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UK Intel: Russia Could Intensify Offensive in Ukraine’s Northeast

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Russia could intensify its offensive in Ukraine’s Lyman-Kupiansk sector in the next two months, according to British intelligence.

Russia’s possible pivot toward the northeast could come in response to Ukraine’s “gradual” successes in the south, the intelligence said in its August 26 update.

“As Ukraine continues to gradually gain ground in the south, Russia’s doctrine suggests that it will attempt to regain the initiative by pivoting back to an operational level offensive. Kupiansk-Lyman is one potential area for this,” the intelligence said.

“There is a realistic possibility that Russia will increase the intensity of its offensive efforts on the Kupiansk-Lyman axis in the next two months, probably with the objective of advancing west to the Oskil River and creating a buffer zone around Luhansk region.”

Over 100,000 Russians Deployed

Russia has deployed over 100,000 soldiers in the sector, which straddles Kharkiv and Donetsk oblasts, the press officer of the Ukrainian eastern grouping of forces, Illia Yevlash, said recently.

“If we were to segment [their numbers], there would be 45,000 Russians [attacking] in the Kupiansk direction and 48,000 in the Lyman direction.”

Another spokesperson of the eastern grouping, Serhiy Cherevatyi, said in July that the Russians have about 900 tanks with them at the axis.

Russia’s ‘Limited Advances’

Russian forces have been attempting to break through the Ukrainian defenses in the nearby towns of Kupiansk and Lyman since July.

Ukrainian forces retook the towns late last year.

British intelligence acknowledged that the Russians have made some “limited local advances” in the sector.

However, Yevlash said that the Ukrainians have the advantageous highlands to “see enemy movements” in the sector, allowing them to strike the Russians “where it’s necessary.”

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