According to Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, Russian troops are preparing for a new large-scale offensive in February next year.
About this Reznikov told in an interview with The Guardian.
He said: “[Призовники] are prepared for at least three months. This means that they are looking to launch the next wave of the offensive, probably in February, just like last year. This is their plan.”
Reznikov said that while Ukraine is now able to successfully defend itself against Russian missile attacks targeting key infrastructure, including the energy grid, there is emerging evidence that the Kremlin is preparing a new broad offensive.
Speaking about the partial mobilization of about 300,000 troops in Russia, Reznikov suggested that while half of them, often after minimal training, are being used to reinforce Moscow’s forces after a series of failures on the battlefield, the rest are being prepared more thoroughly for future offensives.
“The second part of the mobilized, approximately 150,000 people, began their training courses in various camps,” said Reznikov.
The minister expects Russia to continue mobilizing its citizens after the current partial mobilization, describing the Russian command’s main tactic as a “meat grinder” where they throw as many people into battle as possible in the hope that they will outnumber the outnumbered Ukrainian forces.
“If it was a meat grinder against a meat grinder, we would lose. It was a mistake to perceive us as a small Soviet army that would fight with a large Soviet army. Of course, a large Soviet army would win, and a small Soviet army would lose, but we are not a Soviet army,” Reznikov emphasized.
He expressed the opinion that Ukraine is now beating Russia in the air. According to him, Ukrainian air defense systems increased their effectiveness from 50% at the beginning of the full-scale war to 80% in December.
The Guardian notes that Reznikov’s statement about a possible new broad offensive by the Russians coincided with similar statements by President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhnyi and Commander of the Ground Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi in an interview with The Economist.
“These statements appear to have been part of a broad, coordinated effort aimed at warning Western allies against complacency and highlighting the ongoing threat Russia poses to Ukraine,” the newspaper noted.
Earlier, in an interview with The Economist, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhnyi said that the Russians are training about 200,000 new soldiers, the head of the Armed Forces has no doubts that they will go to Kyiv again.