Ukraine braces for new Russian offensive in the east

9 February, 11:25 AM
Analysts and Ukrainian officials expect Russia to launch a large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine (Photo:REUTERS/Anna Kudriavtseva)

Analysts and Ukrainian officials expect Russia to launch a large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine (Photo:REUTERS/Anna Kudriavtseva)

Russia is preparing for a new large-scale offensive against Ukraine by concentrating hundreds of thousands of troops in the east of Ukraine, U.S. magazine Foreign Policy reported on Feb. 8.

According to Ukrainian officials, the number of Russian troops in Ukraine has exceeded 300,000 people.

In preparation for a new offensive, Russia has begun arming itself and already has about 1,800 tanks, nearly 4,000 armored vehicles and 2,700 artillery systems in place.

In addition, the occupiers have 810 Soviet rocket launchers such as the Grad and Smerch, 400 fighter jets, and 300 helicopters ready for a new wave of attacks.

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Currently, the Russian presence in Ukraine far exceeds the invasion force that Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin used in February 2022. This time, the invading forces are concentrated in the east of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, according to a senior U.S. military official, the Pentagon characterized the Russian troops who had already been thrown on the battlefield as “ill-equipped, ill-trained, (and) rushed.”

As the publication notes, the Pentagon believes that the Kremlin “has begun sending in tens of thousands of troops to replace losses suffered from ongoing battles in the Donbas towns of Bakhmut and Soledar, but Kyiv believes that Putin could go even further, drafting more new troops around the Feb. 24 anniversary of the full-scale invasion.”

“We expect in the next 10 days a new, huge invasion,” an unnamed Ukrainian military official told Foreign Policy. Over the weekend, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that he expects a surge in Russian operations around the upcoming anniversary of the invasion on Feb. 24.

“It’s much bigger than what took place in the first wave,” the Ukrainian military official said. “They don’t pay attention to any casualties or losses on the [battlefield].”

Analysts and Ukrainian officials also expect the Russian Federation to launch a large-scale offensive in the east of the country — in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

According to Bloomberg, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin expects that a new offensive by the Russian army in February-March 2023 will allow the invaders to seize the initiative in the ongoing war, and has determined to prosecute the war for years to come.

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