Since the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has had difficulty maintaining an effective offensive fighting power, and the issue is expected to get worse, according to British military intelligence on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Defense reported in an intelligence update that “Russian planners confront a dilemma between deploying reserves to the Donbass or defending against Ukrainian counterattacks in the southern Kherson area.”
Russia may yet gain more territory, the ministry continued, but its operational pace and rate of advancement are probably going to be very sluggish.
Russian soldiers employed a campaign of deadly bombing to take control of huge swathes of Ukraine’s south and east, where pro-Russian rebels already hold territory, after failing to conquer the country’s capital Kyiv early in the invasion.
According to Ukraine, which on the weekend reported firing along the lines in what it said was preparation for a new attack, Russia instructed military troops to step up operations to prevent Ukrainian strikes on territories held by Russia.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the invasion to be a “special military operation” with the goal of demilitarising its neighbour and purging it of potentially dangerous nationalists.
Kiev and the West claim it was an imperialist land grab and effort to retake a nation that had rebelled against Moscow’s leadership when the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991.