Russia actively planning new offensives despite huge losses: Ukraine
Russia is preparing to resume offensives in parts of the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to Ukraine, despite reports and estimates that Moscow’s forces face huge losses in the conflict.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote in an operational update posted on Facebook on Wednesday that Russia is “undertaking reconnaissance missions and preparing to resume offensives on certain axes…
“Despite heavy casualties, Russian forces are making renewed attempts to advance on [the] Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka,” the General Staff wrote in the update. Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka are all towns or villages located in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine, which was declared annexed by Russia along with three other regions. .
The new offensives, if confirmed, could be launched as Russia continues to face significant estimated casualties in the conflict. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a to update Wednesday that Russia has lost more than 128,000 men since the war began on February 24, as well as more than 3,200 tanks and more than 6,300 armored fighting vehicles, among other equipment.
Russia has also not done very well in terms of territorial control in recent months.
Although Russia has claimed to have made marginal gains in recent weeks around Bakhmut, which it has been trying to capture for months, it has actually lost territory elsewhere. Russian forces were forced to flee when Ukraine carried out a surprise counteroffensive in the eastern region of Kharkiv in September 2022.
Ukraine has also made gains in another counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region, including securing the regional capital previously occupied by Russia in November 2022.
These setbacks for Russia did not deter predictions of a renewed Russian offensive in the spring after the harsh conditions of the cold winter months eased. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which previously assessed that Russia was planning another offensive, reiterated its prediction in its latest campaign assessment for January 31.
“Ukrainian officials continue to support the ISW’s assessment that an imminent Russian offensive in the coming months is the most likely course of action (MLCOA) and have further suggested that Ukrainian forces consider launching a counter -wider offensive,” the ISW wrote.
He cited an interview with Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov, published by Sky News on Tuesday, in which he said Russia was preparing for “maximum escalation” in the coming months. Danilov did not rule out the possibility that Russia could step up its attacks over the next two or three weeks to align with the first anniversary of the war on February 24.
The ISW also mentioned a Washington Post interview with Major General Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Ukrainian government’s military intelligence service, published on Tuesday. Budanov predicted that Russia will focus this year on taking more land in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which supports “ISW’s assessment that Russian forces appear to be preparing to an imminent offensive in eastern Ukraine, particularly in Luhansk Oblast,” the think tank said. wrote.
Newsweek contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense for comments.