Russian forces may double amid post-March mobilization, warns Ukrainian war veteran

Tankers of the 56th separate motorized infantry brigade of Mariupol work
Tankers of the 56th separate motorized infantry brigade of Mariupol work

Russian forces may double with additional mobilization after March elections, retired Major Oleksiy Hetman, a veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war, said in an interview with Radio NV on Jan. 20

Hetman discussed the potential for Russian forces to launch a summer offensive, according to the Financial Times, aiming to capture Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya oblasts and potentially make another attempt to advance on Kyiv or Kharkiv.

“There were discussions about initiating a powerful offensive in the winter of this year, with the specified date being Jan. 15,” Hetman said.

“However, the forces and resources currently available to them are considered a dead end, impeding significant progress.”

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Hetman suggested the potential for additional mobilization by Russia after the so-called presidential elections scheduled for March 15-17. This could double the size of their army to around one million military personnel, coupled with increasing equipment

“There is information from open sources in the Russian Federation that there will be additional mobilization,” Hetman said.

“They still plan to add 400,000, and then their army in our war will be equivalent to approximately one million military personnel, in addition to the equipment they are actively producing and accumulating. It is quite possible to assume that in the summer they will attempt more powerful offensive actions, leveraging the substantial manpower and equipment at their disposal.”

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Acknowledging the need to counter a potentially million-strong Russian army, Hetman stressed the significance of mobilization and sufficient weaponry.

“To resist, we need to reinforce not only with technology but also with people,” he said.

“Half a million people intended to be added to the Armed Forces of Ukraine is crucial. Otherwise, it is challenging to comprehend how we can withstand a million-strong Russian army without mobilization and weaponry.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said earlier that any pause or freezing of the war between Russia and Ukraine could only benefit the aggressor country.

Western partners did not push Ukraine to freeze the full-scale war unleashed by Russia and there is no pressure from them, he said in Vilnius on Jan. 10.

Bloomberg reported that Zelenskyy allegedly was expected to receive in Davos a message from U.S. President Joe Biden, urging a shift to a defensive stance in the war.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine