June 9, 2023

Dubai Week

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Russian preparations to counter Ukrainian counteroffensive

Russian forces have begun preparing to counter a Ukrainian counteroffensive that is expanding from Zaporizhia to several areas in eastern Ukraine. Russian reports of these preparations coincide with the release of US leaks indicating an impending Ukrainian offensive.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was quoted as citing fresh signs of the West’s commitment to supporting the Ukrainian approach as heavy fighting continues in Bakmut.

The leaked US documents, described as “top secret”, were published by The New York Times early last month detailing the number of Ukrainian forces, the size of the supply of military equipment and what they would need for the planned offensive. Secret materials assumed that 6 brigades would be ready to launch the offensive by the end of March, and that the other brigades would need an additional month to complete their preparations.

In a related context, the Kremlin on Friday responded to “important talks” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron, but expressed doubt that China would change its position on the conflict in Ukraine under external pressure. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin was “closely following” the talks between the EU and China, but stressed that Russia has “deep ties” with Beijing.

Observers believe that the Macron-X talks have not led to real breakthroughs on the Ukrainian file, with Macron urging Xi to “bring Russia to its senses” in order to end its adventure in Ukraine.
After US “documents” leak, Russian prepares to face Ukrainian counterattack
Macron-Jinping talks did not lead to real progress on the Ukrainian file

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