While in a regular, conventional war, an offensive would be indicated by artillery preparations for an attack, in this case, it primarily involves actions in the information domain aimed at deceiving the enemy, General Roman Polko, former commander of Poland's special forces unit GROM, said in an interview issued on Thursday.
He added that these are also preliminary "manoeuvers" and simulated activities designed to mislead the opponent regarding the actual direction of the strike.
"It is undoubtedly surprising that a significant portion of Russian forces are occupied by the actions of the pro-Kyiv Russian Volunteer Corps which entered the Russian city of Belgorod and are currently conducting operations there," Polko noted.
In his opinion, president Vladimir Putin cannot allow any militias to operate with impunity on Russian territory and overthrow his regime.
Gen. Polko speculated that there are likely other locations where diversionary activities are taking place, which we may hear about prior to the commencement of a full-scale counteroffensive.
According to Polko, the objective of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is clear and crucial: "the isolation of Crimea, destruction of the Crimean Bridge, and cutting off the land supply route."
He argued that isolating Crimea would result in "eliminating a significant Russian base that disrupts the Ukrainian economy."
Gen. Polko believes that it is through Crimea that Russia paralyzes Ukraine's economic activities in the Black Sea and Azov Sea regions.
When queried about the impact of the recent dam explosion in Nova Kakhovka on the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the general said that it limits their ability to conduct operations in the direction they had anticipated.
However, he expressed confidence that the Ukrainian military have contingency plans, as discussions about the possibility of dam destruction took place "last year when the Ukrainians gained tactical initiative."