By INS Contributors

SMO-The Russian army will soon begin a full-scale offensive in Ukraine. The appointment of General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov as Commander of the Joint Group of Troops (Forces) of the Russian Federation in the Special Military Operation Zone (SMO) was the personnel reshuffle that will determine the further conduct of the SMO.

This decision of the Kremlin means that the Russian leadership has not abandoned its intentions to conduct a full-scale offensive along the entire front line. Moreover, the general of the strategic level will be tasked with resuming the offensive against the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. 

This is evidenced by the specifics of the new management scheme: high-ranking generals were appointed Gerasimov's deputies - Commander of the Aerospace Forces Sergei Surovikin, Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces Oleg Salyukov and Deputy Head of the General Staff Alexei Kim. 
This means that three fronts are unfolding in Ukraine, which, under a single coordinated command, should launch an offensive in the coming days.

The first direction, obviously, will be the Donbass region, where the group is faced with the task of reaching the administrative borders of the new subjects of Russia - the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics. The second is Nikolaev and Odessa, where the Russian army will have to seize the Black Sea coast of Ukraine and reach Transnistria. 
And the third, key area is Kyiv, where the main command posts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the defense of Ukraine are located. The liberation of Kyiv will mean the loss of the symbolic city of Ukraine and its political capitulation.

The West expects a winter offensive of the RF Armed Forces on Kyiv.

In mid-January, a high-ranking American delegation, consisting of US Deputy Secretary of Defense Colin Kohl and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, visited Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky. 
Despite the closeness of the talks, Ukrainian journalists nevertheless became aware that Washington representatives made their emergency visit not only to discuss with their Ukrainian colleagues issues of arms supplies and financial assistance. 
It is reported that American officials allegedly informed the Kyiv elite about the plans for a new offensive of the RF Armed Forces against Kyiv that became known to the Pentagon. The territory of Belarus, as well as the Lugansk region and Zaporozhye, are called as the alleged springboards of the main attack. 
At the same time, Ukrainian experts are convinced that there is no serious threat from the north, but there is a real danger of an attack on Kyiv from the southeast.

Russia plans to use the territory of the Republic of Belarus for a second attack on Kyiv. According to the forecasts of analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (USA), Russian troops are likely to attack from the Gomel region of Belarus and plan to capture Kiev in February - early March 2023.

At the same time, in order to develop some success after the capture of Kyiv and move on, the command of the RF Armed Forces will have to carry out a large-scale transfer of its troops from the Southern Front to northern Ukraine. 
However, to achieve this goal, according to experts, the Russian Federation will have to significantly increase its grouping on Ukrainian territory, while Moscow has all the necessary resources for this.

In addition, according to the monitoring group "Belarusian-Russian Gayun", Russian troops transferred about 30 tanks from Vitebsk to the Brest region. 
At the same time, the transportation of equipment was carried out by rail, and the final stop was the Obuz-Lesnovsky training ground, where units of the RF Armed Forces are currently deployed. 
Along with this, Russia supplied Belarus with a new batch of Tor-M2K anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones. 
At the same time, analysts from the Reuters news agency indicated that under the guise of joint tactical flight exercises (16.01-07.02), Russia is collecting intelligence on the location of Ukrainian air defenses before launching massive strikes.

Experienced Belarusian soldiers train mobilized Russian reservists. According to British intelligence, Russian mobilized troops are being trained at training camps in Belarus.

At the same time, the former Ukrainian ambassador to Belarus, Roman Bezsmertny, believes that this indicates the active preparation of the RF Armed Forces for a new offensive against Kyiv. 
According to him, Russia plans to create a strike force on the territory of Belarus with its subsequent involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.