Since we’re getting so close to approaching the nail-biting period of February 21 – 24 that so many are anticipating, I figured it’ll be good to compile all the recent, top developments regarding the potential for a new ‘major’ Russian offensive. Some of them have already been mentioned in a previous update, but we’ll cite them again to centralize all relevant materials.
…The only question remains what kind of ‘opening’ might we expect to the new phase. Would it be a massive ‘shock and awe’ following a doctrinal shift (as hinted in some of the posts above), where Russia would begin fighting the conflict more as a ‘war’ rather than a ‘special military operation’? Most of us are understandably skeptical of such a thing, despite our outlining in the last report how Russia has appeared to slowly be sliding in that direction, what with the attacks on Odessa bridge and the beginning of targeting actual turbines and engine rooms of the thermal plants, rather than substations/transformers.
For a long time there were rumors of Iranian shipments of medium range ballistic missiles. Many wondered why Russia hasn’t used them yet despite some western intel ‘confirmation’ that they did in fact receive them. My openly stated possibility from many months ago was that IF they really did receive such missiles, they would likely be saving them for a large ‘shock and awe’ opening campaign to the long anticipated next phase of operations.
So that remains one possibility. Russia could choose to open up the offensive with large disabling strikes on the Dnieper bridges, as we outlined in Part 2. However, I do still lean towards the more probable saving of the bridges until later, when enough UA reserves have poured into the Donbass region—it would make more sense to disable the bridges then, if you’re going to do it at all (also all outlined in Part 2). But the more likely method remains a slow-rolled and ‘staggered’ offensive, which we also talked about last time. This is where each new front/vector would be activated at a time, in order to let UA pour reserves there, and take them away from other key regions, then invade the remaining now-depleted region.
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