Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine received an order to regain control the south of the country. To implement this task, according to him, the Ukrainian command has about a million fighters.
"The President has ordered the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to develop a plan," said Oleksiy Reznikov in an interview with the British newspaper The Times. "After that, the General Staff should do their job and tell us that what we need to do to achieve this goal."
Reznikov said that taking control of the southern regions is extremely necessary for Ukraine, especially from a political point of view. He said that the Ukrainian army has currently about 700 thousand people. To reach one million mark, Kyiv can use the National Guard, police and border guards.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are beginning a counteroffensive in the south of the country. Because of this, residents of the temporarily occupied territories of the southern regions should move to the regions controlled by Ukraine in order not to expose themselves to danger, said Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk on the Ukrainian TV.
Vereshchuk noted that she is not aware of the time frame of the counteroffensive actions. But in the areas of possible attack there should definitely not be children and women, so that the enemy does not have the opportunity to use them as a "human shield".
The counteroffensive involves heavy fighting and artillery duels, so the Ukrainian authorities urge the residents of these regions to leave, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized.
Vereshchuk added that it is possible to leave the territories of Kherson and Zaporizhia regions seized by Russia through the annexed Crimea, as well as through Vasylivka to Zaporizhzhia and further into the interior of the country.