Russia is on the frontline defensive in all areas barring one city

Ukrainian military intelligence has reported Russian troops taking up defensive positions in most areas of the frontline as the Kremlin braces for Kyiv’s anticipated Spring offensive. Ukrainian head of intelligence Kyrylo Budanov noted in a media interview that Russia appears to be commanding troops to dig in along large sections of the front apart from in the city of Bakhmut where Russian attacks continue.

Budanov told RBC Ukraine: “They have completely switched to positional defence everywhere. The only places on the frontline where they are making attempts are in the city of Bakhmut, an attempt to cover the city of Avdiivka from the north, and localized fighting in the city of Marinka.

“Both in Avdiivka and Marinka the tactics are identical to those in Bakhmut – just an attempt to wipe the settlement off the face of the earth.

“And against the backdrop of the lack of success elsewhere, they face the problem that even their ‘deceived’ society needs to see something, some kind of victory.

“This is the only place where they succeed at least.”

He added: “In addition, there is the fact that Prigozhin once said that he would take Bakhmut.

“He would be happy to sing about it, but he can’t. That is, everything just came together here.”

Budanov remarked that Vuhledar, where a prolonged tank battle has been taking place, has a slim probability of being taken.

Additionally, he gave the opinion that the Russians are not intending to escalate or launch any offensive moves along the frontline.

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It comes after Kremlin-appointed authorities in Crimea claimed that Ukraine attempted to strike a key naval base. Meanwhile, in a separate incident, an exploding drone was found near Moscow.

These attacks allegedly occurred as Ukraine is believed to be preparing for a major counteroffensive.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, who was appointed by Moscow to head the port city of Sevastopol, stated that the Ukrainian sea drone was destroyed in an attempt to attack the harbour and another one blew up, causing damage to several apartment buildings.

This is the latest in a series of attempted strikes on Sevastopol, the main naval base in Crimea that was annexed illegally by Russia in 2014.

Although Ukrainian officials did not comment on the strikes, they have previously emphasised their right to strike in response to Russian aggression.

Additionally, reports from Russian news sources claimed that a Ukrainian exploding drone was found in a forest approximately 30 kilometres east of Moscow.

While it didn’t explode, the incident again underscored Ukraine’s capability to reach deep inside Russia as the Ukrainian military is thought to be preparing for a spring counteroffensive to reclaim occupied areas.

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