Suspilne reports that Ukraine, with the help of allies, has increased the effectiveness of its air defenses by up to 80% as of December against Russian missile attacks on critical infrastructure, including the energy grid. However, Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, told the Guardian that evidence was emerging that the Kremlin was planning a new large-scale offensive in February 2023.
These remarks echoed those made to the Economist by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, and the commander of the Ground Forces, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi.
Oleksiy Reznikov suggested that half of the 300,000 people drafted in Russia’s partial mobilization have already reinforced Russian units.
“The second part of the mobilization, approximately 150,000 people, has already started their training in different camps,” Reznikov said of Russia’s mobilization drive, which began in October. “The draftees prepare for at least three months. It indicates that they are attempting to launch the next wave of the offensive, most likely in February, as they did last year. That’s their strategy. The Kremlin is looking for new ways to win,” Reznikov explained.
Ukraine is pleading with allies to provide more weapons to protect its skies, including better air defense. It is crucial even if it can continue to strike deep into Russia.
Ukraine has had to constantly demonstrate to its partners that investing in its military is worthwhile through its battlefield victories. The series of wins had created something that transcended diplomatic trust between Ukraine and its partners.
“It’s about more: you became a believer in us, and you began to invest not only in weapons in Ukraine. It is also because you want to see the new Ukraine after this victory, not the old Soviet Ukraine,” said Reznikov.