Commander of OC “South”: In February, Russia may try to advance from the north. Ukraine is preparing for this

Anna Kholodnova

Ukraine is preparing for the fact that Russia will again try to invade from the north. Perhaps this will happen in February — before the anniversary of the first unsuccessful attempt by the Russians to seize Kyiv.

The Commander of the Operational Command South, Major General Andriy Kovalchuk said this in an interview with Sky News.

Asked whether Russian forces would try to invade Ukraine again from the north, east and south, possibly even on February 24, the commander said Ukraine was preparing for it.

“Yes, we envisage such options, such scenarios. We are preparing for it. We live with the thought that they will attack again. This is our task,” Kovalchuk said.

According to him, the Ukrainian military is preparing for a possible Russian offensive from Belarus at the end of February, possibly later.

“We are considering a possible attack by Belarus at the end of February, maybe later. We are preparing for it. We are investigating. We look at where they accumulate strength and means. We are preparing,” said the commander of OC South.

He emphasized that Ukraine is ready to fight back against the invaders.

“We replaced certain areas, prepared reliable defenses in certain areas. It will no longer be the case that they [the Russians] will simply come in, as happened on February 24 [2022],” Kovalchuk emphasized.

Asked if he expected millions of Russians to be mobilized for the war in Ukraine, the major general said: “I think Putin is thinking about it. And we cannot exclude such an option. You have to be ready for it.”

Kovalchuk emphasized that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready to fight even with millions of Russians, but for this Ukraine will need stronger support from Western partners.

  • In an interview with The Economist, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny stated that the Russians are training approximately 200,000 new soldiers and that he has no doubt that they will try to go to Kyiv a second time. Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov also believes that Russia plans to launch another wave of offensive in the war against Ukraine in February 2023.
  • At the same time, the representative of the National Security Council of the White House, John Kirby, said that the United States does not see any signs of preparations for an offensive by the Russians on Kyiv.