Russia seeking to disrupt Ukraine's preparations for counterattack - Kyiv

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FILE PHOTO: Aftermath of a Russian missile attack in Kyiv region

KYIV (Reuters) -Russia has shifted the focus of its missile strikes on Ukraine to try to disrupt preparations for a Ukrainian counterattack, a senior Ukrainian military intelligence official said.

After months of attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, Russian forces are now increasingly targeting military facilities and supplies, said Vadym Skibitskyi, Deputy Head of the Defence Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate.

"Previously, they failed to knock out our energy system, and now they have completely different priorities - to disrupt our plans and preparations for active (military) action during the spring-summer campaign," he told the RBK-Ukraine news portal.

He said the Russians were striking decision-making centres, supply routes and places where large quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel or troops were concentrated.

"The enemy began to pay special attention to the areas where our air defence equipment is located," Skibitskyi added.

He also said Russian aviation was now targeting areas on or near the front line more often than before.

Russia, whose air strikes have also often hit residential areas across Ukraine, did not immediately comment on Skibitskyi's remarks.

Ukraine has said it is planning a counteroffensive to try retake territory occupied by Russian forces, but that recent advances around the eastern city of Bakhmut do not mean the assault has started.

Soldiers near the front line said this week that Russian forces were pounding supply lines to try to halt the Ukrainian advances.

(Reporting by Olena Harmash, Editing by Timothy Heritage)