Ukraine’s Defense Minister said that Russia mobilized nearly 500,000 troops under partial mobilization orders, nearly double the number announced by Moscow.
“We do not underestimate the enemy,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on February 1. “They announced the mobilization of 300,000 troops, but when we saw their forces at the border, we assessed the number to be much more than that, maybe closer to 500,000.”
Reznikov warned that Russia could launch a new offensive operation along two axes in the Donbas region and the south on February 24, the year marking the one year Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine.
“We cannot lose the initiative,” Reznikov said. “We have to tell our allies and partners that Ukraine needs to be ready as soon as possible. That’s why we need weapons to stop the enemy.”
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that Russian forces might find a way to win some kind of victory on the occasion of a year of military operations. Zelensky also acknowledged that Ukrainian forces faced a “grave situation” in the Donetsk region. Russia has not commented on the comments of the Ukrainian official.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in September 2022, issued a partial mobilization order. After more than a month, Russia announced that it had mobilized 318,000 troops, exceeding the target of 18,000 because many volunteers applied to enlist.
In addition to the main front in the city of Bakhmut, Russian forces have recently launched new attacks in the Donetsk region and control several areas. British intelligence believes Russia is attacking the area around Ugledar and Pavlovka to open a new axis of attack in the Donetsk region.