Russia said that its army’s large-scale missile attack on February 10 targeted Ukraine’s defense energy infrastructure and transport network.
“On February 10, the Russian military carried out a large-scale raid with high-precision weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles, targeting critical infrastructure that supplies power to defense enterprises and the transport network of Ukraine,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on February 11.
Konashenkov added that the raid also blocked the supply of foreign weapons and ammunition to Ukraine as well as the deployment of Kyiv’s reserve forces by rail to the war zones.
However, Moscow did not specify the scale of the attack.
Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal confirmed that Russian missiles and drones targeted electricity infrastructure in western, central, and eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian air defense systems shot down 61 out of 70 missiles, along with five drones.
Russia’s large-scale missile and drone attacks since October last year have destroyed about half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. However, Mr. Shmyhal insisted that the power grid was being restored and Ukraine had enough energy and generators to get through the winter.
According to Kyiv officials, yesterday’s large-scale Russian raid appears to be an exploratory attack on Ukraine’s defenses before Kyiv launches a large-scale offensive operation next spring or summer.
Russia is said to be assembling 1,800 tanks, 3,950 armored vehicles, 400 fighter jets, 300 helicopters, 2,700 artillery pieces, and 810 rocket launchers for this plan. Kyiv believes that this new wave of attacks will be larger than the first one that took place right after Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 last year.
The Kyiv Post newspaper, citing Ukrainian intelligence sources, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country’s military to take full control of Donetsk and Lugansk (or the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine) in March.
However, Andrii Cherniak, the head of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Service, assessed that it was difficult for Russia to conduct a large-scale all-out attack due to insufficient resources.
According to him, Moscow is trying to find a weakness in Ukraine’s defense. “Russia’s main goal remains to achieve some tactical victory in eastern Ukraine. Russia is facing a shortage of high-precision weapons. It has used up more than 80% of its stockpile of precision missiles. They tried to restore production but failed,” Mr. Cherniak said.