American intelligence believes that Ukrainian troops will not be able to recapture Melitopol in the south of the country occupied by Russian forces and thus achieve the main goal of the ongoing counter-offensive The Washington Post and Reuters reported, citing U.S. officials who had access to the intelligence reports.
Intelligence forecasts by an unnamed US official broadly agree with earlier assessments by US government officials that the Ukrainian counter-offensive is moving more slowly than expected, Reuters wrote on Friday. However, the agency’s source notes that despite the pessimistic assessment of the intelligence, officials in Washington believe that this outlook may still change.
The Washington Post was the first to report on the US intelligence predictions on Thursday.
If the Ukrainians do not capture Melitopol, located in the Zaporizhia region near the coast of the Sea of Azov, they will not be able to break the Russian land corridor connecting Russia with Crimea, which has been occupied since 2014, which is the main goal of the counter-offensive that has been ongoing since June, the newspaper stressed. It was noted that the recapture of this strategically located city would make it possible to control the road and rail routes leading to the Crimea.