War in Ukraine Russia launches its winter offensive in search of the initiative in the war in Ukraine

Russian troops have intensified their attacks on almost the entire front line, while Ukrainian forces prepare to resist what is shaping up to be a winter offensive by Moscow to regain the initiative on the battlefield

War in Ukraine Russia launches its winter offensive in search of the initiative in the war in Ukraine

Russian troops have intensified their attacks on almost the entire front line, while Ukrainian forces prepare to resist what is shaping up to be a winter offensive by Moscow to regain the initiative on the battlefield.

"The situation in the east continues to be complex. The enemy does not cease its offensive actions along the entire front," admitted this Sunday the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Army, General Oleksandr Sirski, on his Telegram account.

He added that in a meeting with the commanders who direct the defense on the eastern front "the situation was analyzed in detail and variants of future actions were examined." The general stressed that decisions were made in order to "guarantee the stability of the defensive lines, preserve the lives of combatants and use ammunition rationally."

According to today's report from the General Staff of Ukraine, during the past day Russian troops continued their attempts to surround Avdivka, a stronghold of Kiev's forces located about ten kilometers northwest of Donetsk, the capital of the occupied region of the same name. for Russia since 2014.

"Our fighters firmly maintain the defensive lines and inflict significant casualties on the enemy," the commander of the Tavria group, Oleksandr Tarnavski, wrote on Telegram today, putting the Russian losses in his area of ​​responsibility, which includes Avdivka, at 337 men. He noted that Russian troops have reduced the number of frontal attacks against Ukrainian positions in favor of greater use of aviation.

British Military Intelligence warned this Sunday on its X account (formerly Twitter) that the cruise missile attack that Russia launched on the 7th against Kiev and the central Ukrainian regions may be the beginning of a "more concerted campaign" with the aim of "degrading Ukraine's energy structure".

British analysts, who highlighted that this attack was the most massive since last September 21, indicated that it is "almost certain" that Russia has been stockpiling this type of missile to use in the winter campaign. At the same time, they highlighted that the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense performed well and shot down most of the Russian cruise missiles.

This morning the Ukrainian authorities declared an air alert throughout the country, which was lifted an hour later when it was found that there was no threat of attack.

According to experts from the American think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the reactivation of Russian attacks may be linked to the campaign for the Russian presidential elections in March 2024, in which the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin will run for his fifth term.

"Russian forces are likely to have engaged in offensive operations in multiple sectors of the front during the most adverse weather period of the autumn-winter season in an effort to seize and retain the initiative ahead of the Russian presidential elections," he noted. the ISW in its latest report.

In the face of bad weather and Russian attacks, the document adds, Ukrainian troops have apparently chosen to reinforce their positions in sectors where they themselves do not carry out offensive actions and reserve forces for future operations. The rain and snow in the fighting areas, the ISW added, have slowed down the military actions of both sides, but have not stopped them.