Moscow intensifies winter assault, Kyiv expects new offensive
Russian forces ramped up a winter assault in eastern Ukraine, bringing tens of thousands of freshly mobilised troops to the battlefield, while Kyiv expected Moscow to broaden its offensive as towns in the northeast and south came under fire.
Ukraine national security chief Oleksiy Danilov said in an interview on Tuesday that the Kremlin is expected to target the northeastern Kharkiv or southern Zaporizhzhia regions in a new thrust.
Top Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have said Moscow will attempt to mount another major offensive with freshly mobilised troops in the coming weeks as the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion nears on 24 February.
The last few weeks have seen Russia boast of its first gains for half a year. But the progress has been incremental, with Moscow yet to capture a single major population centre in its winter campaign despite thousands of dead.
“There would be no sense in losing more people. Bakhmut does not have great strategic value. For the moment, we can hold our positions.”
New weapons months away
So far this year, Western countries have pledged hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles to Ukraine to give it the firepower and mobility to push through Russian lines and recapture territory later in 2023.
Setting the record straight on appointments
Zelenskyy thanked parliament on Tuesday for approving his proposed candidates for Cabinet jobs and called for an end to “rumours or any other pseudo-information” that could undermine unity in the war against Russia.
In his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said parliament had endorsed the head of the SBU security service, Vasyl Malyuk, and the interior minister, Ihor Klymenko.
“We are taking personnel and institutional steps at various levels in the defence and security sector that can strengthen Ukraine’s position,” Zelenskyy said, citing his speech to parliament.