Russia is reportedly planning a large-scale offensive to control four Ukrainian regions, aiming to subjugate Ukraine, according to the Financial Times.
The Russians want to speed things up on the front, and it seems that Putin and the Russian leaders are increasingly losing patience. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the coming days, weeks, and months. The Russians are clear in their intentions, and the current situation does not suit them.
The targeted regions include Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye. Western officials suggest Ukraine adopt an "active defense" strategy to consolidate forces this year.
However, Estonia recommends strategic defense until 2025. The US supports Ukraine's focus on maintaining current positions over a ground offensive. Challenges for Ukraine include Russia's numerical and technological advantage, as well as reluctance for new mobilization by President Zelensky due to declining popularity in polls. It is necessary that the countries of Europe and the world stand in defense of Ukraine if they really want to prevent the progress of the Russian army. The support that Ukraine received for years was crucial.
The Russians will attempt to achieve victory in the upcoming period. The methods they employ in warfare and their current weaponry also draw interest. The Russians have special tactics.
Defense Express reported that Russia launched a P-35 anti-ship missile, weighing 4 tons and measuring 10 meters, at Ukraine. The missile, in service since 1962, was found in wreckage, marking its first known use. Despite its age, the P-35 is still part of Russia's Redut coastal defense system. Only two such systems exist in Russia, one in Crimea and another reportedly abandoned. The missile has a standard guidance system for its time, with an operational range of up to 300 km. Defense Express notes similarities between the P-35 and Kh-22 missiles used by Russia.
The war has been going on for a long time, and the Ukrainians need help from the US and the member states of the European Union. Ukrainians know that they can hardly resist Russian attacks unless they receive constant support from countries around the world. Zelenskyy emphasized countless times that this is the period in which the Ukrainians must be given help if the countries of Europe and the world want to see their victory. Vladimir Putin is a person who does not want to say much at the moment. He has clearly defined his plans and is working hard on them.
Viktor Orban's reaction
Although many countries want to provide help, it seems that Hungary is one of those that often resents helping Ukraine, and they have a completely different view of the war. We do not want to put the accent on the whole of Hungary. It is about the political leadership of this country. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is known for his controversial statements, had somewhat similar reactions this time as before. Orban is known as a person who uses every moment to express slightly different views than most European politicians.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has suggested the EU should annually review financial aid to Ukraine. He criticized the proposal of a four-year aid plan by liberal politicians, considering it undemocratic before the upcoming European Parliament elections in June. Orban recommends assisting Ukraine outside the EU budget on an annual basis. This differs from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's call for funding beyond 2024 to support Ukraine in reclaiming its territory. Orban previously vetoed 50 billion euros in new EU aid to Ukraine in December, complicating negotiations for Ukraine's EU membership. EU leaders plan to discuss and find a compromise on February 1.
Ukraine is trying to fix up some towns that got really damaged in the war with Russia. They're starting with six towns, like Trostjanec, to practice and learn how to rebuild better. The mayor of Trostjanec says they need to do it quickly to save a lot of people.
But the war is still going on, making it hard to rebuild. Some people, like the mayor of another town called Okhtyrka, think they should focus on fixing houses and important stuff first, and then worry about making things look nice later.
People in Ukraine are arguing about where to spend money during the war. Some say they should use it to help the army, while others want to use it for making cities look better. The rebuilding project is getting money from a fund that took assets from Russia. Rebuilding all of Ukraine might cost more than $400 billion, and Western countries are ready to help pay for it.
It is difficult to focus on just one thing at the moment, considering that the situation in Ukraine is very difficult and requires help on several fronts.