Kyiv expects Russia to lose up to 70,000 troops in the next 4-5 months

Main events on January 3:

Russia is likely to “continue offensive operations this year” even though it may lose tens of thousands of its troops in the coming months, a Ukrainian intelligence official said on January 3.

The Russians “understand that they will lose” on the battlefield, but do not plan to end the war, Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andrijus Cherniak said.

In comments to Ukrainian media RBK-Ukraine, Cherniak said Ukrainian intelligence is “certain” that Russia will still try to capture the Donetsk region and will do whatever it takes to maintain its land corridor on the southern coast into Russian-occupied territory. Crimea.

Ukraine expects the Russian army to lose up to 70,000 more troops in the next 4-5 months, but the Kremlin appears to be “prepared for such losses,” Cherniak added.

The latest intelligence assessment comes as senior Ukrainian officials warn that Russia could launch a major offensive from multiple directions in early 2023.

Cherniak also said that Russian troops “may attack from the north and the east at the same time,” but “such actions of the enemy are expected, and our army is ready for it.”

Russia’s gains on the battlefield remain limited, even as fighting rages in eastern and southern Ukraine. Russian troops have been forced to withdraw from 40% of the Ukrainian territories they had occupied since the February invasion, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhnyi said on January 2.

Russia’s “huge human resources”

Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, said that Russia does not appear to be able to sustain the intensity of the offensive that was at the start of the full-scale invasion, but that it still has “enormous human resources” to continue the war against Ukraine.

Also Read :  Russian drone attack takes out power supplies in Kyiv; Ruble tumbles

“They may not be able to fight as intensely as they started, but they have enough supplies to fight this war,” Maliar said on television.

While Maliar said it was an achievement that Ukraine still “holds firmly” part of the Donetsk region today, she acknowledged that “these are very tough battles” that are “very tiring” for Ukrainian troops.

Russia now has hundreds of thousands of conscripts it can send to the front line. Ukrainian commander Valery Zaluzhny admitted in December that Russia’s mobilization of hundreds of thousands of troops in the fall “helped” and conscripts were “our problem.” He then estimated that Moscow still had “a reserve of 1.2-1.5 million people.”

Anticipating that Russia will draft more troops due to stalling progress on the battlefield, Ukraine’s top defense officials recently said Russian authorities plan to close their borders to draft-age men starting Jan. 5.

Maliar said that with tough battles ahead, Ukraine needs “strong motivation, professionalism and weapons” to maintain its defenses in the fierce Donetsk region.

Currently, the epicenter of the battle is around Bakhmut, a salt mine almost emptied of its 70,000 inhabitants.

Although Moscow has mobilized its troops and equipment for half a year, Russian troops are unlikely to make a “significant breakthrough near Bakhmut in the coming weeks”, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. said January 3

Also Read :  Israeli-Palestinian conflict catches up with Qatar World Cup

The ministry said both sides were suffering “heavy casualties”, even as “the frequency of Russian attacks has likely (reduced) from its peak in mid-December” due to Ukraine’s “significant reinforcement” to defend the Bakhmut sector.

Exclusion of Russian athletes

Meanwhile, further from the front line in the city of Druzhkivka, a Russian strike nearly destroyed the Altair Ice Arena late on January 2, Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kirylenko said. Two injuries were reported in Druzhkivka.

Condemning the Russian missile attack as “another act of vandalism,” the Ukrainian Hockey Association said in a statement that it was the fifth ice stadium destroyed during the war, with Kharkiv, Mariupol, Sievierodonetsk and Melitopol stadiums the previous ones.

The association said the sports complex in Druzhkivka was “completely empty” and “not a military target”.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba condemned the attack and called on international sporting events to ban Russian athletes from competing.

“I invite all sports representatives who want to allow Russian athletes to compete in international events, because, as they say, ‘politics should be kept out of sports’, to visit the Altair ice arena in Druzhkivka, which was destroyed by Russian “politically neutral” shelling. “Hut said In a post on Twitter.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has acknowledged the strike on Druzhkivsk, claiming it destroyed Ukrainian military equipment and weapons stored near the city’s train station.

Also Read :  Pelosi mocked for wishing Americans a 'Happy Shwanza' during final speech as House Speaker: 'Shawarma?'

Endless attacks

According to Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko, the city of Kramatorsk, the temporary capital of the Donetsk region, on January 3. hit by another rocket, at least one person was injured.

Less than 24 hours ago, a Russian strike on Kramatorsk injured one person and damaged 34 houses and 8 apartment buildings, the Kramatorsk city council said.

On January 3, Russia also launched massive artillery fire at the town of Kurachov, south of Kramatorsk.

Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kirylenko said artillery hit an apartment building in Kurakhov, killing at least one person and injuring two others.

Neighboring buildings and a water supply facility were also damaged, Kyrylenko said, issuing another call to urgently evacuate the remaining residents of the Donetsk region as Russia intensified its shelling of civilian areas.

Yaroslav Yanushevich, the governor of Kherson region in southern Ukraine, said two people in the car were killed by a landmine planted by Russian troops before their withdrawal in November.

Janušević urged residents to be careful as “very many” explosives remain in the liberated areas, adding that work is underway to safely dispose of them.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s air defenses said they shot down all 84 drones launched by Russia into the country in the first two days of 2023.

Ukraine has shot down nearly 500 Russian-launched drones since September, according to the Air Force.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button