Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian forces have recently intensified their effort to seize the operationally significant town of Chasiv Yar, seeking to exploit how Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast and ongoing offensive operations throughout eastern Ukraine have generated greater theater-wide pressure on Ukrainian forces.
  • Russian forces are likely preparing for the second phase of their offensive operation in northern Kharkiv Oblast, which Russian forces likely intend to launch following their anticipated seizure of Vovchansk.
  • Zelensky also outlined materiel requirements for Ukraine to combat Russia's air superiority and defend against the Russian air threat, especially given US-imposed restraints on Ukraine that prohibit Ukraine from striking targets within Russian territory and airspace.
  • Ukrainian officials have reportedly asked the US presidential administration to ease the restriction against using US-provided weapons to strike military targets in Russia.
  • Zelensky noted that Ukraine must overcome its manpower challenges in order to contest the theater-wide initiative in Ukraine.
  • Ukraine's new mobilization law went into effect on May 18 and will help Ukraine stabilize its force generation apparatus amid ongoing manpower constraints.
  • Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev called for Russia's envisioned "buffer zone" to encompass all of Ukraine, illustrating that the Kremlin’s concept of the buffer zone is a thinly veiled justification for Russia's long-held intent to subsume the entirety of Ukraine and likely an effort to garner domestic support for the Russian war effort.
  • Founder of the Kremlin-linked Rybar Telegram channel, Mikhail Zvinchuk, gave an uncharacteristically public interview in which he criticized the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and speculated on possible changes in the MoD.
  • Should the Kremlin allow select prominent Russian milbloggers to increase their criticisms of the Russian MoD, public pressure may grow in favor of reforms that would, if implemented, assist Russia's war effort in Ukraine.
  • Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili vetoed the Russian-style "foreign agents" bill on May 18, but the ruling Georgian Dream party will likely override Zurabishvili's veto in the coming weeks.
  • Russian forces recently marginally advanced near Avdiivka, Hulyaipole, and Robotyne.
  • The BBC News Russian Service reported on May 18 that Russian military authorities in Astana, Kazakhstan, detained a Russian contract service personnel (kontraktnik) for desertion on April 23 – the first such instance in Kazakhstan.

ISW - map.

Authors: Christina Harward, Riley Bailey, Angelica Evans, Grace Mappes, and George Barros.

See the original here.

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