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Ukraine, Ivan Yakovyna: Vladimir Putin intends to repeat last year’s attack on Kyiv

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I am convinced that Vladimir Putin intends to repeat last year’s attack on Kyiv. But this time, taking into account all logistical errors and a much larger (up to ten times) army – writes journalist Ivan Yakovyna in the Ukrainian weekly “Novoye Vriemia”. In his opinion, the Russian leader “has no other choice” and his regime can only be saved by “a quick and unequivocal victory.”

Ivan Yakovyna, journalist and publicist of the Ukrainian weekly “Novoye Vremya” (Nowy Czas), refers in his Sunday opinion to the latest events in the neighboring Belaruswhere Russian soldiers still come. According to the estimates of the Ukrainian border services, more than 10,000 Russian military personnel have gathered on the territory of the country. This number – as they claim – is still not enough to carry out an effective attack on Ukraine from this direction.


“Echelons with Russian equipment are going to Belarus, military planes are flying there, officers are going. Mobilized ones, of course, will also go there soon. According to Ukrainian sources, about half a million Russians are to be recruited in January-February. I am convinced that Putin intends to repeat last year’s attack on Kyiv, but this time – taking into account all logistical errors and a much larger (up to ten times) army” – writes Ivan Yakovyna in the weekly “Novoye Vremya”.

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Russian soldiers on exercises in BelarusReuters

What advantages “sees” the Kremlin

In his opinion, considering the possibility of an offensive in the northern direction, the authorities in the Kremlin see several advantages. Kyiv is relatively close to the border, and the Russian military would not have to travel hundreds of kilometers. The supply bases of the Russian army could be located right on the border (Ukraine will most likely not bomb them on the territory of Belarus, which would greatly simplify the logistics). In addition, the encirclement or capture of Kiev would allow Putin to immediately declare himself victor and dictate the terms of peace. “I emphasize: this is how he sees the world, this is his logic,” wrote the commentator.

“In my (and not only my) opinion, such a move will be suicidal for the Russian army, because on the Ukrainian side everything is already prepared to repel it,” Yakovyna assesses. However, he expresses the opinion that “Putin has no other choice.” “Hypothetical seizure of the cities of Soledar or Bakhmut (in the Donetsk region) will give him nothing, will not solve any problems. Only a quick and unequivocal victory can save his regime. And if several hundred thousand people are to die for this purpose, so be it,” describes the Ukrainian columnist presumed train of thought of the president Russia.

According to Yakovyna, Western countries are aware of this situation, which is why more deliveries of arms to Ukraine have been announced in recent days. “Seeing the large-scale Russian preparations in Belarus, the West is throwing off the self-restraints introduced at the beginning of the war. United States and Europe realize that this may be the most important battle of this war and that they are obliged to do everything to ensure that Ukraine is properly prepared for it.

Lukashenko visited Russian soldiers staying in Belarus

Lukashenko visited Russian soldiers staying in Belarus Reuters

More Russian soldiers in Vitebsk

On Sunday, Belarusian activists reported that another echelon with Russian soldiers, numbering about 700-800 people, had been transferred to Belarus at night. “A special train with 15 passenger cars passed through the Smolensk station in the direction of Belarus,” reported the independent Belarusian Hajun channel, adding that the train arrived at the station in Vitebsk.

The previous such transport, carrying about 800 people, took place on the night from Thursday to Friday, which means that at least 1,400-1,600 Russian soldiers could have been sent to Vitebsk in the last few days.

“An additional confirmation is that on the evening of January 6, soldiers of the Russian armed forces were seen in various places in the city, walking in groups of several people and visiting shops,” explained Belaruski Hajun.


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