Ukrainian strikes on targets in Russian forces’ rear affect their logistics, combat capabilities - ISW

Ukrainian strikes on targets in Russian forces’ rear affect their logistics, combat capabilities - ISW

The operations of the Defense Forces of Ukraine to destroy Russian military targets in the rear of the occupied territories lead to a significant deterioration of the logistical support of the Russian troops and reduce their ability to conduct combat operations at the front.

This is stated in the latest update by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Ukrinform reports.

ISW cites the Ukrainian Chief of the Main Directorate of Missile Troops and Artillery and Unmanned Systems of the General Staff, Colonel Serhiy Baranov, who said it is missile and artillery units that inflict up to 90% of losses on the occupiers. Baranov stated that Ukrainian missile and artillery units have created a long-range “fire fist” thanks to Western high-precision missiles and artillery systems and that Ukrainian strikes are so powerful and accurate that Russian forces can no longer conduct effective counterbattery fire.

Read also: Blasts in occupied Crimea indicate advance of Ukrainian forces deep into enemy’s rear – Humeniuk

Analysts also noted the statement by the press secretary of Operational Command South of the Armed Forces, Natalia Humeniuk, that Ukrainian strikes on Russian ammunition depots in the deep rear cause logistical and technical issues for the Russian military. In particular, this trend is reflected in decreased Russian shelling in Kherson Oblast, which indicates that Russian forces are experiencing “shell hunger” in the area.

American experts also noted the statement by the Commander of the Tavria Group of Forces, Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, who compared Ukraine's counteroffensive to boxing and stated that Ukraine intends to "hold the opponent at arm's length" in order to avoid close combat because it Ukraine effectively defeat Russian forces from a long distance.”

"Baranov’s, Humenyuk’s, and Tarnavskyi’s statements suggest that the Ukrainian military is successfully carrying out this interdiction campaign. This campaign is a central aspect of Ukraine’s plan to create an asymmetrical attrition gradient that conserves Ukrainian manpower at the cost of a slower rate of territorial gains while gradually wearing down Russian manpower and equipment," the ISW review reads.

In support of this conclusion, ISW pointed to the July 22 strike by Ukraine’s Defense Forces on the Russian oil depot and ammunition depot in Crimea near Oktyabrske, Krasnogvardiyskyi district in Crimea, where, as some Russian sources claimed, the Russians had been stockpiling equipment for a month. The so-called head of the occupation administration in Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, confirmed that the Ukrainian troops attacked the ammunition depot, which prompted officials to evacuate residents within a 5 km radius of the depot, as well as suspend rail traffic on the Kerch Bridge.

Read also: Ukraine's drones hit oil, ammo depots in occupied Crimea

A previous review by ISW suggested that the July 21 arrest of terrorist Igor Girkin (aka Strelkov) by a Russian court could be a public manifestation of a shift in the balance of power between various factions in the Kremlin.

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