Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian forces are pursuing at least three operational-level efforts that are not mutually reinforcing but let Russian forces prioritize grinding, tactical gains on a single sector of their choice at a time. Ukrainian forces will increasingly struggle to defend against these Russian efforts the longer Ukraine lacks further US military assistance.
  • The Russian military command likely assesses that Ukrainian forces will be unable to defend against current and future Russian offensive operations due to delays in or the permanent end of US military assistance.
  • The offensive effort to seize Chasiv Yar offers Russian forces the most immediate prospects for operationally significant advances as the seizure of the town would likely allow Russian forces to launch subsequent offensive operations against the cities that form in effect a significant Ukrainian defensive belt in Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian threats to Druzhkivka and Kostyantynivka are very operationally significant since these “fortress” cities help form the backbone of the Ukrainian defense in Donetsk Oblast and of eastern Ukraine in general.
  • Russian forces may not be able to seize Chasiv Yar rapidly and would likely struggle to leverage its operational significance immediately as long as Ukrainian forces have the resources needed to hold their positions.
  • Ukrainian artillery and air defense shortages resulting from the lack of US security assistance are allowing Russian mechanized forces to make marginal tactical advances, and future Russian mechanized assaults may be able to achieve more significant gains should the US continue to withhold assistance to Ukraine.
  • Germany announced that it will immediately transfer another Patriot air defense system to Ukraine in response to recent very urgent Ukrainian requests for additional Patriot systems to defend against the increased Russian strike campaign and ongoing Ukrainian efforts to expand Ukraine’s air defense capabilities.
  • Russian forces made confirmed advances near Chasiv Yar (west of Bakhmut) and Donetsk City.
  • Bloomberg reported on April 12 that Russia still relies on Chinese companies to supply most of the foreign-produced machine tool components and microelectronics to Russia’s defense industry for Russian weapons production.

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

See the original here.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter