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Ukraine is preparing multiple battle plans for 2024 after last year's leaked straight to Putin, Zelenskyy says

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, seated in a dark green sweater, holds a microphone at a press conference on February 25, 2024.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a press conference on February 25, 2024.Office of the President of Ukraine
  • Russia had access to leaked battle plans for Ukraine's 2023 counteroffensive, Zelenskyy said.

  • Ukraine is making several plans for this year "because of information leaks," the president said.

  • Ukraine's 2022 counteroffensive had the element of surprise, but last year's ended in stalemate.

Ukraine is drawing up multiple different battle plans for 2024 because those for the 2023 counteroffensive were leaked ahead of time, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday.

"Our counteroffensive action plans were on the Kremlin's table before the counteroffensive actions began," Zelenskyy told a press conference, per Agence France-Presse.

Asked whether Ukraine will attempt a counteroffensive in 2024, Zelenskyy said: "We have a plan, a clear plan. Several plans will be prepared because of information leaks," AFP reported.

His office later confirmed that he was referring to the leak of sensitive military planning information, AFP reported.

Last spring, Ukraine's counteroffensive began with enormous buzz, with the country's allies hopeful that it could repeat the success of the previous fall, which saw Ukrainian forces retake vast areas in the north and east of the country.

But despite access to heavy Western weaponry, Ukraine struggled to break through extensive Russian fortifications on the front line, and the year ended in a dismal — and mutually costly — stalemate.

Zelenskyy's remarks suggest that leaks to the Kremlin last year deprived Ukrainian forces of the element of surprise, which was used to considerable effect in 2022.

At the press conference, two years after Russia's full-scale invasion began, Zelenskyy also said that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed so far in the conflict, and that the country's success depends on Western support, Radio Free Europe reported.

The death toll appears to be the first official estimate to have been released by Ukraine, and is significantly lower than others.

Last August, US officials estimated that almost 70,000 Ukrainians have been killed and between 100-120,000 injured, The New York Times reported. The same estimate put Russian deaths in Ukraine at 120,000.

On Sunday, Zelenskyy said, per Radio Free Europe: "Whether Ukraine will lose, whether it will be very difficult for us, and whether there will be a large number of casualties depends on you, on our partners, on the Western world."

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