Russia may begin new offensive soon, U.S. officials say, as Ukraine runs through its stock of artillery shells

The next phase of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine could begin in the next few days, according to two senior U.S. defense officials, and Ukraine is rapidly running through artillery and artillery rounds.

The officials said a U.S. assessment is the Russian military could begin moving some of its forces back into Ukraine as soon as this weekend or early next week.

Russian troops retreated from around Kyiv and northern Ukraine about two weeks ago, moving north into Belarus and Russia.

At the time, U.S. officials assessed the Russians intended to re-group and then begin another invasion, focusing on the Donbas region and southeastern Ukraine

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But now U.S. officials believe Russia may move troops back into Ukraine and begin the offensive before all the Russian troops are ready to fight again, a senior defense official said.

This week the Biden administration announced it was sending 40,000 artillery rounds and 18 155mm howitzers to Ukraine. But with the Ukrainian military using thousands per day, that 40,000 will only last a little over one week, the official explained. U.S. officials are working the phones to convince allies to send more artillery and ammunition to Ukraine so it doesn’t run out when the offensive ramps up.

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