Russia will try to seize more Ukrainian territories in the next six months — Australian general

Ukrainian military near Robotyne, Zaporizhzhya Oblast, February 21, 2024
Ukrainian military near Robotyne, Zaporizhzhya Oblast, February 21, 2024

Mick Ryan, an Australian general suggested that Russian attacks in eastern and southern Ukraine are actually “reconnaissance by combat,” and are intended to find tactical weaknesses on the Ukrainian front, he said in an interview with Radio NV on Feb. 23.

These weak points could be exploited in future offensives.

"Russians will certainly try to seize more territory over the next six months or so. They are obviously conducting operations in the south and east, preparing for what could be even more large-scale attacks in the spring," the general stated.

Read also: Russia escalating assaults at multiple fronts seems aimed at dispersing Ukrainian forces – UK intel

A Feb. 21 report by the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted that the new phase of Russia's offensive in Kharkiv and Luhansk oblasts on the Kupyansk-Lyman area is a rare example of a larger-scale campaign by the Russian army, which Russian forces have not attempted since the first months of the invasion. Its hypothetical success could be dangerous for Ukraine, as it would have not only local tactical but also broader operational consequences for the entire front line and the course of the war.

Read also: Tavria grouping warns of ‘mopping-up’ operations as Russian forces secure grip on seized Avdiivka

The New York Times wrote that, after the capture of Avdiivka, Russia's offensive split into five main directions, covering settlements along most of the frontline in eastern and southern Ukraine. The Russians are advancing in the Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Bakhmut directions, as well as near Robotyne and Kreminna.

The article noted that the capture of Avdiivka was Moscow's first major victory on the battlefield since the capture of Bakhmut in May 2023.

Even if the front line stabilizes after the Russians capture Avdiivka, its fall will allow the occupiers to move troops and equipment more efficiently as they advance in other areas, the NYT says.

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