Evidence appears: Russian new offensive planned for January or February

Senior Ukrainian officials claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing a new major offensive for the beginning of next year, the Guardian reports.

Source: Tanjug
Tanjug/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File
Tanjug/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File

In an interview with a British newspaper, Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov said that while Ukraine is currently able to successfully defend itself against Russian missile attacks targeting vital infrastructure, evidence is emerging that the Kremlin is preparing a new, larger-scale offensive.

Reznik's statements echoed similar claims made by Ukrainian officials to The Economist this week, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Armed Forces Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi and Ground Forces Chief Lieutenant General Alexander Sirsky, according to the Guardian.

The comments appear to be part of a wider, coordinated effort to warn Western allies and highlight the ongoing threat Russia poses to Ukraine, and while Reznikov has suggested a new offensive could take place by February, other senior officials believe it could be already in January, reports the British newspaper.

However, Kyiv allegedly has another fear, which is that the Belarusian front will open, that is, that an attack on Ukraine will follow from Belarus, which would mean that there could be a breakthrough to the south. They are reassured by the head of the Ukrainian military intelligence service, Kirill Budanov, who, like the Americans, says that he does not see the preparation of the army on the other side of the border.

Commenting on Russia's partial mobilization of some 300,000 troops, Reznikov suggested that half, usually after minimal training, were being used to reinforce forces after a series of battlefield failures, while the rest were being more thoroughly prepared for future offensives. "Another part of the mobilized, approximately 150,000, began their training courses in different camps, Reznikov said.

He stated that he expects Russia to continue recruiting its citizens after the partial mobilization in October, describing the tactics of Russian commanders as a meat grinder that involves as many people as possible in the fighting in the hope of overcoming the shortage of Ukrainian forces. The Kremlin is trying to find new solutions to achieve victory, Reznikov said.

In the Economist magazine, General Zaluzhnyi issued a similar warning, rejecting some Western claims that Putin's mobilization has been largely unsuccessful, and Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar warned against gloating over recent Russian military defeats.

We and the world should not relax, because the ultimate goal of the Russian Federation is to conquer all of Ukraine, and then it can move on, Maliar said.

Ukraine has also appealed for help with new weapons systems, including better air defenses, although it appears to have stepped up targeting of bases in Russia, including drone strikes, on which Reznikov would not comment, according to the Guardian.


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