For the first time, Ukraine has the opportunity to shape the course of the war – ISW | Today Headlines

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Ukrainian soldiers fight on the front line in Kharkiv Oblast, August 2022

“The Ukrainian preparations for the counter-offensive in Kherson and the initial operations of this counter-offensive, combined with the dramatic weakening of Russian forces in general, appear to be allowing Ukraine to actively begin to shape the course of the war for the first time“, says the report of the ISW.

The ISW said Russian forces were actively moving their personnel and equipment to Kherson and the western part of Zaporizhzhya Oblast – at the cost of attempts to capture Sloviansk and Siversk in Donetsk Oblast, which they seem to have given up so far.

Read also: Ukraine makes progress in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, says Zelenskyy

In addition, Russian invading forces are also redeploying military vehicles, such as artillery and aircraft, to Russian-occupied Crimea from other parts of Ukraine.

Previously, the invaders had already suspended offensive operations (especially on Kharkiv and the southern parts of the front) in order to make the capture of Luhansk Oblast a priority. At that time, they took these actions on their own initiative, based on their management’s changing priorities, ISW analysts said.

Now, however, the Russian military appears to be forced to react to the threat of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast, the ISW said.

The severity of the dilemma currently facing the Russian high command likely hinges on Ukraine’s ability to sustain major counter-offensive operations on multiple fronts simultaneously. If Ukraine can exert serious pressure on the invaders’ positions around Izyum while continuing the transition to a counteroffensive near Kherson, then Russian troops will face a very difficult choicebelieves ISW.

Read also: Russians attempt offensive in Kharkiv Oblast – General Staff

“They will probably either have to abandon their positions west of Izyum in favor of protecting their land lines of communication to the north and east, or commit more personnel and vehicles to try to hold the front line. current,” the ISW said.

“However, these forces would have to be transferred from another axis, which would jeopardize further Russian gains.”

In its report, the SIE also analyzes the statements of Russian propagandists about the “strikes” in the area of ​​the Donetsk Drama Theater and penal colony No. 124 in the occupied Donetsk Oblast, which they claim to have inflicted on the artillery of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. on August 4 (the office of the President of Ukraine denied).

ISW experts give a number of arguments confirming that the Kremlin’s claims are false. The damage that Russian propaganda media showed in their reports of the alleged “shelling” near the Donetsk theater “does not correspond to artillery shelling”, according to the Institute.

Read also: Forty-six colonies liberated in Kherson Oblast so far

Furthermore, ISW suggests that Russia is actually using the resonance of the “strike” on Donetsk, amplified by Russian propaganda, to elicit an “emotional response” from residents of Russian-occupied territories in the Oblast of Donetsk. The likely aim is to gain support for the Russian offensive campaign in the Avdiyivka region and to continue recruiting efforts.

Other takeaways from ISW analysts on the situation in Ukraine over the past day:

  • Russian troops unsuccessfully attempted to advance northwest of Izyum;

  • Ukrainian forces conducted a series of localized counterattacks between Izyum and Sloviansk and recaptured positions in a number of settlements;

  • Russian forces continue to conduct ground attacks northeast and south of Bakhmut;

  • On August 4, the Russian army continued its attempts to advance on Pisky and conducted a limited ground attack southwest of Donetsk.

The Russian War Against Ukraine: A Map of Hostilities

Battle for Donbass

Fighting in Kharkiv Oblast

Fighting in southern Ukraine: Kherson, Mykolaiv oblasts

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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