As it works to grow its forces by conscripting hundreds of thousands, Russia is likely aiming to launch another major offensive in eastern, northern, or even north-western Ukraine, ex-commander of the Azov regiment, Maksym Zhorin, said in an interview with NV Radio on Jan. 2.
“I am sure that it (another offensive) will take place,” said Zhorin.
“And it will be at the expense of those units that they have now assembled from mobilized people. While we were laughing at the videos where they were lying around drunk, fighting – things were in motion. These mobilized people were trained, armed, and formed into new units.”
He noted that while it wouldn’t be possible to create "some super-professional units" from mobilized Russians, Ukraine still looks at a significant fighting force entering the battlefield.
“I am sure that more than 300 thousand (people in Russia) were mobilized,” he added.
“In the end, they will be armed and put on vehicles. And it is precisely at the expense of these units that they will try to launch a second wave of the offensive, during which, most likely, they will try to expand the front line by choosing one of the axes in which to attack. Either Kharkiv Oblast, or Kyiv Oblast, or even western oblasts (of Ukraine).”
According to Zhorin, the Kremlin is yet to decide where to strike at.
“But we understand that such scenarios exist, and the Ukrainian army is preparing for any of them,” he concluded.
“We need to understand that this will be a difficult time ahead of us. And that will be a huge problem. And all these mobilized people will bring more grief to our land.”
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi, and Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov announced Russia's plans to carry out another major offensive in Ukraine in early 2023.
According to Zaluzhnyi, Russia could launch the offensive in February-March, most likely attempting to once again threaten Kyiv.