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Russia doesn't have forces for new offensive on Kyiv Oblast, Kharkiv, Sumy or Chernihiv – Ukraine's Defence Intelligence

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 17:20
Russia doesn't have forces for new offensive on Kyiv Oblast, Kharkiv, Sumy or Chernihiv – Ukraine's Defence Intelligence
Vadym Skibitskyi. Photo: Defence Intelligence of Ukraine

Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence has said that Russia currently does not have sufficient forces to engage in combat across two strategic fronts at once. As Russia continues to amass its forces in Ukraine's east, neither the cities of Kharkiv and Sumy, nor Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts are under the threat of an imminent attack.

Source: Vadym Skibitskyi, spokesman for Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine news agency 

Quote from Skibitskyi: "Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv and Kyiv Oblast comprise the western strategic front. Cities where active combat is currently underway are situated on the southwestern strategic front.


Russia is currently continuing to undertake a strategic operation on one front only. It has no troops, nor forces, nor equipment to conduct a robust offensive on the western strategic front.

The Russian Federation currently has no strategic reserve; they are trying to create it. Everything they had created so far they would immediately deploy to [Ukraine]. The 18th Army, the 25th Army, the 3rd Army Corps – they’re all fighting, and there’s no reserve."

Details: Skibitskyi said that Russia is currently unable to simultaneously undertake strategic operations across two fronts.

He also explained that a "strategic operation" is an operation undertaken on a particular strategic front: "The Russian Federation had at least two strategic fronts in Ukraine: the southwestern strategic front, which is the area of responsibility of the Southern Military District, and the western strategic front, the area of responsibility of the Western Military District."

However, Russian forces can still undertake tactical and operational-tactical actions.

Skibitskyi also said that Russian forces were not able to recover the positions they had lost over the course of the Ukrainian counteroffensive: "They did not recover the positions they occupied at the beginning of our counteroffensive. So while they continue to deploy aircraft and artillery and destroy some of our positions, they have not been able to advance."

Skibitskyi said that Russia currently has 48 Iskander missile launchers deployed at the Russian-Ukrainian border, and has created an additional tactical group that is responsible for launching ballistic missiles from the territory of the Russian Federation.

Skibitskyi listed Russia’s three current strengths:

  • a powerful mobilisation capacity;
  • an ability to rotate forces out of the combat zone to replenish losses and recover, and an ability to transfer or regroup forces across different fronts;
  • air superiority.

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