Russia is preparing to launch new offensives across Ukraine, per Russian and Ukrainian sources.
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu reportedly visited Ukraine and asked Russian commanders to escalate operations in all directions. As Russia was previously assessed to have temporarily halted its offensives, this order is a likely sign that Russia’s operational pause will come to an end soon.
Ukrainian intelligence has corroborated Shoigu’s claims, citing an increase in Russian military activity in preparation for renewed offensive actions. However, the nascent Russian resumption of activities is likely to coincide with the delivery of U.S. HIMARS, which has had serious effects on Russian logistics, command, and morale.
Russia has been escalating attacks on civilians, with several missile strikes on civilian areas being reported in the past week. It is likely that these missile strikes are an attempt to sow fear in Ukraine’s population, likely as a response to the use of HIMARS. Many of these strikes have hit civilian areas, with widespread coverage and evidence refuting Russia’s claims that it was hitting military targets exclusively. Russia’s recent strike in Vinnytsia killed 24 people and injured 197, per Ukraine’s State Emergency Service. As precise ‘Kalibr’ missiles were used, the civilian areas struck were likely deliberate.
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