The Russians are certainly not pressed for time in Ukraine, and would only hurt themselves by acting precipitously. From Batiushka at thesaker.is:
So when is the Russian winter offensive going to begin? Some thought it would be in December, when the ground had frozen. Now we are nearing February.
However, just remember that the so-called Russian winter offensive was thought up by armchair generals. Of course, it may well exist as one of a number of scenarios among the Russian General Staff and may still happen and soon, but a winter offensive could also turn into a spring offensive, or even into a summer offensive. Planning needs to be flexible, given ever new ingredients in the mix. As long as the Kiev forces, unexpectedly, keep destroying themselves by throwing themselves into the artillery, missile and drone meat-grinder in the south-east of the Ukraine, between Soledar and Artemovsk, with minimal Russian losses, why hurry? There is no hurry. The only ones in a hurry are in the West. They need this conflict to finish and soon, because the West is on the verge of social, economic and political chaos.
Going, going, gone. In Moscow there are those who can fiddle while the West burns.
So a delay has occurred. Why take risks when Kiev wants to commit suicide? Just let them do it. Moreover, the latest events suggest more reasons for delay – internal splits.
First of all, on 17 January there was the resignation of Arestovich as advisor to the President’s Office, ostensibly because he told the truth, that the shattered apartment block in Dnipro was directly or indirectly destroyed by a badly-aimed Ukrainian missile (not for the first time…).
Then, the very next day, on 18 January, came the crash of the French Super Puma helicopter in Brovary (not Kiev). This killed several important figures, not least the Interior Minister and his deputy, as well as innocent children in a nursery school. A friend who lives nearby was able to provide me with facts and pictures soon later. Putting aside the suggestion that the Eurocopter was brought down by another misaimed Ukrainian missile, the crash seems to have occurred because the pilot was flying low in fog and hit a 14-storey apartment building. My friend says the skies above them are full of State helicopters every day, it is how the Zelensky regime travels. Too frightened to do it any other way. Sooner or later an accident was inevitable. Whatever the reason for the crash, it does mean that there are now convenient vacancies at the top. A power struggle is probably under way. And this is to be expected, because the Kiev forces have been chased out of the strategic town of Soledar, Artemovsk (Bakhmut) is about to fall and with it the rest of the Donbass. It is a rout because Ukrainian losses there are monumental, not to say suicidal.