That’s according to General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of the Tavria operational and strategic grouping of troops, who spoke with CNN, Ukrinform reports.
"The weather can be a serious obstacle during advance, but considering how we move forward, mostly without vehicles, I don’t think [the weather] will heavily influence the counteroffensive," he noted.
Intense rains in the fall can make movement with heavy equipment, particularly tanks, more difficult but, according to Tarnavskyi, Ukrainian troops move in small groups, mostly on foot.
The general also believes Ukraine’s biggest breakthrough within the counteroffensive is yet to come. “I think it will happen after Tokmak," Tarnavskyi said of the breakthrough. "At the moment they are relying on the depth of their defensive line there.”
Rather than the so-called "Surovikin line", the bigger problem is the crossroads, tree lines and minefields between the tree lines "But the actions of our fighters force them to slowly pull back when they face our assault squads."
As noted, the general is positive about the outcome of the counteroffensive, but admits that to achieve success, Ukrainian troops must at least advance to Tokmak. "Tokmak is the minimum goal," he noted. "The overall objective is to get to our state borders."
At the same time, Tarnavskyi called the strikes on Crimea important for the success of the ongoing counteroffensive: "The success of offensive operations is not only about destroying the enemy in front of you, it’s also about destroying places of concentration of equipment, personnel and especially destroying the command centers. Disorganizing their forces by destroying their command centers at a higher level leads to a mess on the battlefield. A destroyed commander means a destroyed command link and without it, there are no coordinated actions."
According to the general, Crimea is particularly important on this front, as a large amount of Russian military equipment has been amassed there. "We know where they strike from, both their air assets, as well as the ground ones... And when you realize that the enemy feels hot in the rear, it brings up the morale of our soldiers," Tarnavskyi added.
As reported, on Friday around 12:00, Ukraine’s Defense Forces executed a successfulmissile strike on the Russian Black Sea Fleet Command HQ in temporarily occupied Sevastopol.
This photo is illustrative