Russian troops could resume the offensive in the direction of the Kharkiv region – ISW

Analysts from the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have identified two areas where enemy offensive operations can be stepped up as soon as weather conditions permit.

This forecast was published in ISW ​​after the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba. The day before, he said that the Russian Federation could prepare for a large-scale offensive in January-February 2023.

“Kuleba’s statement is consistent with ISW’s long-standing assessment that the winter months will increase the pace of operations on both sides and that conditions on the ground across Ukraine are likely to be favorable for offensive operations,” noticed in the ISW summary of 14 December. — In the coming months, Russian troops can promptly resume offensive operations in two main areas of the offensive: along the Kharkiv-Luhansk border in northeastern Ukraine or in the Donetsk region. Apparently, Russian troops are moving heavy equipment from the rear areas of the Luhansk region to areas located near the current front line along the border of the Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, and have also reorganized and regrouped their forces along this line. The recent lowering of the temperature in the area, dropping permanently below freezing, has allowed for the hardening of the ground, which probably created the conditions for an accelerated pace of offensive operations.

Read also: The Russian army is trying to improve the tactical situation in the Kupyansk direction – the General Staff

At the moment, ISW, analyzing the statements of Russian sources, reported that the defense forces continue counteroffensive operations on the territory of the Luhansk region. And also that “the Kharkov and Chuguev reserves allow the Ukrainian forces to continue to increase the pace of counteroffensive operations in the Svatovo direction.”

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