Day 347: Ukraine Concerned About Renewed Russian Offensive in East

    Day 347: Ukraine Concerned About Renewed Russian Offensive in East
    Last updated Feb 05, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via BBC]


    • On Sunday, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy characterized the situation in east Ukraine as getting tougher, with Ukrainian troops pressured by Russian forces Bakhmut, Vuhledar, and Lyman in the Donetsk region. This comes amid speculation of a renewed Russian offensive and Ukraine's forthcoming training on German-made Leopard tanks.[1]
    • Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov characterized that the Russian offensive could occur this month and that there would be ample forces in place to resist despite western military supplies still en route. Reznikov stated that longer-range weapons from the US would only be used in Ukraine and not be fired into Russian territory.[2]
    • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also affirmed that there is "consensus" that Western military equipment not be used to attack Russian territory. Scholz said, "We have carefully weighed each delivery of weapons, in close coordination with our allies, starting with America...This joint approach prevents an escalation of the war."[3]
    • Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Defense suggested that Ukraine is plotting a large-scale incident in Donetsk with the intent to use it as a pretext for accusing Russia of war crimes and requesting additional US military aid. The accusations allegedly involve intelligence about Ukraine planning a controlled explosion at medical facilities and characterizing the incident as a Russian attack on civilian infrastructure.[4]
    • On the ground, four people were reportedly been killed Sunday and 11 injured in Russian attacks in Donetsk. Missile attacks in Kharkiv also reportedly injured four while Chornobaivka village in Kherson came under shelling that caused one injury and damaged six residential buildings.[5]
    • In addition, Russian military officials claimed that Russian forces inflicted significant recent losses, including 130 Ukrainian military fatalities in areas near Yuzhno-Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia, 120 Ukrainian military fatalities in Krasny Liman, and attacks on 111 artillery units across 142 districts.[6]


    Anti-Russia narrative

    In attempting to take Bakhmut, Russian forces have used scorched earth tactics and turned the once-popular tourist destination into a hell-on-earth. The Kremlin is so hungry for any success that it's willing to go to any length to take the city — even if it's been turned to rubble.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    If Russian forces take control of Bakhmut, it would be a devastating loss for Ukraine. Not only has Ukraine lost hundreds of troops in trying to retain the city, but this operation would also enable Russia to continue its advance into key areas of Donetsk including Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 3% chance that the regions surrounding the Dnipro River (Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kherson) will be under Russian control by June 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split