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Voices in the Russian information space are gearing up for an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest war update.
Widely read Russian military bloggers have warned of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in recent days, the ISW reported. One prominent military blogger claimed Ukraine may have plans for an attack on Russia's Belgorod Oblast, while another said that Ukraine will likely try to launch the counteroffensive before the Russian defense industrial base has the capacity to increase production.
The D.C.-based think tank also cited Russian Security Council Deputy Head Dmitry Medvedev as having said on March 24 that the Russian General Staff is aware Kyiv is preparing for offensive operations and is considering potential responses to the counteroffensive.
Kremlin-backed private mercenary Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin "also claimed on March 23 that he knows of plans for an extensive Ukrainian counteroffensive," the ISW wrote.
According to the ISW, "the Russian information space appears to be responding to the slow-down of Russian operations and potential for Ukraine to regain the initiative with substantial anxiety."
The ISW observed that Russia's spring offensive appears to be nearing its end and in order to launch any new offensive operations, Russia would need to commit a significant number of forces that do no appear to exist at the moment.