Before military aid arrives: ISW: Russia could quickly launch many attacks

Before military aid arrives
ISW: Russia could quickly launch many attacks

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Kiev can hope for extensive US aid – which is why the Russians are probably increasing their attacks again, as the Institute for the Study of War writes. For the Ukrainian armed forces, this initially means that they could suffer further setbacks in the coming weeks.

Russian forces have continued their attacks on Ukraine and intensified them in some areas – likely to take advantage of unusually dry ground conditions in the spring and ongoing material shortages in Ukraine ahead of the arrival of US aid. This writes that Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its latest report.

On Saturday, after months of struggle, the US House of Representatives cleared the way for billions in aid for Kiev. The necessary approval from the Senate is still pending, but is considered certain. According to Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, the US could then provide support “within a few days”. Washington is also apparently considering sending additional military advisers to Kiev, as a Pentagon spokesman told the US magazine “Politico”.

For Russia, time is therefore of the essence: “The Russian military leadership is likely to intensify its offensive operations as well as missile and drone attacks in order to achieve operationally significant effects that will certainly be more difficult to achieve against well-equipped Ukrainian forces,” said the ISW.

Transport infrastructure is also increasingly being targeted

One goal of the Russians could be to further bring the Ukrainian energy network to its knees, so that Ukraine has to deal with another “humanitarian crisis” in addition to the war. The Kremlin troops could also increasingly target the Ukrainian transport infrastructure in order to make it more difficult to send people and material to the war zones. According to the ISW, the Russian armed forces will probably take advantage of the weak Ukrainian air defense along the front in the coming weeks and increasingly attack with glide bombs. The hope: “To inflict widespread damage on Ukrainian defenses before it becomes more risky for Russian aircraft to carry out these attacks under the improved Ukrainian air defense umbrella.”

The ISW analysts name specific targets as sections of the front where the Ukrainian defense appears relatively unstable. This includes the areas west of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region and near Chassiv Yar. For the Ukrainians, this means first of all: “The Ukrainian armed forces could suffer further setbacks in the coming weeks while they wait for US security assistance,” writes the US think tank.

Nevertheless, the ISW expects that Ukraine will be in a significantly improved operational situation in June 2024. The Russian military leadership will then likely have to plan significant changes to its offensive operations.

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