Russia’s ‘Great Offensive’ fails to impress as intelligence reveals its short-lived military might

23 March, 05:46 PM
Ukrainian military near Bakhmut (Photo:REUTERS/Alex Babenko)

Ukrainian military near Bakhmut (Photo:REUTERS/Alex Babenko)

Russia’s “Great Offensive” was an overestimation of its capabilities and nothing more than propaganda, Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) representative Vadym Skibitskyi said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine on March 23.

“Where is that great offensive? (...) Our defenders are repelling attacks, holding the defense line, and constraining the enemy’s forces on several fronts,” Skibitskyi said.

“The Russians had counted on rapid success in some direction and on its development, but that success has not materialized.”

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The only goal that remains for the occupiers is to reach the borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Ukrainian intelligence knows their plans and the number of their reserves, and it was clear from the beginning of the invasion that “simultaneously conducting a large strategic offensive on two or three fronts is impossible” for the Russian Federation, said Skibitskyi.

When asked about the duration of Russia’s economic and military resources to continue the war against Ukraine, Skibitskyi replied that they could last until “the end of 2023, or at the most, through 2024, and that’s it.”

“This is if we’re talking about a conventional war. And if sanctions are strengthened, this reserve will be even smaller,” he added.

US intelligence has stated that due to significant setbacks and heavy losses on the front lines, Russia’s ability to capture additional Ukrainian territories in 2023 is limited, and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin “most likely calculates that time works in his favor.”

General Viktor Nazarov, chief adviser to the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, believes that the war could last at least another year.

HUR chief Kyrylo Budanov said on Feb. 23 that the end of the war was approaching, and Russia would be forced to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

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