Russia unlikely to succeed in its spring offensive, experts say

1 February, 01:50 AM
A defender of Ukraine in Bakhmut, Donetsk region (Photo:REUTERS/Yan Dobronosov)

A defender of Ukraine in Bakhmut, Donetsk region (Photo:REUTERS/Yan Dobronosov)

According to estimates by various Western officials, Russia’s planned spring offensive in Ukraine is unlikely to succeed, CNN reported on Jan. 31.

The analysis points out Moscow’s persistent problems with logistics and replenishing personnel losses. The report says that Russian forces could still try to launch an offensive despite these issues, but their “ability to change the course of the conflict at the moment is constrained.”

“There are severe constraints to their ability to really backfill the losses that they have suffered in Ukraine, which is why you see them reach out to international partners to try to fill the gap,” CNN quotes an unnamed defense official.

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They add that Russia's hundreds of thousands of mobilized reservists are unlikely to form cohesive formations, capable of executing large-scale offensive maneuvers.

Western officials also doubt the invaders will launch another push into Ukraine from the territory of Belarus in the coming months.

In a December interview with UK news magazine the Economist, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that Russia could launch a new offensive in February. According to Zaluzhnyi, the offensive could take place not in Donbas, but in the direction of Kyiv from Belarus.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov earlier stated that a new large-scale offensive by invading Russian forces would begin in the spring 2023.

On Jan. 20, Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence spokesman Vadym Skibitsky said the spring and early summer of 2023 will be a decisive period in the war, and confirmed that intelligence suggests Russian troops are regrouping in preparation for a “big offensive” in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

On Jan. 30, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine will any forthcoming Russian offensive and prepare its own major counteroffensive.

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