Russian, Ukrainian and Western sources noted that the Russian winter offensive has failed to achieve the Kremlin’s goals of seizing the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts before March 31, the North American think tank revealed in its latest report Institute for the Study of the War.
As detailed, Russian Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, had announced on December 22 that Russian forces were concentrating most of their efforts on the capture of Donetsk Oblast, and Russian forces launched their winter offensive operation in early February along the Kupyansk-Svatove line. -Kreminna-Lyman and on selected front lines in western Donetsk Oblast. None of their targets were hit.
Information the British Ministry of Defense verified that Gerasimov failed in his attempt to control the Dombas regionin eastern Ukraine, as promised and assured that he only achieved “marginal victories” with too many casualties in his troops.
Ukrainian intelligence representative Andriy Yusovalso confirmed that Gerasimov missed the deadline set by the Kremlin to capture Donbas before March 31.
In his detailed report, the Institute for the Study of the War, cites discontent among Russian bloggers, alarmed by little territory gained and fearful of a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive between Orthodox Easter -April 16- and Soviet Labor Day -May 9.
The photos highlight that the Russian forces should end their offensive operations in Bakhmut and Avdiivka as soon as possible.
The deputy head of the Main Directorate of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) in the occupied Donetsk region, Alexander Khodakovsky, He stated that he agrees with the former commander of the theater of operations, Army General Sergey Surovikin, that Russia needs to move to defensive positions. Khodakovsky, reveals the ISW, warned his own that failures during the offensive cause loss of manpower and arouse negative feelings in the troopsand denounced that there are those – he did not give names – who continue with the offensive “for personal reasons” instead of adopting a rational approach to the issue.
The Think Tank explains that the comment of Khodakovsky takes direct aim at Gerasimov, accusing him of continuing the offensive to retain the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The requests by Khodakovsky and the milbloggers for Russian forces to prioritize defensive operations are not far-fetched and indicate that nationalist groups are sensitive to changing dynamics on the fronts,” the Institute highlights.
The ISW has long estimated that the Russian winter offensive had little chance of success. The Institute also estimated that Russia would lack the combat power to sustain more than one major offensive operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
Besides, He warned that the ongoing recruitment campaigns in Russia and in the occupied Ukrainian territories may indicate that Russia is preparing for a shortage of reserves.
In its report, the group advances that the growing Russian speculation about changes in the Russian military command probably indicates that Russia may soon reorganize its military high command due to the failure of the winter offensive.
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