Putin Sets Aggressive Timeline for Military Action in Ukraine: Kyiv on Alert

KAZAN, REPUBLIC OF TATARSTAN, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the opening ceremony of the Phygital Centre as the international Games of the Future competition Kazan 2024 international competition kicks off in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia on February 21, 2024.

The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) announced on Wednesday that Russia’s armed forces have been given a deadline of just over three weeks to take full control of Ukraine’s Luhansk Oblast.

Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of GUR, mentioned in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that the Kremlin is seeking control of Luhansk before Russia’s upcoming presidential elections.

The upcoming presidential election in the country is set to take place from March 15-17. Vladimir Putin is widely expected to emerge victorious in an election that Western observers claim is not fair.

While surveys show that Putin remains popular with the Russian public, backing for his military actions in Ukraine is starting to decrease.

Therefore, achievements like the capture of Luhansk Oblast could provide Putin with a tangible result to demonstrate to his people the outcomes of the war.

“Before the elections, their goal is to reach at least the administrative borders of Luhansk Oblast,” Skibitsky mentioned to Interfax-Ukraine. “For a chance at success, a situation similar to Avdiivka could potentially occur on a different front.”

He added, “There are important locations: Kupyansk, Lyman, and Avdiivka.” What makes Kupyansk and Lyman stand out? They claim to have successfully returned the territories that Ukraine liberated after the onset of full-scale aggression.


Putin’s Vision: Symbolic Significance and Russian Goals in Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia

DONETSK OBLAST, UKRAINE – FEBRUARY 21: A view of the damaged building following a Russian attack, on February 21, 2024 in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. During the night, the Russian army attacked Donetsk Oblast with Shahed drones, missiles and artillery. As a result, residential houses, gas station and critical structure objects were damaged. There are wounded.


It would carry great symbolism. This element is crucial for use in various operations and the information space. Newsweek contacted the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via email on Wednesday to request a comment.

Skibitsky mentioned that Russia’s objectives for the upcoming six months involve extending its control to Donetsk Oblast, while maintaining its hold on territories in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

“Holding means active defense or pushing us back to the positions from which we started our offensive,” Skibitsky explained.

The territories in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts are strategically important as they provide Russia with land access to Crimea.

“A logistics system that passes through Crimea is necessary to transport ammunition, equipment, and personnel to the southern region,” stated the GUR representative.

Skibitsky reports that the Russian presidential election has led to Putin’s forces changing their focus in a specific area of Ukraine.

According to him, three battalions of Russian soldiers were recently moved from occupied Mariupol to Russia’s border region of Belgorod “to ensure the safety and conduct of the elections” after several Ukrainian strikes in the area.

Anticipating a potential Russian offensive in Luhansk and other regions, along with the ongoing war, Skibitsky stressed the significance of Ukraine strengthening its defenses.

“We recognize the significance of maintaining reserves, securing the support of our partners, and advancing our production,” he stated. This type of action by the Russian Federation, labeled as ‘offensive,’ suggests a prolonged conflict. A battle of endurance.

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