Colonel: Battlefield situation not indicative of major Russian offensive

Colonel Mart Vendla.
Colonel Mart Vendla. Source: ERR

Col. Mart Vendla, deputy head of the EDF Headquarters, said on the "Ukraine stuudio" talk show that the situation in Ukraine does not suggest Russia has launched another offensive.

He suggested it is difficult to say to what extent relations between leaders affect battlefield developments, following Volodymyr Zelenskyy's foreign visit.

These connections are not necessarily linear, the colonel said, adding that the Saturday missile barrage was a typical Russian attack, and it would be speculative to associate it with the Ukrainian president's visit. "That said, President Zelenskyy's successful visit to Western European capitals is not to Moscow's liking."

There have been no major changes in the Bakhmut area. Russian forces have found success north and south of the city, and half of it is surrounded. "But the tactical battlefield situation is prone to changing rather quickly," Vendla said.

The colonel said there are no signs to suggest Russia has launched its major offensive. The ground is soft, which situation will not improve for four of five weeks. "Right now, the offensive is largely an artillery duel moving where it is allowed to move. Ukraine has set up strong defensive positions along roads, which will not be easy to take."

A part of experts have suggested that Russia has launched its offensive. Vendla said it is difficult to comment, adding that the battlefield situation is not indicative of such a development.

"We believe that this major spring offensive has not begun yet. But keeping in mind that Putin has ordered his troops to retake Donetsk and Luhansk by March, they will probably give it their best. This despite the fact that the tactical situation is hardly favorable," Col. Vendla said.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Marcus Turovski

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