With hundreds of thousands of Russian troops now in Ukraine, officials are warning that a new Russian offensive that could rival the start of the war is underway, with the Kremlin seeking to reshape the battlefield and seize the momentum.
Russia is targeting dozens of places a day in a markedly increased barrage of artillery attacks. Ukrainian forces are struggling to hold their ground on a 140-mile stretch in the east, awaiting tanks and other weapons systems from the West. Fighting is concentrated around the forlorn eastern city of Bakhmut, where Russian forces have been slowly closing in on supply lines.
Ukraine and Russia have been locked in grueling combat for nearly a year. Since the fall, the fight in the east has congealed into muddy and frozen trenches, each army facing significant losses with only negligible gains.
Both sides have been readying for heavier ground combat, with Moscow aiming to capture the entire Donbas region and Kyiv looking to drive Russian troops completely out of the country.
By the numbers: Ukrainian intelligence estimates that Russia now has more than 320,000 soldiers in the country — roughly twice the size of Moscow’s initial invasion force. Western officials and military analysts have said that Moscow also has 150,000 to 250,000 soldiers in reserve, either training or being positioned inside Russia to join the fight at any time.