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War in Ukraine. Expert Maksymilian Dura on the Russian offensive, the situation on the front and a possible attack from Belarus

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The Russians may have some gains in the field, but with the amount of resources involved and the losses they have suffered, it is not a success – assessed Lieutenant Commander Maksymilian Dura, an expert of the Defence24 portal, referring to the activities of the occupiers in Ukraine. The TVN24 guest also referred to a possible attack by Belarus.

On Friday Russia launched another massive missile attack on Ukraine. The sounds of explosions could be heard in Kiev in the morning, the Ukrainian authorities informed about the operation of the anti-missile defense system. The sounds of explosions were also heard in other cities, including in Lvivin Kharkov, Vinnitsa, Zaporozhye and Khmelnitsky.

See also: War in Ukraine – live coverage

The situation at the front was commented on TVN24 by reserve lieutenant commander Maksymilian Dura, an expert of the Defence24 portal.

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He was asked if the Kremlin, two weeks before the anniversary of the start of the war, is trying to make some special move to be able to announce something in propaganda.

Conversation with reserve lieutenant commander Maksymilian Dura about the situation at the front in UkraineTVN24, Reuters

Dura recalled that there was a message from the command of the Ukrainian army that a partial offensive by the Russian Federation had begun, because “Russian strikes went in five directions.” He added that the Russian Defense Ministry “also boasted that it had achieved some successes in Wuhledar, a town in the Donetsk region.”

– All this together is interpreted by many specialists as the beginning of the offensive – he said.

I would approach this information with a bit of caution. This operation went in five directions, including around Bakhmut, and remember that these attacks have been made before, of course on a smaller scale, and these attacks have failed. Perhaps this is the great Russian offensive. It would mean that this offensive simply soured – he assessed.

– However, let’s be afraid of one thing (…) There is still a huge group in the area Belarus. That’s probably where the strike could come from, too, said the lieutenant commander of the reserve.

Soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in positions near the northern border of the country [7.02.2023]PAP/Vladyslav Musienko

“The offensive does not seem to be going as well as the Russians would like”

Dura also referred to the issue of the shelling of Bakhmut. On Thursday, the spokesman for the Eastern Group of Forces of the Ukrainian army, Serhiy Cherevaty, reported that the city had been shelled more than a hundred times in 24 hours.

The TVN24 guest, when asked what this intensity was talking about, replied that the intensity was “always high” there. “What is more concerning is that this shelling has spread to a fairly large front line,” he said. He added that kamikaze drones were used for this purpose.

– Not only civilian towns and critical infrastructure were attacked, but also the army began to be attacked, which was supposed to signal that there was indeed an offensive. Except that this offensive doesn’t seem to be going as well as the Russians would like,’ Dura said.

Photo from February 9, 2023.

Ukrainian army in Bakhmut Photo from February 9, 2023.PAP/Eugene Titov

– The Russians may have some field gains, but it should be remembered that these field gains, given the amount of resources involved and the losses suffered by the Russians, are not a success – he assessed. He noted that “Ukrainians are still defending themselves, the front line has not been broken, therefore the Russians cannot talk about their success for the time being.”

– The army that is attacking at the moment Ukraineis an inferior army. It is worse equipped, has worse soldiers, because there are already a lot of these soldiers called up for service, it is not motivated at all – the expert pointed out.

However, as he said, “the army that takes the attack is better” than the one that has been since February 24 last year.

– The Russians have a very difficult situation, the more so that the Ukrainians have already received weapons that they did not have before. On February 24 last year, they could not have even dreamed of having such anti-tank weapons and artillery systems that they have now. Based on the foregoing, they can say: welcome to our territory, Russians. It probably will be, Dura judged.


“From a military point of view it is unrealistic, but from a Russian point of view it might be”

The Defence24 expert was also asked about the potential of the scenario of carrying out an offensive from the side of Belarus.

– From a military point of view it is unrealistic, but from a Russian point of view it may be real. They grouped quite a large number of troops there. That’s probably around 200,000 people,” Dura said.

He added that “these 200,000 people have to be managed somehow.” – It is winter, they are waiting, because these are people who are often called and dragged out of their homes by force – he noted.

Dura: from a military point of view, it is unrealistic, but from a Russian point of view it may be

Dura: from a military point of view, it is unrealistic, but from a Russian point of view it may beTVN24

– You can send them home, but you can also let them go, and probably the Russians will let them go to the north of Ukraine. Maybe not to conquer those areas, because it will be very difficult, a well-prepared Ukrainian army is waiting for them there, but to do something with them, assessed Dura. He said that “it is very difficult to move these 200,000 soldiers to another place” because Russia “has a huge problem with means of transport.”

– This is the biggest question: whether, despite the lack of a logical explanation, they will strike from the north or not. In my opinion, they will strike because something really needs to be done with these soldiers. There are quite a lot of them and they really are not such hard supporters of Putin. They are rather opposed to this war, therefore they will have deteriorating morale there and perhaps there will also be riots, which has already been heard – he said.


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