Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • The Washington Post reported on August 17 that the US intelligence community has assessed that Ukraine’s counteroffensive will fail to reach Melitopol in western Zaporizhia Oblast and will not achieve its principal objective of severing the Russian land bridge to Crimea.
  • It is premature to make assessments about the overall success of ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive operations occurring along several lines of advance toward several different apparent objectives.
  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations on at least three sectors of the front on August 18 and have reportedly advanced further near Robotyne in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • The Kremlin has intensified its effort to increase its long-term control over the Russian information space, threatening the credibility of Russian sources that inform the wider Western coverage of battlefield realities in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian Operational Command South Spokesperson Captain First Rank Nataliya Humenyuk challenged Russian claims that Russian authorities have adequately repaired the Chonhar bridge after a Ukrainian strike on August 6.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Aviivdka-Donetsk City line, and in the eastern Donetsk-western Zaporizhia border area on August 18 and advanced in some areas.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Angelica Evans, Christina Harward, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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