Volodymyr Zelensky has been urged to strike while the iron is hot and launch an attack on Putin’s stalling army by a military analyst.
Colonel Brendan Kearney said Ukraine is using its resources economically and believes an offensive is in the pipeline.
But, speaking in an interview with Times Radio, the former US marine said now is the time to launch an offensive while they have momentum on their side and their opposition is “sitting on its posterior”.
He warned that if they fail to do this, Ukraine could lose its advantage and find itself on the defence.
It has been widely reported that Kyiv plans to launch a counter-offensive this spring, but Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told Sky News this week that it is “very important” not to rush it and that it must “demonstrate success”.
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It is not yet known when such an operation will take place, but the time must be right, Mr Shmyhal said.
However, as summer approaches, and the weather improves, Colonel Kearney said this might play a pivotal role in influencing when Ukraine attacks.
He said he felt sure an offensive was on the cards because the weapons sent from the West have largely lay dormant.
He said: “There certainly has been a build-up in terms of the weapon systems that have been sent from the West to Ukraine. In many cases, we have seen no evidence of these items being used on the front line.”
The US — Ukraine’s largest contributor of military aid — the UK and the EU have all shown support by sending weaponry and funding.
Just last week, it was reported that the US will be sending more than £200million worth of weapons to Ukraine from the Pentagon stocks, including the likes of rockets and missiles, ahead of a potential counter-offensive.
Colonel Kearney said this indicated that Ukraine was “husbanding” them. He explained: “They’re going to use them at a time and place of their choosing.
“We’ve heard the training that’s been going on, I mean the British have conducted training, the US military has conducted training, both in their own respective countries but also in Poland and other locations in Western Europe, so I do think an offensive is pending.”
However, he thinks Ukraine has little “choice” over whether to launch an offensive.
He explained: “The momentum has been on their side and I think they need to attack. They need to attack a Russian military that is quite frankly sitting on its posterior.
“The initiative needs to continue with the Ukrainians. You lose the initiative, you’ll lose momentum and suddenly you find yourself on the defence.
“I don’t think the Ukrainians want to do that, they want to eject the Russians, whether they can be completely successful or not, no one knows.”
While no one can know how fruitful an attack will be for Ukraine, he believes they will be “quite a dent” in the Russian defensive positions currently in Ukraine.
In an interview with Sky News, Mr Shmyal, speaking ahead of Russia’s Victory Day, said they will not rush into the counteroffensive as a lot is riding on it.
He explained: “We are preparing very carefully because it’s a very important operation and we understand that we should demonstrate success in this operation to our society, to our partners, to all the world [and] to our enemy…
“We will begin…when [it] is proper time when it will be absolutely ready… we will begin counter-offensive immediately when our military and political leadership will make the decision.”