Russia planning major offensive to mark first anniversary of warfare: Ukraine defence minister

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Half a million Russian troops ready for major offensive to mark 1st anniversary of invasion: Ukraine defence minister

Ukrainian troopers take firing positions whereas taking part in a navy coaching train within the Kherson area, southern Ukraine. AFP.

Kyiv: Russia is getting ready a major offensive in opposition to Ukraine that might start as early as 24 February – one 12 months anniversary of invasion, Kyiv’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov stated.

The Ukrainian minister, who’s on a visit to France, claimed that Russia had amassed 1000’s of troops and will “try something” to mark the anniversary of the preliminary invasion final 12 months.

‘We do not underestimate our enemy’

Reznikov claimed that quantity of Russian troops on the border has elevated shut to 500,000, which was about 300,000 in September final 12 months.

He warned that Russia would name on a big contingent of mobilised troops.

“We do not underestimate our enemy,” Reznikov advised French BFM community, including, “Officially, they announced 300,000, but when we see the troops at the borders, according to our assessments it is much more.”

Targets of Russia’s new major offensive

Reznikov stated that Russia’s major offensive is anticipated to be concentrated in two areas: Ukraine’s east, which has seen heavy preventing over latest weeks; and the south.

“We think that, given that [Russia] lives in symbolism, they will try to try something around 24 February,” he stated.

Reznikov was on a go to to France to meet President Emmanuel Macron and safe the acquisition of air defence radars.

The Ukrainian defence minister was additionally lobbying European nations to ship F-16 fighter jets to his war-torn nation.

Is Ukraine prepared for Russia’s major offensive?

Reznikov stated that Ukraine’s commanders would search to “stabilise the front and prepare for a counter-offensive”.

“I have faith that the year 2023 can be the year of military victory,” the Ukrainian defence minister stated, including that forces of his nation “cannot lose the initiative” they’ve achieved in latest months.

Reznikov’s feedback got here as Ukrainian intelligence alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his forces to seize Ukraine’s Donbas area earlier than the spring ends.

Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, Oleksiy Danilov, additionally warned final week that Russia was gearing up a wave of offensives to mark the anniversary of the 24 February invasion.

He additional claimed Russian troops had been given the duty of going “beyond the borders” of the japanese Donetsk and Luhansk areas.

For the unversed, Donetsk and Luhansk make up the Donbas, a area bordering Russia that Putin recognized as a purpose for takeover from the warfare’s outset.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar stated that Russian troops are “actively trying to reach the borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”

“Our soldiers defend every centimetre of Ukrainian land,” Malyar stated.

‘Situation has become tougher’

In a video deal with on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated Russian forces have been making an attempt to make beneficial properties that they may present on the February anniversary of their invasion.

“A definite increase has been noted in the offensive operations of the occupiers on the front in the east of our country. The situation has become tougher,” Zelenskyy stated.

In a social media submit, the Ukrainian president stated, “The only way to stop Russian terrorism is to defeat it by tanks, fighter jets, long-range missiles.”

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