and of the significance of the Normandy and Inchon invasions of World War II and the Korean War,” Sweet wrote.

The Battle of Normandy began when over 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France in the largest amphibious assault in history. The battle led to the liberation of France and laid the foundation for Allied victory in Europe when Nazi Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945.

During the Korean War, U.S. Marines conducted an amphibious landing on September 15, 1950 at the Korean port of Inchon, about 25 miles from the South Korean capital, Seoul, which was eventually retaken from North Korea. The Inchon landing changed the course of the war, although it continued until an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.

In their opinion piece, Sweet and Toth praised Ukraine’s military leaders for their preparation for the next phases of the war.

“Rather than sit back and wait in their defensive positions at Bakhmut for the next Russian assault, Zelensky’s generals are building up their combat power, stockpiling ammunition and training the Ukrainian army to launch its own counteroffensive to oust Putin. and his generals from Ukraine,” they said. writing.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in an interview last week that his country was planning operations “in several directions” for a counteroffensive, according to Kyiv Post.

“You will see Leopards in counterattack by decision of our staff, Reznikov said. “It is already planned in several directions.

The war of recent months has been defined by efforts on both sides to gain control of Bakhmut. For months, Russia has pointed to the strength of its troops in the city as a sign of progress. But infringements have slowed in recent weeks and experts now consider the effort nearing its peak.

Newsweek contacted the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense by e-mail for comments.


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