NewsISW report: Vital Western aid needed to counter upcoming Russian offensive in Ukraine

ISW report: Vital Western aid needed to counter upcoming Russian offensive in Ukraine

KHERSON, UKRAINE - MARCH 15: Ukraineinstalls 'dragon's teeth' barriers to slow and stop advance of Russian forces are seen as the war between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for the last two years, in Kherson, Ukraine on March 15, 2024. (Photo by Gian Marco Benedetto/Anadolu via Getty Images)
KHERSON, UKRAINE - MARCH 15: Ukraineinstalls 'dragon's teeth' barriers to slow and stop advance of Russian forces are seen as the war between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for the last two years, in Kherson, Ukraine on March 15, 2024. (Photo by Gian Marco Benedetto/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | Anadolu
4:08 AM EDT, March 16, 2024

Russian forces are gearing up for a new offensive slated for the summer of 2024, according to the latest analysis by the American think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The report underscores the vital role that an increase in Western military aid will play in bolstering the defensive capabilities of Kyiv's troops.

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The ISW's report highlights that the current focus of Russian offensive operations is to disrupt Ukrainian efforts to solidify their defensive positions. This is particularly the case west of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, which has become a hotspot for intense combat.

"Even though Ukrainian forces have managed to slow down Russian advancements west of Avdiivka recently, a critical shortage of supplies—exacerbated by delays in Western military aid—forces Ukraine to allocate its scarce resources to vital front sectors. This situation elevates the risk of significant breakthroughs by Putin's forces in less fortified sectors, rendering the front more vulnerable than it might seem, despite the current slow pace of Russian progress," American experts assert.

Furthermore, they note that come spring and summer, the Russian military might exploit the lull in supplies of Western military aid to Ukraine and press on with their offensive operations, regardless of challenging weather conditions, such as muddy terrain.

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Officials from both Western countries and Ukraine have expressed concerns that the Kremlin might initiate a major offensive in the summer, anticipating that the shortfall in supplies to Kyiv's forces will worsen.

"Well-equipped Ukrainian forces have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to thwart the Russian military's attempts at making even minor territorial advancements during substantial offensives. Thus, there's little room for doubt that Ukraine could further fortify its defense lines and successfully counter a potential offensive by Putin in the summer, provided that the current material deficits are addressed," the report concludes.

Source: ISW

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