A major offensive and mobilization: 500,000 people are preparing, the date known
Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov warned Russia prepares a new offensive that could start on February 24, on the first anniversary of the invasion.Source: index.hr
He claims that Russia has prepared thousands of soldiers and could "try" to mark the anniversary of the launch of the war, the BBC reports.
The new offensive on that day would also mark the Russian holiday of defenders of the fatherland, February 23, which is dedicated to the Russian army. Reznikov said Moscow had mobilized about 500,000 troops for a potential offensive.
Last September, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of around 300,000 reservists for the war in Ukraine, stating that the mobilization is necessary to "preserve the territorial integrity" of Russia. However, Reznikov suggests that the actual number mobilized could be significantly higher.
"They officially announced 300,000, but when we see the forces gathered at the borders, we estimate that it is a much higher number," Reznikov told French television BFM. The BBC says it cannot independently verify Reznik's claims.
The war is at a standstill, but a Russian offensive and a Ukrainian counter-offensive are expected.
Despite the heavy fighting in the eastern region of Donbass, the war has reached a kind of stalemate in recent months, that is, since Ukraine liberated the southern city of Kherson. With the exception of Russia's capture of the Ukrainian city of Soledar, neither side has made significant progress. But a Russian spring offensive, like a Ukrainian counteroffensive, has long been considered likely. The US security and defense research center, the Institute for War Studies, recently announced that Moscow could "take decisive action" and launch a "major offensive" in the east of the country.