Armed Conflicts
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Kyiv admitted its defeat to Norwegians - Ukraine is losing the war as Russian military power is growing, threatening NATO

According to the latest assessments of Norwegian military intelligence, the balance of the conflict in Ukraine appears to be shifting in favor of Russia.

E-tjenesten's annual "Focus 2024" report, released on February 12, 2024, states that Russia is strengthening its military power with a war economy and significant investment in its arms industry

According to the report, "Russia is currently in a position of strength, potentially capable of mobilizing three times as many troops as Ukraine.

This raises concerns about the ability of Ukrainian forces to defend themselves and regain the initiative in the conflict without substantial Western arms support.


Russia may be able to restore its combat power to pre-2022 levels within three to five years after the end of the war.

These figures echo the Danish defense minister's statement, suggesting that Russia could potentially attack a NATO country within the next three to five years.

But U.S. military aid is crucial to bolstering Ukraine's defense capabilities, which is on hold because of a lack of a deal in Congress to fund it.
This situation not only prevents the delivery of new weapons and ammunition, but also jeopardizes the maintenance of the equipment already provided.

In addition, Ukrainian forces face challenges in replenishing their ranks and maintaining deployed troops, especially after the replacement of their chief of staff."
The Norwegian report (E-tjenesten) predicts an intensification of the Russian offensive in Ukraine in 2024, supported by increased production of weapons and equipment, as well as the reorganization of Russian forces and improved logistics.

This offensive could be bolstered by Russia's growing diplomatic and economic ties with non-Western countries such as China, Iran and North Korea, as well as cooperation with Gulf states to circumvent Western sanctions.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainians face significant challenges in munitions supply, particularly in air defense and artillery.

Shortages of critical ammunition, including artillery shells, could compromise their defensive and offensive capabilities, delaying any potential counterattack.

As tensions continue and Russia strengthens its advantage in Ukraine, the situation remains uncertain about the outcome of the conflict and its impact in the region and beyond.

Norwegian analysts stress the critical importance of continued Western support to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities and limit Russian expansion in the region.

The conflict in Ukraine remains pivotal to the trajectory of the Russian military as it operates under a wartime economic framework while experiencing unprecedented levels of defense spending.

This strategic shift allowed the Russian defense industry to receive significant additional resources, facilitating the sustained production of ammunition and other military supplies necessary for continued hostilities in Ukraine through 2024.

Moreover, the war in Ukraine continues to be the driving force behind Russian defense spending.

In 2022, there was a significant annual increase of 16.5 percent in real terms, followed by a further increase of 27 percent from 2022 to 2023.

Russia's 2023 defense budget was planned at $70.5 billion, representing 20 percent of total federal spending and 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

This increased militarization underscores the critical role the conflict in Ukraine plays in shaping the future trajectory of the Russian armed forces.

The implications of these developments on the geopolitical landscape remain uncertain, with ongoing concerns about the resolution of the conflict and its wider ramifications, the Norwegian report concludes, showing that Russia is even preparing for all-out war with the West."


Syrian mercenaries in the Russian Army

Ukraine's military intelligence service published a list in February of more than 1,000 Syrian nationals recruited by Russia to fight against Ukraine.

Russia was training a group of 1,000 Syrian mercenaries near Aleppo with a focus on "conducting combat operations in urban areas."

After training, foreign fighters are sent to Russia, given Russian passports and mobilized into the Russian army.

Russia is also recruiting Syrian men by promising jobs as security guards at oil refineries in Russia's Far East, then telling them there are opportunities for a "high-paying job" in Buryatia, where they are mobilizing for Ukraine.

War is the worst situation, in which everything is done by everyone.

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