14:55 06 Feb 2023

russia may launch large-scale offensive within ten days – FT

Within the next ten days, russia plans to launch a new large-scale offensive, the Financial Times reports.

As the FT writes, citing an unnamed military adviser to Ukraine's Armed Forces, Kyiv received "very solid intelligence of intent" about russia's intention to launch a new offensive.

The FT says the purpose of the russian offensive is to occupy the entire Donbas, comprising the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. It is reported that the russian army's offensive may begin in the areas of the cities of Kreminna and Lyman, where the russian army has been concentrating large forces for several weeks.

In addition, the FT notes that the Kremlin is building up its forces south of the Donetsk region, deploying additional troops to settlements around Mariupol.

The publication reports that the aggressor intends to launch an offensive before Ukraine receives Western tanks and weapons.

An anonymous adviser to Ukraine's Armed Forces also told the FT that elite units would likely lead the russian offensive.

"We have to be serious," he said. "These are proper mechanized brigades, even if they are less capable than they were at the beginning of the war. They've reinforced the VDV [airborne] and marine units. These are not bus drivers and schoolteachers."

Earlier, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Ukraine's Defense Forces expected possible offensives from russia before the symbolic date of February 24, the start of russia's 2022 invasion, but urged everyone to trust only official information.

President Volodymyr Zelensky says that the russians want to try to make up for last year's defeats in February, but Ukraine must persevere.

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