Ukraine's intelligence predicts Russian offensive timing in Kharkiv and Sumy


Russia is preparing for an offensive in the Kharkiv and Sumy oblasts in the northeast, Vadym Skibitskyi, deputy head of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, said in an interview with The Economist on May 2.

"The main offensive is expected to start in late May or early June," he stated, noting that the timing hinges on the robustness of Ukrainian defenses currently fortified in Donbas.

Read also: Top Ukrainian general exposes Russian objectives for Kharkiv and Sumy

According to recent assessments, Russia has mobilized 514,000 troops for its operations in Ukraine, surpassing the 470,000 troop estimate provided last month by NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Christopher Cavoli.

Skibitskyi outlined that Russia's northern forces, stationed across the border from Kharkiv, comprise about 35,000 troops, with plans to bolster that number to between 50,000 and 70,000. Additionally, Russia is assembling a reserve division of 15,000 to 20,000 personnel in central Russia, ready to be deployed as part of the main force.

However, Skibitskyi expressed skepticism about the adequacy of these forces for capturing major cities. "It’s not enough for an operation to capture a major city," he commented, which contrasts with some Western military assessments. He conceded that the current force might suffice for smaller operations. "A quick operation to come in and come out: maybe," he added.

Read also: Russia’s ongoing assaults on Kharkiv aim to drive residents out, Bloomberg reports

Skibitskyi concluded, “But an operation to take Kharkiv, or even Sumy city, is of a different order. The Russians know this. And we know this.”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine