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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers stand on a tank at the front line in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on August 19.
Ukrainian troopers stand on a tank on the entrance line within the Donetsk area of Ukraine on August 19. (Anatoli Stepanov/AFP/Getty Photographs)

Within the buildup to the present Ukrainian counteroffensive, the US urged Kyiv to maintain the operation restricted in each its targets and its geography to keep away from getting overextended and slowed down on a number of fronts, a number of US and western officers and Ukrainian sources inform CNN.

These discussions concerned participating in “war-gaming” with Kyiv, the sources stated — analytical workout routines that have been supposed to assist the Ukrainian forces perceive what power ranges they would wish to muster to achieve success in several eventualities.

The Ukrainians have been initially contemplating a broader counteroffensive, however narrowed their mission to the south, within the Kherson area, in latest weeks, US and Ukrainian officers stated.

Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder instructed CNN that “the US has routine military-to-military dialogue at a number of ranges with Ukraine. We is not going to touch upon the specifics of these engagements. Typically talking, we offer the Ukrainians with info to assist them higher perceive the threats they face and defend their nation in opposition to Russian aggression. In the end, the Ukrainians are making the ultimate selections for his or her operations.”

Officers say they imagine there may be now elevated parity between the Ukrainian and Russian militaries. However western officers have been hesitant to label the nascent Ukrainian operation — which appeared to start on Monday within the southern province of Kherson — a real “counteroffensive.”

How profitable Ukraine is more likely to be in regaining misplaced territory stays an open query, sources conversant in the most recent intelligence inform CNN. Ukrainian officers have already stated this offensive will seemingly be a sluggish operation, and punishingly chilly winter climate is coming after which an early spring mud, each of which may power pauses within the combating.

Nonetheless, there’s a distinct feeling amongst Ukraine’s US and western advisers that the Ukrainian army is on far more even footing with Russia than was believed even just some quick months in the past, a number of officers instructed CNN. Russia nonetheless maintains superior numbers in general manpower and massed artillery.

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