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National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on Feb. 11 that Russia has already begun its major offensive in Ukraine's east, but it faces “big problems” with it.
“They have already started their offensive, they just don’t say it publicly. And our troops are repelling it,” Danilov said on national television.
“The offensive they planned is gradually proceeding. But it’s not the one they expected to have”, he added.
In early February, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov expressed concern that Russia may renew its offensive to mark the one-year anniversary of the all-out war.
He also noted that Russians have learned from their mistakes and won’t attempt to attack from all directions at once.
According to Reznikov, Russia has major forces in Ukraine’s east and south.
“Now they have a new tactic – concentrated, slow attempts, little by little, ten meters at a time, to capture, push, squeeze out (Ukrainian troops),” Reznikov said in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda news outlet.
President Volodymyr Zelensky also said in a video address on Feb. 5 that, based on several reports, Russia plans to do “something symbolic” in February to make up for its losses over the past year.
On Feb. 11, Ukraine’s General Staff reported that Moscow is strengthening its grouping of troops near Lyman and Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk Oblast. According to the General Staff, “despite significant losses,” Russia doesn’t give up its intention to occupy the entire Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.