Espreso. Global

ISW explains whether Russia will be able to seize initiative at frontline

15 November, 2023 Wednesday
10:05

It will be tough for the Russians to take initiative in battle because they would need to move units from the areas where Ukraine is actively carrying out offensives

This information comes from the Institute for the Study of War.

"Russian forces are likely trying to regain the theater-level initiative in Ukraine by conducting several simultaneous offensive operations in eastern Ukraine, although it remains unclear if Russian forces will be able to fully regain the initiative as Ukrainian forces maintain pressure on critical areas of the front," stated the ISW.

US experts observed that several Ukrainian officials quickly acknowledged the challenging situation along the front line but asserted that Ukrainian forces maintain control.

The Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, informed the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Charles Brown, on November 14 that the Avdiivka, Kupyansk, and Marinka directions are the most intense. He highlighted ongoing Ukrainian offensive actions in specific areas.

Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Oleksandr Syrskyi underscored Russian troops' simultaneous offensives in multiple directions, particularly in attempts to regain initiative north and south of Bakhmut.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukrainian forces are reporting an increase of Russian assaults in the Kupyansk, Avdiivka, and Donetsk directions.

"Ukrainian officials’ statements about the current tempo of Russian operations along the frontline are consistent with ISW's assessment about ongoing Russian offensive operations, particularly in the Kupyansk, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka directions. Russian forces will likely struggle to fully regain the initiative across the theater, however, and Ukrainian forces are continuing their own offensive operations and making tactical-level gains along the front, particularly in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast," analyzed ISW.

Analysts suggest Russian command faces a dilemma: defend against Ukrainian offensives or redeploy units to support offensives elsewhere.

“These choices will likely hinder Russia's ability to fully regain the initiative in the coming weeks,” concluded the report. 

  • Oleksandr Syrskyi reported on November 14 that Russians are conducting simultaneous offensives in several directions. 
  • Zaluzhnyi discussed the front-line situation in a phone call with Charles Brown. 
  • Zelenskyy believes Putin aims to show battlefield results before Russithe a presidential election.
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