Moscow has been said to have been preparing a new attack on northern Ukraine for at least two months. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is working on a peace plan. In Kyiv, the trams are at a standstill. What happened tonight in the war against Ukraine.
ISW: Russia is said to have been preparing a new offensive on northern Ukraine since October
Since at least October 2022, Moscow has been said to be preparing a renewed invasion of northern Ukraine, possibly targeting Kyiv. This was reported by analysts at the US think tank Institute for the Study of War. A public discussion about the “most dangerous course of action” (MDCOA) is currently spreading throughout the Russian-speaking world, including various scenarios for possible attacks.
Well-known Russian military bloggers, such as former commander Igor Girkin, presented two options for a new major offensive on Friday: Russia could invade from Belarus, or alternatively conduct a diversionary operation to divert Ukrainian forces from other parts of the area. However, the ISW emphasizes that there is still no clear evidence that Moscow is actively preparing attack troops in Belarus.
However, one indication could be that Russia is currently planning another field hospital in Belarus, according to the Ukrainian general staff on December 23. The emergence of field hospitals in Belarus in early 2022 was among the latest indicators observed before the start of the Russian invasion. In addition, more troops were transferred to Belarus for training. Only recently have Russian T-90 tanks been spotted with winter camouflage.
Prominent Russian Telegram channel Rybar, whose author currently belongs to the working group on mobilizing Putin, said on October 20 that there were rumors of an “imminent” Russian offensive operation on Lviv, Volhynia, Kyiv, Chernihiv or Kharkiv. The ISW suspects that Putin’s forthcoming meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on December 26 and 27 in St. Petersburg will advance Russia’s work on the MDCOA.
While some suspect an attack from Belarus, conditions are better in the north-west of the Luhanks region. The ISW had previously observed Russian forces moving elite airborne troops, previously operating towards Kherson and Kharkiv, to the Luhansk region. According to the Ukrainian general staff, more personnel, equipment and ammunition were transferred to Luhansk on December 23.
Selenskyj is said to be preparing a peace plan – and expecting the Russian offensive to fail
According to reports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is preparing to present a peace plan in February 2023 that could be timed to coincide with a failed Russian winter offensive. The Wall Street Journal, citing Ukrainian and European diplomats, reported Dec. 22 that Zelensky’s team plans to present an unspecified peace plan in February 2023.
Zelenskyy presented a ten-point peace plan at the G20 summit in November 2022, demanding concessions from Russia, including withdrawing all of its troops from Ukraine and respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity under international law.
Trams in Kyiv are at a standstill due to a lack of electricity
Due to the acute lack of electricity as a result of the Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy network, local public transport with trams and trolleybuses in the capital Kyiv has been suspended for the time being. In their place, 222 additional regular buses would be used, said Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Friday evening. The subway, Kiev’s main traffic artery, is not affected by these energy-saving measures.
That will be important on Saturday
The Ukrainian armed forces expect new Russian attacks against the frontline town of Bakhmut. The Russian-controlled cities of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbass are expecting new Ukrainian attacks from Ukrainian tube and rocket artillery.
Also Read: The December 23 Ukraine Update