Ukrainian officials say Russia is moving additional forces into eastern Ukraine to prepare for a possible attack, Reuters reports.
Ukraine is impatiently waiting for armaments from the west and stresses that Russia could carry out attacks to symbolically mark one year since the start of the war.
The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said: «We are seeing more and more reserves being deployed in our direction, we are seeing more equipment being brought in. They bring ammunition that is used differently than before – it is not round-the-clock shelling anymore. They are slowly starting to save, getting ready for a full-scale offensive.» Haidai predicted that it would take Russia about ten days to build up its forces.
Ukraine, on the other hand, plans to launch attacks in the spring to regain lost territories. The delivery of tanks and long-range missiles from Western countries is expected, but this could take several months.
The British intelligence agency says in a report that the Russian army has been trying to resume large-scale operations since the beginning of January to gain control over all of Donetsk. However, since the Russian army lacks ammunition and maneuverable units, it has occupied only a small part of the territory.
It is believed that Russia cannot muster forces quickly enough to have a significant impact on the outcome of the war in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, changes in the composition of the highest state and military officials are expected in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that it is necessary to show the world that Ukraine can safely manage the military and other aid provided to it.
Oleksandr Kovalenko, a Ukrainian military expert, said: «Things are more serious in Donetsk region, particularly around Bakhmut and Avdiivka. And the Russians will be boosting their contingents there as well as equipment and paratroops.» For several months, Russia’s main target has been Bakhmut.
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