"According to my estimates, Russia has no less than 12 battalion task groups at the Donbas front plus special forces units, and heavy artillery - 152 mm self-propelled guns, as well as MLRS Uragan, Smerch and air defense system, which includes C-300 long-range air defense missile systems. Also, the Russian mercenaries currently account for no less than 20,000 people with 5,000-7,000 being battle-ready assault units."
But the question now is whether a large-scale offensive will take place? I'll try to predict the course of events," Butusov writes.
"At the moment, the Russian troops concentrated four strike groups in each of the sectors of the anti-terrorist operation. It is obvious that the purpose of these actions is to paralyze the ATO troops and prevent maneuver and transfer of reserves to a threatened area."
"The number of the currently operating enemy groups constitutes about 1,000 people each. This means that they are prepared only for local actions in limited areas of the front."
According to him, the Russian troops took over the functions of protection of rear areas, logistics, intelligence, and above all - electronic intelligence and space reconnaissance, air defense, and artillery support.
"The Russian command uses the redeployment of its units to Ukraine for hardening troops in combat, developing team play and interaction in actual warfare conditions."
"Let us try to project the August offensive tactics of the Russian Federation. If we look at the August actions - then, the Russian group was able to move on Kuteinikovo-Starobeshevo within three days. During this time, they covered some 70-80 kilometers from the Russian border. The concentration of groups near Uspenka lasted for a week. That is, it was not that fast."
"The Russian command chose the obvious tactic of evading engagement. This explains the low speed of advancement," Butusov writes.
The offensive of the Russian Federation in D sector led to the entrapment of our troops in Ilovaisk only due to incompetence and criminal inaction of the leadership of the General Staff, namely general Viktor Muzhenko and Chief of the ATO Staff Nazarov. All information regarding the enemy was received by the Ukrainian intelligence in time, he emphasizes.
"According to current information, over the next three days, a large-scale offensive of the Russian Federation is not possible. My personal assessment is that Russia is currently not ready for a blitzkrieg attack on Berdiansk."
"Russia will probe the battle formations of the Ukrainian troops with the infantry comprised of Russian mercenaries. Positional battles for each individual spot and checkpoint will be imposed. The threat of rapid advance of the Russian forces will become real in case of loss of connectivity of the front line, disorganization of the defense system. The Russian troops maintain the status of "army in being."
Therefore, overall, the Russian offensive should be considered as a tangible threat. But as of today there are no grounds for supposing that tomorrow Russian tanks will surround Mariupol.
The war is under way. Forecasting the enemy's actions cannot be made for a period over a week. I think that there will not be a large-scale enemy attack within a week, but the local fights on the separate parts of the front continue. Also, the enemy will intensify the actions of its subversive groups," he wrote.
Yuri Butusov thanked our troops in the ATO, members of the Ukrainian intelligence and counterintelligence community, and patriots from the occupied territories of Ukraine, whose information allows for a coherent picture of the situation at the front.