Saturday, February 4, 2023

Ukraine Braces for Major Russian Offensive; New US Aid Package to Include Long-Range Rockets for the First Time; What Does Ukraine Need to Win?; War’s Longest Battle Exacts High Price in ‘heart of Ukraine’, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images
WSJ: Ukraine Braces for Major Russian Offensive
Russia is preparing to launch a major new offensive against Ukraine in the coming weeks, a top Ukrainian security official said, adding to mounting concerns in Kyiv and the West that the Kremlin is preparing a renewed push to seize large areas of the country.
“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation,” said Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, in an interview with Sky News published online early Wednesday local time. “It is gathering everything possible, doing drills and training.”
The warning comes after weeks in which Ukrainian and Western officials have pointed to the risk of a possible new offensive by Russia in the months ahead. Within Russia, the military is under pressure to regain battlefield momentum after it lost swaths of territory to a Ukrainian offensive during the second half of last year. Ukraine’s forces recaptured large areas of the country seized by Russia earlier in the year, including Kherson, the only regional capital occupied by the Kremlin’s military.
Since the Ukrainian military’s offensive, the front lines of the conflict have become largely static, with Russia making incremental gains around the small city of Bakhmut. It has become a central battlefield in the war, with Russia sending wave upon wave of newly recruited soldiers to the front line.
Russia mobilized roughly 300,000 additional soldiers starting last September in what the Russian government termed a partial mobilization of reservists. Mr. Danilov said that he expected more than half of those newly mobilized soldiers would be used in any new offensive.
Mr. Danilov also said that a new Russian assault could coincide with the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country on Feb. 24, 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this week that he has been discussing with senior officials plans to thwart any new attempt by Russia to reverse its battlefield losses in Ukraine.
“There is a certain increase in the occupiers’ offensive actions at the front—in the east of our country. The situation is becoming even more severe,” he said in his nightly address Wednesday. “The enemy is trying to gain at least something now to show on the anniversary of the invasion that Russia allegedly has some chances.” --->READ MORE HERE
New US aid package to include long-range rockets for the first time:
The new U.S. military aid package for Ukraine will include long-range rockets for the first time, namely the GLSDB (Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb), which has a range of 150 kilometers, Reuters reported on Feb. 1.
"The longer range of the GLSDB glide bomb could allow Ukraine to hit targets that have been out of reach and help it continue pressing its counterattacks by disrupting Russia further behind its lines," the news agency writes.
Reuters pointed out that the proposal of Boeing, the manufacturer of these munitions, to transfer them to Kyiv was first reported in November, when it was expected that Ukraine would receive them by spring.
Here’s what you need to know about the GLSDB long-range rockets that will soon be in service in Ukraine.
Far-reaching effect
Back in December, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, told the UK news magazine the Economist that the Russians had adapted to the longest-range weapon of the Ukrainian military, the GMLRS rockets, which can hit targets at a distance of 70 kilometers.
According to Zaluzhnyi, the Russians are now placing most of their command posts, communication centers, and ammunition depots deep in the frontline, where they cannot be reached by GMLRS rockets.
GLSDB rockets could help solve this problem. They have a less powerful warhead than GMLRS and ATACMS, but their 150-kilometer range will allow the Ukrainian Armed Forces to keep all targets in their sights up to the Crimean peninsula and deep into Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++WSJ: What Does Ukraine Need to Win?+++++

+++++War’s longest battle exacts high price in ‘heart of Ukraine’+++++

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