Hundreds die every day in Ukraine, but things could get much worse. Ukraine expects a new Russian offensive in the next two to three months. The most important battles are yet to come, says National Security Council Secretary Danilov.
The Ukrainian leadership expects a new Russian offensive and, as a result, the heaviest fighting since the beginning of the war by the spring. "We have come a long, hard road, but I understand that the most important battles are still ahead and will take place this year, in the next two to three months," said Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov an interview broadcast on UK television channel Sky News.
These are the decisive months of the war, he predicted. Danilov did not rule out the start of a Russian offensive in the next two to three weeks. "Russia is preparing for the maximum escalation," said the 60-year-old. New units would be focused and trained.
Danilov estimates the number of soldiers fighting in Ukraine at around 320,000. About half of those could take part in the new offensive, he warned. For weeks, Ukrainian officials have been warning of an impending offensive by the Russian military.
The Institute for the Studies of War (ISW) also assumes that Russia is preparing for an offensive in the coming months. This is the “most likely course of action,” it said at the beginning of the week. The think tank referred to Western, Ukrainian and Russian sources.
According to the head of the Council of Reserves of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Ivan Tymochko, Russia is therefore strengthening its armed forces in the Donbass region. With an offensive, Russia wants to score points with a victory in Ukraine after serious failures on the battlefield in their own country. NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg also said on Monday that there were no signs that Russia was preparing for peace talks. In fact, all indicators pointed to the contrary.
Kyiv has been demanding increased arms aid from the West for months. Most recently, the United States, Germany and other NATO countries have promised to supply battle tanks that Kyiv has been longing for. However, the Leopard tanks will not arrive in Ukraine until the end of March at the earliest. The US tanks Abrams could not arrive there until the end of the year.