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Moscow and Minsk are conducting joint military exercises in Belarus. Observers fear a possible repeated Russian attack on the north of Ukraine.

“The internal document shows that Berlin has a clear idea of how Russia will act in Ukraine in the New Year.” 2 scenarios are possible:
▪️Russian invasion of the part of Donbas controlled by Ukraine. With this option, Putin is counting on Lukashenka’s help. Belarusian troops will be used as a threat and distraction during a real Russian offensive;
▪️the Belarusian army will take part in the war (unlikely scenario). Then Putin would like to conquer all of Ukraine. Belarusian troops would go on the offensive against Kyiv and the Russians – against the Donbass. Also, the invaders could strike at the west of Ukraine. This scenario requires Russian general mobilization.

How did the war in Ukraine end? So far, the result is completely unpredictable. However, the German government expects a counteroffensive from Russia.

Berlin/Moscow. Winter in Ukraine slowed down the war. Recently, the troops of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi have been confidently repulsing the Russian aggressors – with the support of Western technological weapons, which were provided to the defenders by, among others, Germany and the USA. It is still impossible to say when the war in Ukraine will end. A new German government letter published by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung now suggests that a major Russian offensive could be imminent next year. According to this, the Ministry of Defense in its analysis expects an offensive in April 2023.

War in Ukraine: Germany expects Russian offensive in April 2023

Since February 2022, Ukraine has been at war. Since then there have been many deaths and injuries on both sides. Already in the first months of the war, a large movement of refugees began: people left their destroyed homes and sought protection from the conflict in neighboring countries. Some experts have recently suggested that although Ukraine’s progress in the war may slow down by winter, the situation will generally ease in the medium term. Most recently, Zelensky also warned about Russian attacks on holidays.

It is not yet clear whether the winter will ultimately lead to an easing of the war in Ukraine. However, citing a German government strategic document, NZZ now indicates that a tough counterattack by Russian forces can be expected next year. This theoretical scenario is not new: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba recently spoke about such a possibility and planned a possible offensive by Vladimir Putin’s troops for the first few months of 2023. Other sources have also repeatedly talked about such a scenario, so the possibility of a long war in Ukraine still exists.
Different options for Russia’s offensive: Putin could cooperate with Lukashenka

According to NZZ, the analysis of the German Ministry of Defense sees the possibility of a Russian counteroffensive in April 2023. Two scenarios are possible. This is also reported by Focus. Accordingly, part of the military strategy can be targeted missile attacks on critical infrastructure, including using drones.
Russian offensive in April 2023: the first scenario

While according to the report, the British special services do not consider it possible that Russia can launch a major offensive in the war in Ukraine in the near future, according to Focus, the scenario of the German Ministry of Defense foresees Putin’s offensive in Donbas. In addition, Belarus, led by Oleksandr Lukashenko, will deploy several thousand troops on the border with Ukraine. Experts have long feared that Putin’s ally could intervene in the war. However, so far Lukashenko is holding back.
Indeed, if Belarusian troops stood on the border with Ukraine, the defenders would have to split up to repel a possible invasion from the north. However, Lukashenko, most likely, will not directly intervene in the war, but will at most deploy threatening gestures of his army, because the domestic political pressure on the ruler seems too great. However, the goal of the first scenario of the Russian offensive is to take Donbas under complete control.
Is Russia planning an offensive for war in Ukraine? The second scenario

If, according to the first scenario, Belarusian soldiers are considered a threat to Ukrainians in the event of a Russian offensive, then according to the second scenario, Lukashenka’s soldiers can become decisive in the war. However, this possibility is considered quite unlikely. Accordingly, Putin would like to conquer all of Ukraine in a war on two fronts. However, recently the FDP in Germany clearly stated that Ukraine should be supported in the future. In addition to providing the Patriot system, it was planned to supply even more tanks than Germany had already transferred to Ukraine.

According to this scenario, Belarus would go to Kyiv, and Russian troops would advance in Donbas. If Putin’s army succeeds in advancing into western Ukraine, the troops could cut off supplies from the West and force the Ukrainian government to capitulate. The strategy would require a general mobilization in Russia since the Russian army was already significantly weakened by the war in Ukraine and would need more soldiers.

What does it say about Russia’s offensive? Putin is strengthening the troops in Belarus

According to the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Belarus is likely to play a decisive role in a possible Russian offensive. For a long time, Russia has been creating conditions in the north of Ukraine for the strengthening of a possible offensive. Belarus and Russia already conducted joint military exercises on the eve of the war in Ukraine. Soon after that, the Russian invasion of Ukraine took place.

A picture comparable to that time is now being repeated. Before the attack on Ukraine, Russia had field hospitals in Belarus. They say that there are already signs that Putin’s army is once again setting up camp in Belarus. Although an invasion is considered unlikely, the developments can at least be seen as signs of a change in the war in Ukraine.

News of Ukraine: Will the war end in the spring of 2023?

It does not matter whether the scenarios of the German Defense Ministry will come true: after almost ten months, it is clear that the war in Ukraine is approaching a turning point. How the West and Ukraine will position themselves in the coming weeks will be decisive. As the paper notes, it also suggests that Putin or Russia’s influence may no longer pose such a big threat to NATO.

Meanwhile, Russia’s losses in the war in Ukraine are so huge that the country is significantly weakened, not least because of Western sanctions. However: At the same time, it could be an incentive for Putin to place more nuclear weapons on the border with the West, which could act as a deterrent.

The end of the war in the spring of 2023: is it likely?

Will the war with Ukraine end with a military victory for Russia in the end, or will the conflict drag on for many years? If the problems with the supply of Puma tanks are still a matter of public debate in Germany, then the war in Ukraine may end in the spring of 2023. Unlike the Russian army, Ukrainians are better protected from the cold. They can take advantage of this before Russia launches a major counteroffensive.

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Treadstone 71

@Treadstone71LLC Cyber intelligence, counterintelligence, Influence Operations, Cyber Operations, OSINT, Clandestine Cyber HUMINT, cyber intel and OSINT training and analysis, cyber psyops, strategic intelligence, Open-Source Intelligence collection, analytic writing, structured analytic techniques, Target Adversary Research, cyber counterintelligence, strategic intelligence analysis, estimative intelligence, forecasting intelligence, warning intelligence, threat intelligence
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By Treadstone 71

@Treadstone71LLC Cyber intelligence, counterintelligence, Influence Operations, Cyber Operations, OSINT, Clandestine Cyber HUMINT, cyber intel and OSINT training and analysis, cyber psyops, strategic intelligence, Open-Source Intelligence collection, analytic writing, structured analytic techniques, Target Adversary Research, cyber counterintelligence, strategic intelligence analysis, estimative intelligence, forecasting intelligence, warning intelligence, threat intelligence