Vladimir Putin closes in on Ukraine end game as Zelensky braces for Russian attack

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun12,2024

A UK military expert has warned that Putin may be preparing to seize Kyiv in a new assault.

Reports have emerged that Russia is amassing troops in the Belgorod region close to Ukraine‘s border.

Ukraine‘s President Zelensky told national TV on Sunday that the Kremlin was building up military units in the Graivoron-Borisovka-Proletarsky area, about 90 km from Kharkiv.

Satellite imagery appears to support his claims, showing that Russian troops have stepped up activities at bases and storage points in the area in recent weeks.

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crawford believes the troop buildup is in preparation for a renewed assault on Ukraine‘s capital city.

The former British army officer pointed out that Putin’s original plan to capture Kyiv at the start of the war was both “strategically and tactically sound”.

The failure was in the execution of the plan and not in the thinking that went behind it.

Capturing Kyiv would topple Zelensky’s government and bring the war to a swift end.

“I think there is a distinct possibility that the Russians will try to take Kyiv in their forthcoming Spring/Summer offensive, seeking to do so before the promised western weaponry bolsters Ukrainian defences,” he explained on his Substack blog.

“They may make demonstrations and feints elsewhere to distract the Ukrainian defenders, but Putin’s surest way to victory is to take Kyiv.”

The defence analyst noted it would be difficult for Putin to launch a surprise attack given the amount of Nato surveillance of the region.

But he added: “The Russians are past masters at deceit, decoy, and deception. They just might be able to pull it off.”

Putin’s army caught Kyiv off guard when it launched an assault in Ukraine‘s Kharkiv province in early May.

The Kremlin’s army made rapid progress in the initial attack, seizing around 278 square kilometres (107 square miles) between 9 and 15 May.

These are the biggest gains made by the Russians since the end of 2022 and are partly a result of their numerical superiority in both manpower and arms.

Ukraine had been starved of new weapons as a result of political wrangling in Washington between Trump Republicans and Joe Biden‘s administration.

Eventually in April Congress approved a US$61 billion military support package that will deliver new weapons to Ukraine‘s beleaguered forces in the coming weeks and months.

The delay is aid has allowed Putin’s generals to regain the battlefield initiative and has put Ukraine firmly on the backfoot.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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