Russian forces have made the eastern city of Bakhmut an epicenter of the fighting, whatever the human cost. Now, analysts from the British defense ministry say the Russians may be preparing for a new offensive.
Russian commanders have sent in waves of soldiers to break through Ukrainian defenses. They claim to have taken control of several positions near Bakhmut. The British analysts say more gains in the area are a "realistic possibility."
The Russian troops could soon be staring across the battlefield at more advanced weapons. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said up to 140 Western-made tanks are expected in the first wave of deliveries alone.
A Russian equipment manufacturer is offering soldiers an incentive to destroy or capture them. The reward is more than 70,000 dollars in cash.
Some Western leaders have harbored fears tanks will only provoke the Russians. Now, they are debating whether to send in fighter jets.
French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu told his Ukrainian counterpart that nothing is excluded.
He said, "Our military doctrine is clear. There is no taboo."
On Monday, US President Joe Biden ruled out the delivery of advanced jets. And on Tuesday, British leaders said that providing the Ukrainians with sophisticated aircraft is not "practical."