Russian army under increasing pressure ahead of anniversary of invasion, says UK intelligence
The Russian army is required to demonstrate at least some success by the anniversary of the invasion (Photo:REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko)
Russian forces are likely under increasing political pressure as the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine draws near, the UK’s Ministry of Defense wrote on Twitter on Feb. 20.
According to UK intelligence, Russia continues to pursue several offensive axes in eastern Ukraine: Vuhledar, Kreminna, and Bakhmut.
However, casualties reportedly remain high, particularly in Bakhmut and Vuhledar.
Specifically, according to the MoD, the “elite” 155th and 40th Naval Infantry Brigades have sustained very high losses in Vuhledar and are likely combat ineffective.
“Russian forces are likely under increasing political pressure as the anniversary of the invasion draws near,” the ministry said in its daily summary.
“It is likely that Russia will claim that Bakhmut has been captured to align with the anniversary, regardless of the reality on the ground.”
If Russia’s spring offensive fails to achieve anything, then tensions within the Russian leadership will likely increase, the UK intelligence added.
Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said on Feb. 9 that Russian forces had already launched their new large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine, confirming earlier assessments by Ukrainian intelligence.
According to Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, the Kremlin is already facing serious problems with its “big offensive.”
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