Russia may soon resume offensive effort in Kharkiv region - ISW

Russia may soon resume offensive effort in Kharkiv region - ISW

Russian invasion forces may step up their efforts to seize Kupiansk in the coming weeks, given that their forces in the area are less degraded than those attempting to advance elsewhere.

This is stated in the latest report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank, seen by Ukrinform.

Analysts believe that the Russian troops have set up conditions for intensifying operations in the Kupiansk direction, seeking to capture territories that are more important from an operational point of view than those they are currently trying to seize. Ukrainian officials have said that Russian forces aim to capture Kupiansk and Borova in winter 2024.

Read also: Russians intensify armored support for assaults – military spox

"Russian seizure of those towns would likely force Ukrainian forces off the east bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv Oblast and set conditions for future Russian offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line," analysts believe.

The tempo of Russian operations in the Kupiansk direction and the apparent configuration of Russian forces in the occupied Luhansk and Kharkiv regions generally offer no indication of an impending Russian offensive operation along the entire Kupiansk-Lyman line, similar to the failed Russian offensive effort in northeastern Ukraine in winter-spring 2023.

As noted, Ukrainian officials have not publicly reported any sudden buildup of Russian forces on the Kupiansk axis, which would indicate an imminent large-scale offensive. Russian forces appear to have gradually reconstituted units badly degraded during the Ukrainian counteroffensive in September 2022 and Russia’s failed winter-spring 2023 offensive, and the Russian command likely intends these relatively well-rested and reconstituted units to intensify localized offensive operations. Analysts believe that Russian forces operating in the Kupyansk direction have not yet committed a substantial force to current offensive operations in the area and have thus been able to sustain localized ground attacks without suffering losses similar to those they have suffered in operations around Avdiivka and in southern Ukraine.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Oleh Suniehubov, said that the intensity of assaults in the Kupiansk direction has decreased against last week, and that the Russians were regrouping and pulling up reserves.

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