The primary anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine battle occurs in lower than three weeks, and Ukraine has introduced it anticipates potential Russian offensives to commemorate the date.
Ukraine Protection Minister Oleksiy Reznikov mentioned that Russia “likes symbolism” and that strikes on February 24, 2023, on the battle’s anniversary would not be far-fetched.
“We nonetheless, in fact, anticipate potential offensives from the Russians, as a result of it is February, they like symbolism – February 24 will likely be a 12 months since this invasion started, the open stage of the Ukrainian-Russian battle, which started in 2014,” Reznikov mentioned Sunday at a press convention. “That is why we anticipate this strain. We’re prepared, the Armed Forces are prepared, the Employees of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief is consistently monitoring, so there aren’t any surprising issues for you and me.”
Russia started positioning troops alongside the Ukrainian border in late January 2022, significantly alongside Ukraine’s japanese and northeastern boundaries. Russia this time final 12 months additionally held coaching workouts with the Belarusian navy on Ukraine’s northwest border, and a Russian invasion appeared evident.
This time final 12 months, although, the 2022 Winter Olympics had been being held in Beijing. It was suspected that Russian President Vladimir Putin would maintain off till the Winter Video games concluded earlier than any assault.
The Beijing Winter Olympics ended on February 20, 2022, and Russia invaded Ukraine 4 days later. Russia equally invaded and occupied Crimea throughout a month-long stretch in 2014, starting simply three days earlier than the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia wrapped up.
There aren’t any Winter Olympics this 12 months however there was intense preventing between Russia and Ukraine over the past 347 days. Reznikov mentioned that though there have been no elevated troop ranges by Russia in Belarus or occupied territories, it doesn’t suggest an offensive will not occur.
“As of right this moment, on the territory of Belarus, we don’t see fashioned strike teams able to going to Kyiv,” Reznikov mentioned. “As of right this moment, there isn’t any such focus of troops there. In accordance with our estimates, not more than 12,000 Russian troopers are on coaching grounds in Belarus.”
Reznikov added that the battle “may have been averted” if Russian ships had been banned from worldwide ports, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline been stopped and if worldwide funds with SWIFT had been lower off sooner.
“This battle may have been averted in precept if Nord Stream 2 had been stopped, if entry to the SWIFT system had been lower off, if Russian ships had been banned from getting into worldwide ports, if Europe had stopped shopping for their fuel, which they did in the long run anyway, in the event that they began block the property of Russian oligarchs – this battle may very well be averted,” Reznikov acknowledged.
Newsweek reached out to the Ukraine Protection Ministry.
Editor’s Be aware: Shortly after this was revealed, Newsweek realized of Reznikov’s potential switch from Protection Ministry to the Ministry of Technique and Trade, per the Kyiv Unbiased.