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'Relatively high tempo' of Russian offensive in Ukraine: analysis

28.02.2024 10:00
Russian forces are seeking to exploit tactical opportunities offered by their recent seizure of the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka and appear to be maintaining a "relatively high tempo" of offensive operations in the war against Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US think tank.
A damaged residential building in Avdiivka, in Ukraines eastern Donetsk region, amid Russias ongoing invasion, Aug. 28, 2023.
A damaged residential building in Avdiivka, in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, amid Russia's ongoing invasion, Aug. 28, 2023.Photo: EPA/ALEX BABENKO

"Russian forces are attempting to exploit tactical opportunities offered by the Russian seizure of Avdiivka and appear to be maintaining a relatively high tempo of offensive operations aimed at pushing as far as possible in the Avdiivka area before Ukrainian forces establish more cohesive and harder-to-penetrate defensive lines in the area," the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest analysis of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine.

The US-based think tank added that "Russian forces temporarily decreased their tempo of operations as they cleared Avdiivka following the Russian seizure of the settlement on February 17, but have since resumed a relatively high tempo of assaults further west and northwest of Avdiivka."

Russian forces "may be able to seize settlements immediately west and northwest of Avdiivka in the coming weeks, but terrain and water features further west of Avdiivka, particularly the body of water that runs between Berdychi-Semenivka-Orlivka, will likely slow the already relatively slow rate of Russian advances in the area," according to the ISW.

"This difficult terrain will likely constrain further Russian tactical gains and allow Ukrainian forces to establish prepared defensive positions that will likely prompt the eventual culmination of the current Russian offensive effort in the area at least until or unless the Russians reinforce their attacking elements," the US think tank said in its latest Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, published on Tuesday.

The ISW said a day earlier that Russian forces have regained the initiative in their war against Ukraine and "will be able to pursue offensive operations when and where they choose as long as they hold the initiative."

Ukrainian forces "could deny Russia these opportunities" if they "have enough means to challenge the Russian initiative and pursue their own offensive operations," according to the ISW.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that Russia is preparing a new offensive that will start in late May or summer, the ISW has reported.

Zelensky also stated that the Ukrainian military has a clear plan to counter Russian forces, according to the US think tank.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Wednesday is day 735 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAPunderstandingwar.org