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.
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.
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.
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.
In addition, according to the monitoring group "Belarusian-Russian Gayun", Russian troops transferred about 30 tanks from Vitebsk to the Brest region.
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.