Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian forces appear to be intensifying the tempo of their offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast while decreasing the rate of attacks in northern Kharkiv Oblast — consistent with ISW's assessment that Russian offensive operations in Kharkiv Oblast are primarily intended to fix and distract Ukrainian forces in order to allow Russian forces to intensify elsewhere in theater.
  • US policy continues to prohibit Ukrainian forces from striking legitimate military targets in Russian territory in range of Ukrainian HIMARS.
  • Russian forces are exploiting the sanctuary that US policy still protects to support Russian combat operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast and elsewhere in Ukraine.
  • Russian air defenses will reduce the effectiveness of Ukrainian F-16s if the US does not allow Ukrainian forces to use ATACMS to destroy Russian air defense systems in Russian territory.
  • The partial removal of the Russian sanctuary has already had a net positive effect, underscoring the powerful latent potential a larger policy change could achieve.
  • Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced on June 21 that the Netherlands and another unspecified country will supply Ukraine with a Patriot air defense system.
  • Russian opposition outlet Vazhnye Istorii reported on a series of leadership changes within the Russian Federal Security Service's (FSB) Fifth Service, which reportedly specializes in collecting intelligence within Russia and the former Soviet Union.
  • Western countries have reportedly provided Ukraine with roughly 800 million euros ($855.4 million) worth of Serbian-produced ammunition despite Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić's ongoing efforts to balance favor between Russia and the West.
  • Satellite imagery confirmed that Ukrainian forces struck at least one Russian air defense training center in Krasnodar Krai during recent strikes on June 20 to 21.
  • Select Russian milbloggers claimed that unnamed actors, implied to be Ukrainians, conducted a strike using ATACMS against Rostov Oblast, although ISW cannot independently confirm these reports.
  • Russian forces recently advanced near Svatove, Chasiv Yar, and Avdiivka. 
  • Russian law enforcement and security agencies continue working with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) to recruit those accused of criminal offenses into the Russian military, likely as part of ongoing crypto-mobilization efforts.

ISW - map.

Authors: Angelica Evans, Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Nicole Wolkov, and George Barros.

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