The head of military intelligence Ukrainethe major general Kyrylo Budanovstated that by the end of the boreal spring, Russia will run out of “military tools” to achieve its goals of the invasion in the Ukraine, so a key battle which may mark the end of the war.
Budanov’s prediction comes amid considerable uncertainty about what the next phase of the war, now in its second year, will look like. For weeks, Ukrainian officials had indicated that Russia was planning a major new offensive to coincide with the first anniversary of its February 24 invasion of Ukraine. However, a major new offensive has yet to materialize.
According to Budanov, “Russia has wasted enormous amounts of human resources, weapons and materials. Its economy and production cannot cover these losses, it has changed its military chain of command”.
“If the Russian army does not achieve its goals this spring, it will run out of military tools”, he stated in an interview with usa today.
In this context, he considered that Ukraine and Russia will fight “a decisive battle this spring, and this battle will be the final one before this war ends.”
This contradicts the opinion of military experts on both sides, who have warned that they must be prepared for a long fight.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has belied many expectations, not to mention predictions. Still, this is what can be said for sure: We are nowhere near the end of this war,” said Rajan Menon and Benjamin H. Friedman of the Washington-based defense think tank Defense Priorities.
But Budanov seems to concur with the widely held view among independent military analysts that Russia currently lacks ammunition, military supplies, and sufficient numbers of trained, organized, and motivated soldiers to make significant gains against the Ukrainian defensive lines in eastern Ukraine, where the fight is more intense.
“They are demonstrating by all means that they are prepared there, ‘a war for decades’, but in reality their resources are quite limited. Both in time and in volumes. And they know it very well,” Budanov said in another interview with Voice of America.
He warned that in the coming months the offensive will intensify. “They will be quite active. They will decide the further course of events, ”he reiterated. But he pointed out that Russia is not currently prepared for a long-term war due to its limited resources.
In late December, the Pentagon estimated that the Russian military would likely run out of its most recent ammunition stocks by early 2023, forcing it to draw on Cold War-produced stocks. These reserves are less reliable and potentially degraded.
That is why the United States has warned that China would be considering supplying weapons to Vladimir Putin, which would change the game board of the war.
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