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Intensification of Russian attacks in Donetsk region may indicate start of summer offensive – ISW

23 June, 2024 Sunday
14:30

Occupying Russian forces are ramping up their offensive operations in the Donetsk region while scaling back in northern Kharkiv. This may signal the start of their summer offensive

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This information comes from a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Analysts point out that Russian operations in Kharkiv aim to capture and distract Ukrainian forces, allowing them to activate in other areas.

On the night of June 18, Russian troops increased attacks toward Toretsk-Horlivka, maintaining high intensity from June 19 to 22 and achieving several tactical victories.

Experts note that Russian troops had been inactive in this area throughout 2024, so this surge is significant.

Meanwhile, Russian operations in northern Kharkiv have sharply decreased in recent days, especially compared to mid-May.

ISW estimates that the Russian command has long used the Kharkiv offensive to tie down Ukrainian forces, enabling them to resume operations in more critical areas like the Donetsk region.

Ukrainian sources confirm that some Ukrainian units have moved from the Donetsk to Kharkiv region, which Russia might exploit by intensifying attacks, particularly towards Toretsk-Horlivka.

Additionally, Russian forces have maintained high shelling intensity near Chasiv Yar and Avdiivka and may increase attacks soon if they find the coming weeks favorable before Ukrainian reserves return to the Donetsk region.

Ukrainian sources warn of a possible Russian summer offensive focused on eastern Ukraine. The recent surge in the Donetsk region may indicate preparations for this offensive, if it hasn't started already.

  • As of Saturday, June 22, there were 141 combat clashes on the front, with the Pokrovsk direction remaining the hottest spot.
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