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IStories: Russia’s government plans new offensive on Ukraine in spring, is prepared to lose up to 100,000 servicemen

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not planning on ending the war in Ukraine and is ready to continue fighting for several more years, not taking into account the losses being suffered by the Russian army, all in order to capture Kyiv, independent media outlet IStories* reports, citing sources.

“In broad strokes, the plan is basically: for now, buying some time and stabilising the front with the help of the mobilised servicemen. And then, to start everything anew in the spring,”

a source within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says.

The political and military leadership of Russia is prepared for losses in killed and wounded to go up to 100,000 before next spring. “But no one is concerned: they will be replaced with soldiers undergoing a compulsory year of service,” the source adds.

Russia’s Defence Ministry plans to train 120,000 compulsory service conscripts, a source within the General Staff tells IStories. According to the source, mobilised soldiers currently make up the second line of defence, in order to tighten up the front lines.

“Due to the lack of people, we have sometimes not had any soldiers on the second line of defence at all. In some places, the line was empty along intervals of up to 20 kilometres,” the source clarifies. “This is why [Putin] won’t repeal the partial mobilisation decree.”

The Institute for Study of War (ISW) previously reported that Russian authorities were planning to continue conducting a covert mobilisation, even during the autumn conscription. There are many indirect signs of a covert mobilisation being carried out in Russia. For example, the Ministry of Digital Development announced this week that it would compile an additional list of IT companies’ employees who would get an exemption from mobilisation.

According to ISW, conscripts undergoing a one-year-long compulsory service will “almost certainly be deployed to Ukraine in March or April 2023”.

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On 28 October, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu briefed Putin on the end of “partial” mobilisation in Russia. According to Shoigu, “the target quota of 300,000 people has been reached; no other mobilisation targets are planned”. However, there has been no official presidential decree that would stipulate the end of mobilisation in the country. The Kremlin previously said that there was ‘no need’ for it.

The autumn conscription, which started on 1 November this year instead of the traditional 1 October due to mobilisation taking place in October, will last until 31 December.

*The Russian government considers IStories an “undesirable organisation”. Reposting this news article in Russia may lead to a fine. A repeat offence may result in criminal charges.

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