Russia Gearing Up for ‘Big New Push’

Russia is preparing for a huge new push along a lengthy front line in Ukraine. That’s the assessment of a new analysis by the Economist.

This new push is unlikely to happen for the next month or so, since the arrival of spring means the mud season will set in and hinder all kinds of military movement. But the mud season won’t last long, and when it’s over, Russia will likely mount a large new offensive, just as it did around the same time last year. And this time around, Ukraine’s ability to withstand it is considerably diminished as compared to last year.

The United States has stopped sending aid to Ukraine, and some European nations are failing to meet their contribution targets. So Ukrainian forces have had to begin rationing their shells and some other weaponry. Meanwhile, Russia’s economy is going all in on war. So Russian soldiers in some hot spots are firing as many as five shells for everyone on the Ukrainian side.

At the same time, Vladimir Putin may be planning to mobilize hundreds of thousands of new troops for the war. This plan may be easier in light of an Islamic State terrorist attack in Moscow last week. Putin is using tortured logic to blame Ukraine for the attack, saying that it shows, in general, that Russia needs to be more forceful against its enemies.

So mud season will arrive, but it won’t last. And if current circumstances persist, what comes next could be some of Ukraine’s darkest days.