Kyiv claims Moscow is preparing a "major offensive" on the anniversary of the invasion

Oleksiy Reznikov/ Photo: Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP / Profimedia

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov announces that Russia is preparing a new major offensive in his country and warned that it could begin on February 24.

Reznikov said Moscow had mobilized thousands of troops so it could "try something" to mark the anniversary of the start of the invasion in 2022.

Such an attack would also mark Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia, February 23, which celebrates the military.

Radio Free Europe reports that Reznikov believes that Moscow has now mobilized around 500.000 troops for the new offensive.

In September 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a general mobilization of around 300.000 troops, which he said was necessary to ensure the country's "territorial integrity".

Reznikov believes that the actual number of soldiers recruited and deployed in Ukraine could be much higher.

- They officially announced 300.000, but when we see the soldiers at the borders, according to our estimates, it is much more, said Reznikov.

Despite heavy fighting in the eastern Donbass region, the war has been at a stalemate in recent months, especially since Ukraine regained control of the southern city of Kherson.

With the exception of the Russian capture of the city of Soledar, neither side made any major territorial advances.

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