Espreso. Global

ISW assesses threat of Russian offensive for Kharkiv

14 May, 2024 Tuesday
11:05

ISW believes that the purpose of the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region is to create a "buffer zone" that will allow to take Kharkiv city under the fire control of barrel artillery

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This was reported by the Institute for the Study of War.  

American analysts note that Russian forces continued to make tactically significant advances north and northeast of Kharkiv city on May 13 and currently appear to be prioritizing the rapid establishment of a "buffer zone" along the international border over setting conditions for deeper penetrations into northern Kharkiv region. 

"Geolocated footage published on May 13 shows that Russian forces have advanced into Hlyboke (north of Lyptsi) and raised a flag in the center of the village, but Russian sources claimed that Russian forces have not yet seized the entirety of Hlyboke and advanced west of the settlement along the west (left) bank of the Kharkiv River," ISW wrote. 

They believe that the relatively rapid pace of Russian troop advances in the area of Vovchansk and reports of the destruction of several bridges over key waterways within the town indicate that Russian forces are prioritizing the creation of a "buffer zone" over deeper penetration. 

"These indicators collectively suggest that Russian forces are likely trying to create the promised "buffer zone" in the border area instead of pursuing deeper gains into Kharkiv Oblast or towards Kharkiv City," ISW concluded, recalling that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and other Kremlin officials have repeatedly proposed creating a "demilitarized buffer zone" in Ukraine's temporarily occupied territories. 

The ISW added that this "buffer zone" would also allow Russians to reach Kharkiv with cannon artillery. 

"The current pace of Russian advances on this axis is not necessarily indicative of the further offensive capabilities of the Russian forces conducting the offensive operations, although Russia reportedly retains considerable reserves available to exploit initial successes on this axis," ISW concluded. 

  • On May 13, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that Russian troops continued their offensive in the Kharkiv region, had partial success near the village of Lukianets, but the Ukrainian Defense Forces stopped their advance.

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