Skip to main content

Analysis: Russia Secretly Trains 120,000 Soldiers for New Offensive Operations in Ukraine

On April 9, 2024, the French television channel Lci reported that the Russian army was secretly training 120,000 soldiers in Eastern Siberia. According to Ukrainian sources, the target of this massive mobilization of Russian forces would be Kharkiv. However, this information about a forthcoming offensive is of great strategic importance. Over the past two years, there have been several instances showing that information can be partially or completely distorted to support a particular narrative. Army Recognition therefore suggests tracing the source of this information.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
Servicemen of the 40th Guards Engineer Regiment in St. Michael's Church, Avdeevka.(Picture source: Ria Novosti)

The investigation starts with a simple Google keyword search. Quickly eliminating references to the "Siberian battalion" and Russian recruits within the International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine, we find an article from The Economist. This article discusses Kharkiv and its position near the frontline for the past two years and the symbolic significance the city holds for the Russians. It suggests that Russian efforts to control territory will focus on Kharkiv to secure the northern front and concentrate Ukrainian forces at a single strong point. The article briefly mentions the existence of these 120,000 soldiers in Siberia, citing a Ukrainian source with knowledge of the intelligence picture, but with little precision.

Returning to the verification of this claim, only four other highly biased newspapers (fakti. bg,,; mention this information, parroting The Economist without adding any images or further details.

A search for potential photos using relevant keywords reveals that no official Ukrainian media on their usual communication channels discusses this information. Furthermore, no satellite photos have been published. However, President Zelensky has stated that Russia will launch a new mobilization of 300,000 men in June for ongoing operations in Ukraine, a claim not confirmed by Russian authorities.

In conclusion, this information cannot truly be considered factual as no images or videos support this assumption. However, it is militarily plausible that several soldiers are in training in anticipation of deployment. Furthermore, with the arrival of warmer weather and the weakening of Ukrainian forces facing shortages of ammunition and fighters, a significant Russian offensive to gain ground is indeed plausible, potentially dealing a serious blow to Ukrainian resistance. 

Andriy Kramarov, a Ukrainian reserve officer and military analyst, hypothesizes that this summer, with more favorable conditions (less Rasputitsa ), Russia will attempt to advance along the usual lines of progression towards Lyman, Chasiv Yar, and in the Avdiivka area. Odessa remains a priority target; however, the key is logistics. For this, the Russians are building a new railway line between Russian territory and Crimea through areas conquered in February-March 2022. According to Kramarov, the Russians, who have deployed more than 120,000 men to conquer Avdiivka—a modestly sized town of about 35,000 inhabitants before February 2022—would not yet have the human resources to attempt taking larger cities. A status quo situation that will change as soon as the rails are completed or when the Russian reserve of manpower is greater.

We must therefore await potential statements from Russian political leaders or the release of images related to such training, which due to the volume of soldiers involved, cannot remain hidden for long.

Defense News April 2024

Copyright © 2019 - 2024 Army Recognition | Webdesign by Zzam