Representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces command noted a very high probability of Russia starting a large-scale military aggression against our state as early as autumn 2021.

This was stated by Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavlyuk in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The officer emphasized that he was appointed as the commander of the Joint Forces Operation in July 2021, and after conducting an analysis in the autumn, it became clear that there was a “very high probability of a full-scale war.”

“The extent of the war was difficult to comprehend at the time, but it was evident that it would, at the very least, encompass the territory of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. We analyzed the actions of the enemy, his respective preemptive measures, and reconnaissance functions performed on the territory along the entire line of contact and border”, he said.

According to Pavlyuk, there were all signs that Ukrainian forces would encounter the enemy not only from the temporarily occupied areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions but also from the territory of Russia.

“Therefore, from the autumn, we started taking certain actions to successfully confront and inflict maximum damage on the enemy. Understanding that the balance of forces and means was and will not be in our favor, but we had no other options — we had to stand firm because the whole of Ukraine was behind us. Therefore, for five months, we prepared to repel full-scale aggression”, he said.,

He added that already in January-February 2022, “we received telegrams from the Main Intelligence Directorate predicting such a scenario.”

“And in February, we did everything possible to meet the enemy with dignity: all positions were maximally strengthened, all possible action scenarios were calculated, all reserves were mobilized — we conducted full-scale training at least twice, and there were many local exercises”, he said.

The officer noted that this played “its, perhaps, decisive role”.

“On the first day, when a strike was aimed at all command centers, all command posts, at all places where our forces and warehouses were supposed to be concentrated — they (the Russian forces) moved into empty space”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) explained whether they expect new full-scale offensive actions from the Russians. According to intelligence, Russian military forces will have enough strength only for small-scale operations in certain sectors of the front. At the same time, a large part of the Russian military is currently already located on the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Photo: AFU