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ISW: limited Russian gains in East Ukraine amid fog of war in Kherson

Russian troops made marginal advances around towns in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts, an ISW report says, while the operational picture in Kherson remains unclear after contradictory claims in Russian state media.
ISW: limited Russian gains in East Ukraine amid fog of war in Kherson

In its latest assessment of the war in Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) states that Russian forces continued offensive operations and made some advances in eastern Ukraine on November 13.

The ISW reports that Russian troops progressed west of Volodymyrivka along the Kupiansk-Svatove line in Luhansk Oblast, citing geolocated footage. However, the Ukrainian General Staff said its forces repelled over 15 Russian assaults near Synkivka, Petropavlivka, Ivanivka, Kyslivka and Novoiehorivka.

Luhansk battle map 13 nov ISW
Credit: Institute for Study of War

“Russian forces in the area often conduct assaults with groups of up to 10 personnel each and with four to five vehicles – squad-sized elements with limited combat power,” said a spokesperson for a Ukrainian brigade in the Kupiansk direction, as per the ISW.

Near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, the ISW assessment indicates Russian forces made a confirmed advance west of Yahidne based on geolocated footage from November 12. But the Ukrainian General Staff maintained its troops rebuffed attacks near Klishchiivka, Dubovo-Vasylivka, Ivanivske, and Andriivka.

The report also documents Russian gains on the outskirts of Avdiivka, but says Ukrainian forces may have counterattacked successfully in some areas.

Elsewhere, the ISW states fighting continues near Marinka and Novomykhailivka west of Donetsk City, and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast, but with minimal changes to control of territory.

In terms of the situation in Kherson Oblast, the ISW analysis shows Russian state media initially reported – then retracted – claims of a withdrawal and regrouping east of the Dnipro River.

“The reaction to [the reports] suggests that events in Kherson Oblast continue to be highly neuralgic in the pro-war information space and emphasizes that the Russian media space still has not coalesced around a singular rhetorical line about what is happening on the east bank of the Dnipro,” the ISW report said.

The assessment noted the poor weather impacting operations on both sides, and cited Ukrainian officials suggesting an interdiction campaign against Russian supply lines could be forthcoming this winter.

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