As Russian forces seek to conquer the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as a whole, a new phase in the war begins. Russia’s targets were renewed, but there was little time for human capacity and military material to recover. Russian forces have been mobilizing additional forces – including recently deployed units and Destroyed units from northeastern Ukraine – on the Donbass front for several weeks. But despite large-scale attacks on Rubizhne, Popasna and Marinka last night with the support of heavy artillery, no major regional victories are expected at this stage either.
The thesis is defended by the Institute for the Study of War, which in its latest report on the conflict in Ukraine explains why Russia’s attack in the East is “unlikely to be significantly better than previous Russian attacks.” The U.S. Institute acknowledges that Russian forces may be able to consume Ukrainian resistance or limited areasbut maintain: Moscow forces did not take the “operational break” needed to “properly” form and integrate the destroyed unitswhich were withdrawn from northeastern Ukraine during operations in the eastern part of the country.
At best, Russian troops withdrawing from Kiev and transferred to the Donbass were similar “fixed” and full of soldiers from other hit units. Few – or not at all – integrated units are unlikely to do very well.
The Institute for the Study of War also stresses that the forces serving the Kremlin still have “immortally low motivation.” The Russian authorities have been challenged by the growing reluctance of recruits and contract soldiers to fight. Ukraine’s general staff said Tuesday that Russian troops have begun forming extraordinary units in Rostov and Crimea and that these efforts must continue until April 24. to organize a “second phase” to take over important administrative buildings and infrastructure in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s secret services are talking about it the number of Russian soldiers who refuse to take part in the war is growing. And these denials include 60 to 70 percent of the troops contracted into the 150th Marine Division, Russia’s main combat force in eastern Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian intelligence service, the Russian authorities are even threatening the families of the soldiers who refuse to fight and leave a permanent mark on the criminal records of these fighters.
The logistical challenges that have emerged have not disappeared overnight either. According to the organization investigating the war, the result is that “the effective combat force of the Russian units in eastern Ukraine is only a fraction of their strength.” russian forces will certainly be able to consume the Ukrainian navy in the east through “a strong concentration of firepower and a large number of troops on the Russian side.”but this is likely to be costly.
“Russia’s sudden and dramatic offensive success is still highly unlikely, and Ukraine’s tactical losses would not mark the end of the Eastern Ukraine campaign, let alone the entire war,” said the Institute for the Study of War.
Efforts and war fronts, at the moment
The main war effort was in eastern Ukraine, where Mariupol is of great importancebecause Russia’s goal is to conquer the besieged city once and for all and reduce Ukraine’s resistance as much as possible.
The other fronts at this stage of the conflict are Kharkov and Izyumwhere the Russians want to concentrate more forces, the southern axis, but also the city Sumy and Northeast Ukraine.
According to an institute in the United States in the coming days, Russian forces “are likely to eliminate all isolated Ukrainian forces operating in Mariupoloutside the Azovstal steel plant, which local authorities say is holding at least 1,000 Ukrainian fighters.
Also in the east, Serhei Haidai, the head of the Luhansk regional administration, said Russian forces had conquered Kremlin but had not made major victories elsewhere in the region. Of these advances, the Military Research Institute emphasizes: “Russian forces can be progress in eastern Ukrainedivide the Ukrainian forces into many small axes of progress, but that is the way it is Russia’s offensive operations are unlikely to be significantly more successful than the failed operations around Kiev. “
What to expect in the coming days
Russian forces have launched a large-scale offensive operation in Donbass, but a major breakthrough is “unlikely.” According to the report, Ukraine’s counterattacks southeast of Kharkov may also control some Russian units, but they are not expected to cut off Russian communications in the coming days.
Russian forces centered around Izyum are continuing small-scale offensive operations in southeastern and southwestern Ukraine and may launch a larger offensive.
Russia and its representatives may declare victory in the Battle of Mariupol and Russian troops may launch a new offensive operation from Donets to the north of the country, via Avdiivka and Kramatorsk.