The main directions of an attack will be Luhansk and Donetsk, Russia could use 150,000 mobilized soldiers. But a breakthrough is unlikely. Military analysis.
Currently, according to information from open sources, Russia is massing large numbers of troops in the northern part of the Luhansk region. However, it is not yet entirely certain that Russia will launch a new major offensive.
focus on Donbass
If the Russian attack comes, it is likely to target the Luhansk region in order to remove the Ukrainian forces from the entire region and possibly also recapture the southeastern parts of the Kharkiv region. If Russia is successful, they will again be able to threaten Donbass from the north, as they did before Ukraine expelled them from the Kharkiv region in early September.
Another focus will be on Donbass itself, specifically the Bakhmut region. Should the city fall, Russia could launch an offensive in a northwesterly direction towards Kramatorsk, Ukraine’s headquarters in the Donbass, and Slavyansk, the region’s two largest Ukrainian-held cities.
Belarus could be dragged into war
In the north, it cannot be ruled out that Russia will force Belarus to mobilize the so-called regional military contingent (Russia and Belarus), thereby placing the entire Belarusian army under Russian command. While the combat deployment of Belarus’s highly inexperienced regular armed forces is a suicidal move, Russia can still use Belarusian troops for activities in the border area.
Including possible smaller research raids that would force Ukraine to deploy significant forces in that area and require Ukraine to divide its forces. Another possible distraction is the front line in Zaporozhye.
New Russian soldiers carry the load
Most of the offensive forces will consist of around 150,000 new recruits who were mobilized in September/October last year and have received basic training since then. Most of these will likely integrate with regular Russian units currently stationed in Ukraine, battle-hardened but destroyed and worn out. This is in line with the general replacement methods of the Russian army, where new recruits have already completed their training in the units in which they will serve.
So in this new attack, regular ground forces will play the most important role. Severely weakened and blood-dried by Bachmut, the Wagner group should not play a significant role in the short run.
Russia lacks armored formations for breakthroughs
Given Russia’s extremely high losses in terms of tanks and tank crews, a new offensive is unlikely to make a deep strategic breakthrough.
Judging from the photos collected by the “Oryx” group, Russia has lost more than 50 percent of its tanks in service before the ascent; The exact number of casualties is probably much higher. The latest reinforcements, consisting of hastily refurbished old T-72A and even T-62M tanks, hardly meet the demands of the current battlefield.
Small role of the Russian fleet
It is unlikely that the Russian fleet will play a significantly different role from the one it has played in the last nine months. Especially since the loss of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, Moskva, Ukraine feared anti-ship missiles, The Russian Navy will not attempt amphibious operations or direct fire.
Instead, ships and submarines will likely serve as launch pads for rockets and cruise missiles. As many of these ships are just filling up their missile stocks, they will have significant firepower targeting Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, most likely primarily the frontline.
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