According to Ukrainian government authorities, Russia is sending an increasing number of conscripts and supplies to the front lines of the conflict as it continues its renewed attempt to grab additional territory in eastern Ukraine. These advances have been sluggish and costly. However, it is still not quite certain if Moscow can muster enough soldiers to maintain an attack for an extended period of time.
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian military said that Russian forces were attempting to overwhelm Ukrainian positions by striking from five separate directions along the crescent-shaped front line in the east. These attacks relied on large numbers of soldiers to achieve their objectives. The strategy has enabled Russia to make incremental advances in recent weeks and, according to officials from the United States, to gradually tighten a noose around the important Ukrainian-held city of Bakhmut. However, the tactic has resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives and injured dozens of troops every single day.
In the midst of reports that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, would travel to Brussels on Thursday to meet with the leaders of the European Union for a long-planned summit, the military intelligence agency of Ukraine reiterated a warning that Moscow planned to mobilise as many as 500,000 additional soldiers to sustain its campaign. In a long statement that was posted on Monday night analysing the condition of the conflict, Ukraine’s deputy intelligence head Vadym Skibitsky said that this would be “in addition to the 300,000 mobilised in October 2022.”
However, this has not deterred Ukraine from raising the alarm about a big Russian buildup that is going to take place in the future, while at the same time it is lobbying the West for more powerful weaponry. It was initially projected that Russia will mobilise 500,000 more troops in January, a step that has not happened as predicted by the report.
As they did in the past, Ukrainian troops may respond to a Russian onslaught with a counteroffensive. However, some military strategists have indicated that Ukraine would fare better by assuming a strong defensive stance, which would eventually weaken the forces of Russia.
Putin has been reluctant to openly declare a second wave of mobilisation, despite the fact that Moscow’s readiness to sacrifice significant numbers of men for just minor benefits has been proved again and again over the course of the conflict. The statement made in September of last year in Russia that there would be a partial mobilisation caused hundreds of thousands of men of combat age to depart the country.
The most recent assault that Moscow has made along the eastern front has relied on inexperienced new recruits and former inmates to rush into Ukrainian defences. This has put a pressure on Kyiv’s soldiers, but it has also produced a large number of deaths. According to the newspaper Mediazona, which is associated with the Russian opposition, fewer Russian convicts are eager to join up for war due to reports of high fatalities among recruits from penal colonies.
Mr. Haidai said on Tuesday that Ukrainian authorities had seen Russian commanders keeping newly arriving units of freshly mobilised troops isolated from one other. Mr. Haidai made his statement in reference to an observation made on Tuesday. He said that this was done in order to prevent news of casualties within the Russian ranks from spreading.
According to an email sent by the secretary general of the European Parliament to European legislators, which was accessed by The New York Times, Mr. Zelensky is scheduled to give a speech at the European Parliament on Thursday as part of a visit to Brussels. The possibility of Mr. Zelensky’s attendance, which is dependent on the safety precautions that are taken, was first reported by The Financial Times.
Mr. Zelensky was extended an invitation to join in person at “a future summit” by Charles Michel, the president of the European Council of leader representatives from member nations. A spokeswoman for Mr. Michel made the offer public knowledge via a post on Twitter; however, the message did not include any information about the nature of the invitation or the date of it.
The majority of European countries have united in their support for Ukraine, even though it has come at a significant financial toll to their economy in certain situations. This includes cutting off their energy lines to Russia. They have also had to cope with the impact of increasing the economic costs of the conflict for the Kremlin via sanctions, while Mr. Zelensky has been advocating for greater economic penalties to be imposed on Moscow that are better implemented.
A candidate state for the European Union was awarded to Ukraine in June; nevertheless, a recent visit to Kyiv by European leaders highlighted the fact that it was doubtful that the nation would be accepted to the club in the near future. The request made by Mr. Zelensky for the procedure to be completed more quickly was also denied.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, the chairman of the Donetsk regional military administration in Ukraine, said that a decision to retreat may be taken if the position of the country’s soldiers fighting near Bakhmut became unsustainable. He was referring to the conflict that is taking place in the area.