Putin Under Pressure: Is a Major Offensive in the Works?

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.28 - 2024 7:04 PM CET

Photo: Screenshot
Photo: Screenshot
As Russia prepares for significant May celebrations, speculation rises over a potential large-scale military move in Ukraine. What’s behind the Kremlin’s urgent strategies?

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Putin Faces a Ticking Clock With Crucial Dates Looming

The next two weeks could be pivotal for the ongoing war in Ukraine, as Russia approaches two significant national celebrations.

Observers and military experts are closely watching the Kremlin, anticipating possible moves by Vladimir Putin to intensify military efforts in the region.

Strategic Celebrations Could Prompt Military Action

On May 7, Vladimir Putin is set to be inaugurated once again as President of Russia, a significant event followed closely by the Victory Day on May 9, commemorating Russia's triumph over Germany in World War II with a grand military parade.

These dates are not only pivotal for Russian national pride but also present potential timing for military maneuvers.

According to Norwegian military experts speaking to Dagbladet, there’s speculation that Moscow desires a notable victory in Ukraine soon to coincide with these events.

Challenging Objectives in the Battle for Tsjavis Jar

"The Russian forces have been instructed by the Kremlin to take control of the town of Tsjavis Jar before May 9," stated Tor Bukkvoll of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment.

Tsjavis Jar, located on a strategic hilltop, poses significant challenges for any force attempting to seize control, complicating the Russian military’s objectives.

Despite the apparent urgency, Bukkvoll expresses skepticism regarding the Kremlin's prospects for a swift victory:

"One should not rule anything out, but progress has been slow. I doubt Putin will achieve what he desires by May 9."

Recent Developments and the Ukrainian Resistance

The past few months have seen some Russian advances in the war, while Ukraine has faced setbacks, partly due to shortages in arms and ammunition.

However, a recent $61 billion military aid package from the United States has revitalized Ukrainian hopes of reclaiming lost ground.

Lieutenant Colonel Palle Ydstebø of Norway suggests that the new equipment could reach the Ukrainian front lines within a week or two, limiting the time frame for Russia to successfully launch a significant offensive.

"Putin and his troops are in a rush if they aim to succeed, but I’m uncertain about their capacity to pull it off. The opportunity has been there for a while, but so far, they've failed to launch any major offensive," Ydstebø remarked.

Conversely, there is speculation about potential dramatic Ukrainian attacks on Russian or Russia-occupied territories around May 7 or 9, with the Kerch Strait Bridge mentioned as a possible target.

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