(LibertySociety.com) – Kyiv is reportedly bracing the country for an imminent attack from Russian forces, possibly to occur around February 24, the 2022 year anniversary of the Russian invasion. However, one Ukrainian military adviser told The Financial Times that the offensive could come by mid-February.
Ukrainian officials are concerned that the next weeks aim to become critical for the war at large and have requested weapons from Western nations multiple times. According to reports, between 150,000 and 200,000 Russian troops are in training drills, and the possibility of even more with 500,000 conscripts being called up. Putin had a rough first year of the conflict, which saw his forces pushed back by Ukrainian resistance. The Russian army, estimated to be over one million strong with two million reservists who could be called up, is believed to be preparing for an offensive on two areas, attacking the south and east in the Donbas. Kyiv is making preparations for the onslaught but acknowledges that it will be arduous to repel.
According to a report from The BBC, the Institute for the Study of War believes that Putin will not decide to act and take a previously estimated assault on Western Ukraine from Belarus, yet may be building up for smaller attacks and assaults on the northern region to spread Ukrainian defense forces thin ahead of the offensive. Still, the organization thinks a Russian offensive will be taking place very soon.
Ukrainian official Natalia Humeniuk also recently advised that Russia is preparing for a new attack from the South, not just on land but also possibly at sea and air, The Sun reported. Meanwhile, Russian troops have reportedly been removing Ukrainian civilians from homes in eastern Ukrainian areas as they coalesce military power. A representative from GUR warned that both February and March will be intense and that the skill and motivation of Ukrainian soldiers, as well as their equipment and weapons, will “ultimately turn the tide” of the conflict.
One senior Ukrainian soldier said that Russian soldiers should leave the country before they are killed in war. The outlet further noted that Lieutenant General Yurii Sodol, who leads the Ukrainian marines, said that Russians should leave Ukrainian territory before they become “fertilizer” on “someone else’s land.”
In response, Moscow accused NATO of mobilizing everything it has against Russia, including satellites. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated the actions by Nato assembled “very peculiar, hostile conditions” for Russia and that they have taken notice. Yet, leaked phone calls between front-line forces reveal that the country’s troops are struggling on the battlefield. A soldier reportedly said the campaign was a “meat grinder” and that essential needs like water are heavily appropriated. Ukraine has meticulously detailed the armaments it wants the Western nations to give to repulse the invasion, but the US has not sent any F-16 fighter jets.
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