Ukraine will not rush deploying Western battle tanks in counter-offensive, defence analyst says

Watch: Why western battle tanks won't be rushed onto counter-offensive frontline, according to analyst.

Ukraine will not rush deploying western battle tanks in its counter-offensive against Russian forces, a defence analyst has said.

The Ukrainians reportedly launched a brigade-sized attack south of the city of Zaporizhzhia.

Russia, meanwhile, has released footage of what it says is a destroyed Ukrainian Leopard 2 tank, but experts dispute the claim.

Watch: Ukraine accuses Russian forces of blowing up a major dam.

Some analysts, however, think the video has been doctored and spliced together from two different battles and there is no firm evidence that it is, indeed, a Leopard.

Ukraine has so far held back its heavy Western armour, including British Challenger 2 battle tanks. So, when might they appear? 

Defence analyst Justin Crump, a former British Army tank commander, told Forces News that "the art and the science" of armoured warfare is knowing the point at which "this is the time to push forward in strength, this is the time to try and clear through these positions we've identified".

He said: "Obviously, a huge amount of planning goes into that, but ultimately, one doesn't envy the commanders on the spot who have to work out when the time is to start pushing through large numbers of troops.

"Ukraine's not going to rush this. They've got a lot of defence lines to work their way through, I think they'll take a pretty steady approach to that, at least until they get close to the main defence lines and of course, then they've really got to go at some pace."

Watch: Why the air-launched ADM-160B MALD decoy missile could prove key for Ukraine.

Very little information has surfaced from Kyiv, or its forces, about what's going on. Russia, however, is in information overdrive.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed his forces had inflicted nearly 1,000 casualties and destroyed 33 Ukrainian tanks, but the claims cannot be verified.

Ukraine's forces are attacking at various points along the frontline. Kyiv's troops have reportedly penetrated nearly 2km into Russian lines around the city, and key battleground, of Bakhmut.

They are also hitting Russian forces in the south, around Vuhledar and heavy fighting is taking place south of Zaporizhzhia.

Some Russian bloggers have taken to social media to claim a Ukrainian brigade has launched an offensive south of Orekhovo, attacking towards Tokmak.

There are also ongoing skirmishes around Belgorod with units of pro-Ukrainian Russians infiltrating the border areas to attack Russian units. 

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