The Institute for the Study of War, a US think tank, claimed over the weekend that Russian officials were preparing additional covert mobilization measures in Ukraine. Russian authorities claimed on Monday that they had no plans to call up more Russian soldiers to fight in Ukraine’s war through a second round of mobilization.
Lieutenant Colonel Pale Yedestbo, head of the Land Forces Department of the Norwegian Military Academy, does not rule out that Russia may launch a major offensive in the spring. But that would require them to maintain the front through the winter, which would require good winter gear and plenty of supplies for troops in the field, Yedstepo says.
– They can manage a great attack if they can build up good, well-trained and well-equipped divisions. At the same time, he used the winter to weaken the Ukrainian forces to such an extent that they are able to obtain a sufficient superiority, mainly in numbers, but preferably also in quality, Lieutenant Colonel tells ABC Nyheter.
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– This is Putin’s plan
Ydstebø further says that Russia should be able to create at least three military corps, each of at least three brigades plus artillery and other support units.
– a total number of at least 4,500, he says.
In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a “partial” mobilization of 300,000 Russian reservists.
Jan Hallenberg, head of research at the Foreign Policy Institute in Sweden, believes that Putin dreams of an alliance of forces.
– I think Putin dreams of bolstering the troops with new, partially trained and mobilized Russians who have been called up in recent months. Perhaps he hoped to obtain a new attacking force to launch a new offensive in the spring. I doubt this will actually work, but I think this is Putin’s plan, says l Express.
Palle Ydstebø believed that the Russians should get their logistics in order, from the central depots and war industry to the forward divisions.
They must also be able to obtain and release more good officers from major general to lieutenant, in order to make these departments a success. Whether they had access to good people and good material is uncertain. Whether they ran such a lift in just under five months is uncertain.
– They can easily create these administrations in Russia and open a new front in the north or northeast, and not necessarily attack the regions they occupy in Ukraine, Ydstebø explains.
– Do you think that the war will develop a lot this winter?
– In the first place, it is a matter of what the Ukrainians are capable of, whether they have enough troops who are comfortable, well positioned and have enough artillery at their disposal, – answers the director of the war school.
– Winter may be more difficult for Russians
Ydstebø believed that Ukraine could be able to take back the Russian-occupied areas with vital railways and roads that the Russians need for their own supplies. This assumes that the Ukrainian forces are able to exploit the strategic initiative they have during the winter.
Then, winter could become extra demanding on the Russian soldiers, weakening them so much that they might have problems responding to the Ukrainian advance. If Ukraine can master winter better than the Russians, they can use it as an additional weapon in the war.
The Lt. Col. predicts that Russia will continue to attack Ukraine’s civilian and military infrastructure in an effort to weaken Ukraine’s defense resolve and military capabilities.
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