Special Intelligence's 2023 Ukrainian War Forecast
Where will the Russian invasion and attack on Ukraine go in 2023? Does it end in a decisive Ukrainian victory or Russia employing Weapons of Mass Destruction?
Analysts’ Note: In an effort to educate SI readers, I am going to give a special forecast every quarter on the state of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The goal is to reveal the trends that could lead to a potential end to the war or give indicators that it might, in fact, be escalating. This special forecast will let you know what sectors you may want to watch yourself to provide you with the insight necessary to understand what is happening.
Context: The Results of the 2022 Russian Invasion So far
In a brilliant display of arms, 2022 showed how Ukraine decisively defended its territory, beat off an overwhelming Russian attack, and conducted multiple extraordinarily successful counterattacks. They are poised to use 2023 as an opportunity to blunt the effectiveness of Russian forces in Ukraine.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine’s (AFU) defense against the Russian invasion in 2022 was superlative though not without incurring significant casualties. In 2023 the AFU is projected to not only successfully continue their defense against the Russian Army (RA), but they are able to continue counterattacks that could spell doom for the RA’s ability to mount a cohesive defense of the occupied territories in Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia provinces. With continued western combat support, the AFU could mass enough forces and enough achieve firepower parity to neutralize Russia’s rapidly dwindling artillery dominance. If this happens, it will set the pace for potentially lethal offensives in both the spring and the fall. Should the cities of Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia, or Luhansk fall or become isolated by AFU offensives, it would give the Ukrainians no reason to stop operations to liberate all Russian-occupied lands outside of Crimea. This would push the last stage of the war well into 2024 and bring with it the threat of the Kremlin falling back on using weapons of mass destruction.
Forward Look: The Special Intelligence 2023 War Forecast
Ukraine enters the new year with four distinct advantages that thwart Russia’s capacity to survive and thrive in this new year: Initiative, ability to dictate the tempo of operations, achieving technological advantage, and Heart.
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