Retired Greek general evaluates the success of the expected Ukrainian counterattack

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Ukraine does not have the ability to launch a general offensive, said retired Greek Air Force Major General Pavlos Christou, who is also the General Secretary of the Greco-Russian Association and President of the Association of Friends of Crimea in Greece.

"The fighting is going on in the south in a limited area, so Ukraine can still hold out. If the command expands the whole line, the Ukrainian army cannot respond," Christou said.

According to him, if another front opens, Ukraine will hardly be able to hold on, even with help from the West.

"At some point, they can launch a counter-offensive. However, a total Ukrainian offensive on all fronts is not possible. It can't because of the military apparatus of the country. Ukraine does not have such capabilities," the former major general said.

According to him, starting negotiations to sign a peace agreement is now necessary.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in early April that the Ukrainian counter-offensive could begin in the summer. He then said it would start "soon". The US media reported that the Ukrainian counter-offensive is said to be planned for April 30.

Last month the Ukrainian authorities said that a little over 7,000 servicemen are missing in action. For families desperate for news, the fog of war is deepened by a complex bureaucratic procedure that straddles civilian and military jurisdictions and is often slow and unresponsive.

Meanwhile, Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin again accused the Russian Defence Ministry of failing to supply his mercenary fighters with enough ammunition and accused Russian troops of fleeing fighting around the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

Prigozhin’s comments, made in one of several messages released by his press service on May 9, were the latest in his long-running public feud with top Russian military officials.

Last week, he threatened to pull Wagner forces out of the Bakhmut region, where they’ve played a central role in the months-long pitched assault on the city, by May 10 unless they got more ammunition. Days later, he appeared to relent.

He also appeared in a separate, gruesome video that featured piles of corpses, whom he said were slain Wagner soldiers.

Prigozhin posted several videos and audio messages before and after the Kremlin staged the annual Red Square Victory Day parade in Moscow, to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

In the longest of the messages posted on Telegram, Prigozhin hurled a profanity-laced diatribe at military officials, saying they were incapable of defending the country.

"Instead of fighting, we constantly have all these intrigues. We have a Ministry of Intrigue instead of a Ministry of Defense, and so our army is on the run,” he said. “It is running, because the 72nd brigade today lost three square kilometers, and I lost about 500 people because it was a strategic bridgehead," he said.

Russian soldiers were fleeing, he said, because of the "stupidity" of Russian commanders who were giving "criminal orders."

"Soldiers should not die because of the absolute stupidity of their leadership," he said

There was no immediate way to confirm Prigzohin’s comments, which were amplified further by military bloggers and nationalist supporters.

The Defence Ministry had no immediate response.

"A combat order came yesterday which clearly stated that if we leave our positions [in Bakhmut], it will be regarded as treason against the motherland," Prigozhin said in the message.

"(But) if there is no ammunition, then we will leave our positions and be the ones asking who is really betraying the Motherland," he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech on Tuesday and claimed that Russia’s future depended on the outcome of the war in Ukraine as he attended a slimmed-down military parade on Red Square to mark Victory Day.

“Civilization again finds itself at a decisive, critical moment. A real war has again been launched against our motherland,” Putin told the assembled soldiers and guests.

“We are proud of the participants of the Special Military Operation and everyone fighting on the frontline,” he said, adding: “There is nothing more important now than your military work. Today, the security of our country depends on you. The future of our statehood and our people depends on you.”

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