On 17 January, Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate Deputy Chief Major General Vadym Skibitskyi said that Russia does not have enough reserves to conduct large-scale offensive operations in several directions at the same time, as per an update by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the Kremlin planned to achieve tactical victories in Ukraine before the elections in Russia to motivate the population to vote for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. “They will advance. It is approximately clear what they want – tactical victories before the elections and prepare for something global and massive after them,” noted Zelenskyy, according to ICTV.
The Ukrainian leader added that, for its purpose, Russia would continue building up its military forces and send convicts to the war against Ukraine.
In his turn, Skibitskyi stated that it is currently impossible for the Russian military to conduct strategically significant offensive operations without “powerful” reserves and implied that Russia does not have such reserves.
Despite active mobilization measures in Russia that rely heavily on volunteer recruitment and the coercive mobilization of convicts and migrants, it is unclear if the campaign has provided or would be able to provide the increased number of personnel that an intensified Russian offensive effort would require, said the ISW.
Skibitskyi’s statements suggested that although Russia is able to generate enough manpower to conduct routine operational-level rotations in Ukraine, it may not necessarily be able to enlist a number of personnel that would allow its forces to conduct simultaneous offensive efforts in several directions.