According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia is likely to launch a new large-scale attack in the coming days and Kyiv is ready for this scenario.
According to the Financial Times, Ukraine has obtained very reliable intelligence and Russia is preparing to launch a new attack within the next 10 days.
The source said that this Russian offensive operation appears to be aimed at taking complete control of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine and may begin in the western part of Lugansk province, near the cities of Kreminna and Lyman, where Russia began to rally. force a few weeks back.
In addition, according to the Financial Times, Moscow is strengthening its forces in the south of Donetsk province with reinforcements to be deployed in villages around the city of Mariupol.
Moscow’s goal is to attack before Ukraine can receive more tanks and other modern Western weapons.
An unnamed Ukrainian military adviser said the new Russian offensive could be carried out by the country’s elite units. “These are suitable mechanized brigades even if their capabilities have been reduced compared to the early stages of the conflict.”
Serhii Haidai, head of the Lugansk military government, also said that Russia opened a new offensive operation after February 15. According to Haidai, Russia constantly transfers troops and equipment to Lugansk and Donetsk. Despite the arrival of more ammunition, the Russians appear to have begun to use them more cautiously, a sign that Haidai believes Moscow is preparing for an all-out attack.
He added that the Russian recruits had completed a two-month training course and Russia needed about 10 days to bring them to Ukraine, amassing resources for the new offensive.
Major milestones in the Russian-Ukrainian war
February 2022: Russia opened a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, sending troops into the Northeast region, around Kyiv, Southern, and Eastern Ukraine.
March: Russia reduces the target of its military campaign to the eastern region after Ukraine counterattacks in some areas.
April: Russia steps up military operation in Donbas.
May: Russia focuses on the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk. Russia controls the port city of Mariupol in the Sea of Azov. The two sides began peace talks on February 28 but announced a complete end in May without reaching an agreement.
June-July: Russia uses its superiority of firepower to gain control of almost complete Lugansk and part of Donetsk. On July 3, Russia announced the expansion of its military operation beyond the border of Donbas in the east.
August: Ukraine launches counter-offensive in Kherson in the South.
September: Ukraine makes a surprise counterattack in Kharkiv, Northeastern Ukraine, forcing Russia to withdraw its troops. Ukraine claims to have regained 3,000 square kilometers of territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a moratorium on partial mobilization, which could help Russia send up to 300,000 more troops to Ukraine.
October: Russia annexes four Ukrainian breakaway regions: Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia. On October 5, Ukraine counter-attacked on the whole line, signing a decree excluding all possibilities of negotiating with Russia while President Putin was still in office.
On October 8, the Crimean bridge was attacked. Russia accuses Ukraine of being the culprit. On October 10, Russia launched a large-scale ambush operation throughout Ukraine, targeting military, energy, and communications infrastructure.
November: After being cut off by Ukraine, Russia was forced to withdraw its troops from Kherson city in the southern battlefield to the east bank of the Dnipro River.
December: The front line does not have many major changes. Russia has faced numerous attacks on military facilities deep in its territory. Moscow accuses Ukraine of being behind the incidents.
January 2023: Russia focused its attack on the Eastern battlefield, determined to control key areas from Ukraine, especially Bakhmut. Russia gained some of the vicinity, making a pincer stance around Bakhmut.
The West provides main battle tanks to Ukraine. Previously, the US and European countries have supported Kyiv with many weapons, such as the HIMARS multiple-launch rocket system.