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Ukraine's Minister of Defence believes Russia is preparing major offensive in February

Thursday, 15 December 2022, 18:10
Ukraine's Minister of Defence believes Russia is preparing major offensive in February

Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, believes that Russian troops are preparing for a major new offensive in February next year.

Source: Reznikov in an interview with  The Guardian 

Quote: "The [conscripts] do a minimum of three months to prepare. It means they are trying to start the next wave of the offensive probably in February, like last year. That’s their plan."

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Details: Reznikov said that while Ukraine is now able to successfully defend itself against Russian missile attacks targeting key infrastructure facilities, including the power grid, evidence is emerging that the Kremlin is preparing a major new offensive.

Referring to Russia’s partial mobilisation of about 300,000 soldiers, Reznikov suggested that while half of them, often after receiving minimal training, are being used to reinforce Moscow’s forces after a series of battlefield setbacks, the rest are being prepared more thoroughly for future offensives.

"The second part of the mobilisation, 150,000 approximately, started their training courses in different camps," said Reznikov.

Reznikov expects Russia will continue to mobilise its citizens after the current partial mobilisation, describing the main tactic of Russian commanders as a "meat grinder", where they throw as many people at a battle as possible in the hope they will overwhelm the smaller Ukrainian force.

"If it was a meat grinder against a meat grinder, we would lose. It was a mistake to perceive us as a small Soviet army that would fight a big Soviet army. Certainly, a big Soviet army would win and a small Soviet army would lose, but we are not a Soviet army," Reznikov noted.

Reznikov believes Ukraine is now defeating Russia in the air. As he said, Ukraine’s air defence systems had increased their efficiency from 50% at the beginning of the war to 80% in December.

The Guardian noted that Reznikov’s comments about a possible new major offensive by the Russians echoed similar remarks made to The Economist this week, including from Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine; Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; and Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"The briefings appeared to be part of a broad, coordinated effort to warn against complacency among western allies and highlight the continuing threat Russia poses to Ukraine," The Guardian wrote.

Background: Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, stated that Russians are preparing about 200,000 new soldiers; he has no doubt they will attack the city of Kyiv again.

As he said, in January, but most probably in spring, the Russian Federation may start a major offensive from Donbas in the east, from the south or even from Belarus.

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