Russians massing equipment, troops in Mariupol, mayor's adviser says
Destroyed houses in Mariupol (Photo:Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)
The Russian military is moving multiple launch rocket systems, air defense systems and troops to the port in Mariupol, advisor to the city's mayor Petro Andriushchenko said in a Telegram post on Feb. 6.
Andriushchenko said the movement of the following military assets was recorded during the night:
- at least eight multiple launch rocket systems,
- six buses with troops,
- trucks with ammunition,
- two S-300 air defense systems.
"Mariupol continues to be flooded with the occupiers," Andriushchenko wrote.
The official reported that Russian troops continue to move their forces to the city and its outskirts. Over the past week alone, about 15,000 soldiers have been deployed to the Mariupol area, he said.
Earlier, the UK’s Financial Times newspaper reported that Ukraine is expecting a fresh Russian offensive in the country to begin around the middle of February.
Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi said in an interview in December with the UK weekly news magazine the Economist that Russia might launch a fresh offensive “at worst” in late-January and “at best” in March.
“(The Russian offensive) may start not in Donbas, but in the direction of Kyiv, in the direction of Belarus, I do not rule out the southern direction as well,” Zaluzhnyi told the Economist, saying Russia was preparing an army of 200,000 soldiers for the fresh attack.
“I know that I can beat this enemy. But I need resources,” Zaluzhnyi said.
“I need 300 tanks, 600-700 infantry fighting vehicless, 500 Howitzers. Then, I think it is completely realistic to get to the lines of Feb. 23 (the day before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine).”
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