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Ukrainian intelligence warns of huge Russian offensive from the east

A Ukrainian serviceman rides atop an armoured fighting vehicle, as Russia?s attack on Ukraine continues, at an unknown location in Eastern Ukraine, in this handout picture released April 19, 2022. Press service of the Ukrainian Ground Forces/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Ukrainian intelligence officials are bracing for what they are calling a “big Russian offensive” in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. According to its experts, the next few months will be a decisive period in Russia’s war effort. 

Ukraine’s main intelligence directorate said Russian troops were regrouping in preparation for a renewed attack but it was unlikely to come from Belarus or southern Ukraine.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had previously reported that Russian forces may be launching a new offensive or defensive attack in the Luhansk region. It had also observed the redeployment of its air forces to the Svatove-Kreminna axis in eastern Ukraine after Russia’s withdrawal from the Kherson region.

Russian forces have continued limited ground attacks in a bid to regain lost positions northwest of Svatove and around Kreminna.

They have also continued ground attacks around Bakhmut but the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks on Bakhmut itself.

ISW said Russian forces had likely conducted a failed offensive operation in the Zaporizhzhia region in the past 72 hours. Adding, Moscow had not made any confirmed territorial gains despite some unverified claims made by Russian-appointed officials.