Aren’t 700000 Russian troops preparing for a full-scale offensive

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent declarations have posed significant questions for Ukrainian leadership and NATO. Experts suggest that the West might be underestimating Russia’s signals for a potential large-scale offensive. 

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Putin recently mentioned a ceasefire proposal that wasn’t accepted by the other side, followed by revealing troop numbers previously unknown to Ukrainian intelligence. According to some analysts, this might indicate a looming full-scale offensive that could overwhelm Ukrainian defenses. 

Putin disclosed that there are 700,000 Russian troops positioned on the Ukrainian front, which suggests that Ukrainian and Western intelligence may have underestimated Russian military presence by about 150,000 troops. “We have 700,000 soldiers in the special military operations zone,” Putin announced during a televised address with decorated soldiers.

Photo by Vladimir Tyukayev

10 new brigades

This statement follows a recent announcement from Ukraine’s Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, which claims there are 550,000 Russian soldiers along the front line. This number is uncertain and could potentially range up to 700,000 or even 1,000,000 troops. 

On the other hand, Ukraine is working to assemble 10 new brigades, totaling 50,000 soldiers, since the fall. Five of these brigades are nearly ready for deployment, while the remaining five face issues with equipment, armament, and personnel. Kyiv plans to deploy these 50,000 soldiers soon, as the number of casualties continues to rise. Moscow’s offer of a concrete plan for a short-term ceasefire might be seen as a “victory” for Kyiv. 

Photo credit: Wikipedia

During a speech at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Ukrainian forces must fully withdraw from Ukrainian-controlled territories in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions. Additionally, he insisted that Ukraine must formally abandon its goal of joining NATO before Russia agrees to a ceasefire and peace talks.

‘No’

This proposal was rejected by Ukraine and the West. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni asserted that if Russia doesn’t accept the terms of a peace settlement crafted during the “peace summit” in Switzerland, the collective West will compel it to surrender. 

Photo credit: Russian MoD

Western nations are expected to outline during the summit in Switzerland the conditions for reaching peace in Ukraine. These terms will later be presented to Russia, and if Russia refuses to comply, the West will enforce them. Naturally, Western support for Ukraine will continue until a complete victory over Russia is achieved. “Protecting Ukraine means safeguarding the global system of rules. We must unite all efforts to defend Ukraine. If Russia doesn’t agree to the terms, we will compel them to surrender,” Meloni stated.

All the demands were intended to be included in the final document of the meeting. However, since it ultimately failed, these demands now include returning control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to Ukraine, lifting the blockade on Ukrainian Black Sea ports, and halting the shelling of these areas. Additionally, the declaration calls for the respect of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Meanwhile, 11 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, South Africa, and India, refused to sign the outcome document of the meeting.

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