MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Ukraine has up to 40,000 servicemen at its disposal in Kiev-controlled areas of the Zaporozhye Region, acting governor Yevgeny Balitsky said on Wednesday.
"Quite a large group, numbering, by various estimates, up to 40,000 servicemen, is deployed near the city of Zaporozhye," Balitsky told Rossiya-24 television.
According to the official, Ukrainian troops amassing near the city of Zaporozhye are getting ready for a counter-offensive. "We see and understand the situation, while getting ready to repel uninvited guests," Balitsky added. He said that though Russian forces had enough resources for an offensive, "it would be better to meet the enemy in defense," given the size of the Ukrainian group there.
"We have mostly been occupying the gray zone and the sectors we need for strategic advantage" to be able to have the time and capacity to calculate and deter enemy strikes, he specified.
Fighting in the Zaporozhye region intensified dramatically in January. On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported the liberation of the settlement of Lobkovoye in the Zaporozhye region as a result of an offensive by Eastern Military District units.