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Russia’s presidential election will affect war in Ukraine – Estonian General Staff

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The presidential elections in Russia scheduled for March will have an impact on the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine, the Estonian General Staff has suggested.

Source: Estonian public broadcaster ERR, citing Colonel Tarmo Kundla, Head of the Operations Division of the Estonian Defence Forces General Staff, as reported by European Pravda

Details: “The upcoming presidential election in Russia will affect the efforts of both sides. Russia is still trying to achieve a tactical victory, however minor but noticeable,” said Colonel Kundla.

In turn, Ukraine is pushing its military operations further into Russia’s interior, hitting important targets, he added.

Kundla noted that Russia’s operational and tactical tasks remain unfulfilled, as Ukraine’s defences are holding, and Ukrainians continue their operations on Russian territory.

The officer expects that in the coming weeks, Russian troops will raid Ukrainian territory in the border areas of Russia’s Belgorod and Ukraine’s Kharkiv oblasts to build up Ukrainian units there and lure Ukrainian forces into moving additional formations from the Kupiansk front.

At the same time, the Donetsk front remains the main foothold for the Russian army. Intense fighting is underway near the settlements of Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Donetsk.

Kundla explained that Russian troops have pushed forward on the Avdiivka front, although Ukrainian supply routes have not yet been cut: “The situation is quite critical from Ukraine’s point of view, but the fighting is ongoing.”

The intensity of the Russian military actions on the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson fronts has been much more moderate, with Russia failing to achieve any success. Ukrainian footholds on Kherson Oblast’s left bank are also holding.

“In general, the initiative at the front is still in the hands of the Russian Armed Forces. They have not achieved great success, but there have been small shifts. The situation in Avdiivka is relatively critical, but Ukraine’s defence is holding,” Kundla said.

In his opinion, the replacement of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will not bring any changes to the front in the immediate future.

Earlier, UK Defence Intelligence noted that the latest Ukrainian strike on the Belbek airfield in Russian-occupied Crimea further derailed the potential of Russian aircraft.

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