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Russian forces are “actively” conducting reconnaissance operations on the battlefield to prepare new offensives in several areas, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on Feb. 1. The military didn't specify the areas.
Despite heavy losses, Russians continue their attacks near Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Novopavlivka in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk Oblast, according to the report.
Head of the Council of Reservists of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Ivan Tymochko, earlier said that Russia was strengthening its forces in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region as part of an anticipated offensive meant to score points amid domestic pressure in Russia for a victory in Ukraine after a serious of failures on the battlefield.
The Institute for the Study of War said on Jan. 30 that Russian military bloggers shared a statement on a Russian Telegram channel that “the current pace and nature of Russian operations indicate that the main forces of the anticipated offensive and promised breakthrough have not yet entered the battle.”
Russia is concentrating its “main efforts” in the eastern Donbas, where it is still waging the “fiercest battles,” Yevhen Yerin, a spokesman of the Southern Operational Command of Ukrainian forces, said on Jan. 30.
Western, Ukrainian, and Russian sources continue to indicate that Russia is preparing for an imminent offensive, the ISW said in its latest update on Jan. 31.
The update cited NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who stated on Jan. 30 that there were no indications that Russia was preparing to negotiate for peace and that all indicators pointed to the opposite.
Stoltenberg also said that Russia “may mobilize upwards of 200,000 personnel and is continuing to acquire weapons and ammunition through increased domestic production and partnerships with authoritarian states such as Iran and North Korea.”
Meanwhile, Russia deployed more troops and military equipment to its Kursk Oblast, which borders Ukraine, Kursk Oblast Governor Roman Starovoit said on Jan. 30.