Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Expects Russian Offensive to Fall Apart by Early Spring

The Ukrainian military maintained an "active defense" stance while conducting counterattacks.

The head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, expressed his expectation on Tuesday that Russia’s offensive on the eastern front line would diminish by early spring.

Moscow had intensified its attacks in the northeastern portion of the front line during the previous autumn, with the aim of encircling strongholds like Avdiivka.

The Ukrainian military maintained an “active defense” stance while conducting counterattacks.

Budanov conveyed on national television, “The (Russian) offensive is still ongoing. Somewhere in early spring, it will be exhausted completely.”

He downplayed the gains made by Russian forces, characterizing them as “a few advances across some fields” near the embattled town of Avdiivka.

He added, “Now it’s the enemy’s move. It will end, and I think ours will start.”

Ukraine had launched its own counteroffensive in June 2023, but it had not yielded any significant breakthroughs.

Ukrainian authorities attributed this to extensive Russian minefields, fortified defensive lines, and delays in receiving weaponry from Western sources.

Reports from Ukrainian military officials had indicated increased Russian military activity along the lengthy 1,000-km (600-mile) front line spanning eastern and southern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin had persistently asserted that his forces would achieve their objectives in what Moscow referred to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine, now in its 24th month.

Putin had claimed that he dispatched troops into Ukraine to safeguard Russia’s security against what he portrayed as a hostile and aggressive West.

In contrast, Kyiv and its Western allies dismissed this assertion as baseless, asserting that Moscow was engaged in an unprovoked war of aggression and a pursuit of imperial-style territorial expansion.