Russia is moving thousands of troops and armored vehicles into position for a large-scale assault on the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. As a result, civilians are fleeing westward for their lives in the opposite direction.

A satellite image shows armored vehicles and trucks at the southern end of a military convoy moving southward, east of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 8, 2022. Image Source: Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters

Ukrainian President Zelensky has warned his people that an attack by Russian army units in the east is coming, but he added that his troops are ready.

He stated in a televised speech late Sunday:

“Russian troops will move to even larger operations in the east of our state. They can use even more missiles against us, even more air bombs.  But we are preparing for their actions. We will respond. We will be even more active in providing Ukraine with weapons. We will be more active in the international arena. We will be even more active in the information field.”

The man is clearly not backing down or making concessions to Moscow.

In recent weeks Russian troops have retreated from the northern regions of Ukraine and are now resting, reorganizing, and resupplying in areas of Belarus and Russia. However, some observers in the region state it could take weeks for those troops to be redeployed for an attack on the east.

In an intelligence update on April 8, the UK Ministry of Defense said of the retrograde action:

“At least some of these forces will be transferred to East Ukraine to fight in the Donbas. Many of these forces will require significant replenishment before being ready to deploy further east with any mass redeployment from the north likely to take at least a week minimum.”