As the “NYT” describes, during such meetings “Weaknesses of the Russian forces have been identified.”
According to the newspaper, the planning of the counteroffensive began a few months ago, but the original plans devised by the Ukrainian commanders – a broad attack in the south of the country to cut the Russians off Mariupol and take over Kherson – were too risky and costly according to the American military. The war game conducted with the Americans in the summer, which ended in the defeat of the Ukrainians, was to prove it.
This made the Ukrainians, based on another simulation carried out with the Americans and the British, revise their plans and decide to hit where the Russian forces were weaker.
According to the “NYT”, intelligence information from the US also helped in planning, which pointed to the weakness of Russian lines in the east and the fact that even if the Russians detected Ukrainian preparations for the attack, they would not be able to send adequate reinforcements.