Russia will continue its large-scale attacks on Ukraine

Russia will continue its large-scale strikes on Ukraine in an attempt to undermine Ukrainian morale and its ability to fight back against Russian aggression, the US Institute of War Research writes in a new report (ISW)

“As they did last year in an attempt to undermine Ukrainian morale, Russian forces are likely to launch increased strikes in the coming days amid the New Year holiday. Russian forces may still decide to launch large-scale strikes against Ukraine's energy infrastructure in the coming months, although ISW is yet to succeed in Russia's efforts to break Ukraine's will to fight.” Russian troops also plan to attack residential areas in Ukraine to stoke public discontent,” analysts say.

They noted that the strike package carried out by Russian forces on December 29 “appears to be the culmination of months of Russian testing with various drones and missiles, as well as attempts to test Ukrainian air defenses.”

At the same time, the ISW noted that Russia's current inventory of missiles and drones, as well as the speed of production, would not allow Russian forces to conduct conventional large-scale missile strikes, but more stable drone strikes.

“Russia has deliberately stockpiled a range of missiles for the fall and early winter of 2023 to create a more diversified strike package and use lessons learned in recent reconnaissance and reconnaissance missions, such as using Shahed drones to evade Ukrainian air defenses and missiles – to inflict maximum damage on specific targets,” the news said. .

Analysts insist that Western aid is vital to Ukraine's ability to defend against Russian strikes, and that an end to such aid is likely to set the stage for an expanded Russian air campaign against Ukraine.

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“The ISW continues to believe that the collapse of Western aid will sooner or later lead to the advance of Russian troops along the borders of NATO member states into western and western Ukraine,” the statement said.

ISW also noted that Western leaders largely see the massive Russian strike as evidence that Putin's ultimate goals in Ukraine remain unchanged.

“Despite signals of Putin's interest in cease-fire talks, ISW has repeatedly stressed that Russia's goals in Ukraine – which are the complete surrender of Ukraine and the West and are clearly expressed in the Kremlin's public rhetoric – remain unchanged,” the statement said.

On the night of December 29, Russia launched 158 drones and missiles over Ukrainian territory. Currently, 30 people have been killed and over 160 injured in the attack.

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