Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin framed Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast as part of Russian efforts to create a "buffer zone" to protect Russian border areas from Ukrainian strikes, confirming ISW's previous assessments.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukrainian forces have stabilized the front in northern Kharkiv Oblast and that Russian forces have not reached Ukraine's "concrete" and "most powerful" line of defense in the area.
  • Russian forces will likely be able to stretch Ukrainian forces along a wide front and fix Ukrainian troops in the international border area even as the tempo of Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast slows.
  • Russian forces reportedly leveraged notable electronic warfare (EW) capabilities to support tactically significant gains during the first days of their limited offensive operation in northern Kharkiv Oblast.
  • Senior NATO military commanders confirmed ISW's prior assessments that Russian forces do not have sufficient forces to achieve a "strategic breakthrough" in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted a series of large-scale aerial and naval drone strikes against Russian energy and port infrastructure in Krasnodar Krai and occupied Crimea on the night of May 16 to 17.
  • US officials reiterated the White House's unwillingness to support Ukraine's use of US-provided weapons in strikes against military targets in Russia.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to further known Russian information operations intended to directly undermine Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's legitimacy as president.
  • Russian forces recently marginally advanced near Avdiivka.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the annual Russian-Chinese Expo and forum on interregional cooperation and visited Harbin Polytechnic University during the second and last day of his trip to the People's Republic of China (PRC) on May 17.
  • Ukrainian and Western sources continue to report that Russian forces are committing war crimes in newly occupied areas of Kharkiv Oblast.

ISW - map.

Authors: Christina Harward, Angelica Evans, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, 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