MainNews -

Russia preparing for new offensive against Ukraine, Shoigu trying to pretend to be effective military – ISW

Today, Putin is likely to discuss with Lukashenko the wider involvement of the Belarusian military in the war against Ukraine.

 Russia preparing for new offensive against Ukraine, Shoigu trying to pretend to be effective military – ISW
Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko
Photo: EPA/UPG

Russian military leadership is engaged in a campaign to present itself as part of an effective wartime apparatus in an effort to address the public perception of Russian failures in Ukraine, a report by analysts of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says on 18 December.

The report states that the Ministry of Defense posted footage on 18 December of Sergey Shoigu on a working trip to the Southern Military District, where he was inspecting the Russian force grouping in the combat zone.

The day before, on 17 December, the Russian ministry published footage of Shoigu attending a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chief of the General Staff Valeriy Gerasimov and Commander of the Joint Forces Group in Ukraine Sergey Surovikin.

According to ISW analysts, Shoigu is likely attempting to bolster his reputation as an effective military in the face of criticism by the pro-war community of the Russian Federation. The concerted efforts by Russian military officials to be actively engaged in planning and controlling the war may suggest that Russia is preparing for a renewed offensive against Ukraine.

Putin’s planned 19 December meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is likely part of the same effort to present proactivity as well as an effort to set information conditions for a new phase of the war.

In particular, the commander of the Joint Forces, Serhiy Nayev, said that Putin is likely to discuss the wider participation of Belarusian forces in further Russian aggression against Ukraine.

“Taken in tandem, Putin’s meeting with the Russian command, Shoigu’s purported frontline visit, and the Putin-Lukashenko meeting suggest a new phase in the presentation, planning, and conduct of the war and may presage renewed offensive operations against Ukraine in the coming months,” the report reads.

At the same time, the capacity of the Russian military to prepare and conduct effective large-scale mechanized offensive operations in the next few months remains questionable. Even if the Russians are reinforced by the Belarusian military.

Most likely, Russia will not be able to timely equip the new forces with tanks, artillery, long-range strike weapons and other necessary equipment for offensive operations this winter.

Earlier, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny also said that he had no doubts that the Russians would attack Kyiv again.

Read news on social networks Facebook, Twitter and Telegram