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UK Defense Ministry: Russia unlikely to build up forces needed to affect war outcome in coming weeks
Russia has “highly likely” attempted to restart major offensive operations in Ukraine since early January, aiming to capture the remaining Ukrainian-controlled parts of Donetsk Oblast, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported in its latest update on Feb. 7.
According to the update, Russian troops have only managed to gain “several hundred meters of territory per week.”
“This is almost certainly because Russia now lacks the munitions and maneuver units required for successful offensives,” the ministry said.
The ministry also said that Russian leaders will likely continue to demand sweeping advances, while the senior Russian commanders likely make plans “requiring undermanned, inexperienced units to achieve unrealistic objectives due to political and professional pressure.”
“It remains unlikely that Russia can build up the forces needed to substantially affect the outcome of the war within the coming weeks,” the ministry said.
The update comes as top Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, have voiced warnings of an imminent Russian offensive in the Donbas, an industrial heartland in the east of Ukraine comprising Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
Zelensky earlier said that Russia was building up troops to seek "revenge," and Ukraine's task is to do its best to "not give them (Russian troops) this opportunity until our army is strengthened with appropriate weapons."
On Feb. 6, Ukraine's intelligence also claimed that Russia was prepared to mobilize 300,000 to 500,000 troops to sustain a major offensive in the Donbas and "possibly" in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia Oblast in spring and summer.