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Russia creating conditions for launching offensive in Luhansk region in coming months – ISW

KYIV. Jan 31 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Russian forces are creating conditions for the start of an offensive, probably in Luhansk region, in the coming months, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for January 30.

“Western, Ukrainian, and Russian sources continue to indicate that Russia is preparing for an imminent offensive, supporting ISW’s assessment that an offensive in the coming months is the most likely course of action. NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg stated on January 30 that there are no indications that Russia is preparing to negotiate for peace and that all indicators point to the opposite,” the report says.

Stoltenberg noted that Russia may mobilize upwards of 200,000 personnel and is continuing to acquire weapons and ammunition through increased domestic production and partnerships with authoritarian states such as Iran and North Korea, and President Vladimir Putin retains his maximalist goals in Ukraine.

In this regard, Head of the Council of Reservists of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Ivan Tymochko, relatedly stated that Russian forces are strengthening their grouping in Donbas as part of an anticipated offensive and noted that Russian forces will need to launch an offensive due to increasing domestic pressure for victory.