Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly planning a new offensive in Ukraine, despite suffering massive losses since the invasion began on Feb. 24, 2022.
Apart from planning renewed attempts to regain lost grounds in Ukraine, Russia also plans to enter into a conflict with the U.S. and its allies that could last for years, sources told Bloomberg.
People close to the Kremlin also said the new offensive could begin as soon as February or March, around the same time when the Ukraine war will complete its one-year anniversary.
With the latest offensive, Russia plans to put pressure on Ukraine and its other Western allies to reach some kind of truce that will bring Kyiv under the Kremlin’s control, officials, advisers and others familiar with the situation told Bloomberg.
According to the sources, Putin was confident his army’s willingness to accept casualties will help Russia win the war, despite other countries raising doubts over its current capabilities.
Last fall, Russia mobilized 300,000 additional troops to Ukraine. Now, the U.S. and European intelligence officials wonder if Russia has the resources for a major new offensive.
Meanwhile, tensions between Russia and Ukraine’s Western allies heated up after several countries committed to sending highly powerful tanks and other military equipment to Ukraine, in order to push back Moscow.
The U.S. has agreed to send dozens of M1 Abrams tanks to the Ukrainian military after months of arguments by Joe Biden‘s administration that the tanks were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate. The Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, called the move a “blatant provocation” against Moscow, and warned of devastation if the U.S. did send the Abrams.
Germany also agreed to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, following which Russia labeled the armored vehicles “dirty nuclear bombs,” and warned “the Western sponsors of the Kyiv military machine” against sending them.
Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, in an interview with the Canadian outlet CTV News also said his country was planning to send another 60 modernized Soviet-made tanks, including PT-91 Twardy, to Ukraine, apart from 14 Leopard 2 tanks.