(Presidentialwire.com)- A well-respected military think tank is reporting that Russia has plans for a new big offensive attack in Ukraine in either the upcoming spring or early summer.
The Institute for the Study of War issued a daily campaign assessment recently that noted that Vadym Skibitsky, the representative for the Main Intelligence Directorate in Ukraine, said back on January 20 that troops from Russia are starting to regroup preparing for a “big offensive.”
Those attacks are likely to come in the eastern regions of Luhansk Oblasts and Donetsk.
Skibitsky further said the forces from Russia are not likely to start their attack from Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus, even though that’s what they did when they initially started this war almost one year ago.
As the organization reported:
“ISW has previously assessed that Russian forces may be preparing for a decisive effort (of either offensive or defensive nature) in Luhansk Oblast and observed a redeployment of conventional forces such as Airborne (VDV) elements to the Svatove-Kreminna axis after the Russian withdrawal from Kherson Oblast.
“Skibitsky’s assessments largely support ISW’s running forecasts of Russian intentions in the first half of 2023 and underscore the continued need for Western support to ensure that Ukraine does not lose the initiative to a renewed Russian offensive operation.”
While Russia’s overall campaign has been largely unsuccessful and not as they believed it would go, they have made a little progress in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine. In other regions, they faced a lot of opposition and have lost some territories that at one time previously they had capture.
Recently, Russia has turned toward attacking some critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine, which many believe is a frustrated response to their lack of success in battle.
Mercenaries from the Wagner Group have been playing a vital part in Russia’s fighting. Reports say that the group accounts for about 10% of all of the fighters that Russia has in Ukraine.
Wagner has an “outsized reliance” on recruiting people from penal colonies, the ISW said, and the organization believes there are ramifications that are getting worse for their ability in combat.
Earlier this week, Rus Sidyashchaya, an independent human rights organization in Russia, said that Wagner has recruited about 50,000 prisoners, but only 10,000 of them on fighting on Ukraine’s frontlines, and this is due to high rates of desertion, surrender and casualty.
The organization’s report read:
“ISW cannot independently confirm these figures, but they are very plausible considering Wagner’s model of using convicts as cannon fodder in highly attritional offensive operations.
“The Wagner Group aim of reducing casualties among its non-convict mercenaries likely undermines its ability to retain and use effectively its large mass of convicts at scale and over time.”
ISW also said that in order to help support their ongoing war efforts, Russia has increasingly turned to Iran to deepen their economic and military ties. It’s been tough for Russia to do this on their own due to the sanctions many western nations have put on them.