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ISW: Multiple Russian offensives aim to regain initiative in Ukraine

Russian forces continue offensive operations simultaneously in the Kupiansk, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka directions. ISW assessed that they will likely struggle to fully regain the initiative across Ukraine, as Ukrainian forces maintain their own offensives as well.
Assessed control of terrain in Kupyansk, Bakhmut directions as of 14 November, 2023. Credit: ISW
ISW: Multiple Russian offensives aim to regain initiative in Ukraine

Russian forces appear to be pursuing several simultaneous offensive operations across eastern Ukraine in an effort to regain theater-level initiative, ISW reported.

On 13 November Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi stated that the Avdiivka, Kupiansk, and Marinka directions are seeing the most intense fighting, but noted that “Ukrainian forces are continuing offensive actions in unspecified sectors on the front.”

Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi emphasized that Russian forces are attacking in several directions, trying particularly to regain ground north and south of Bakhmut.

The Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, confirmed that Russian forces continue their offensive operations, particularly in the Kupiansk, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka directions.

ISW also assessed in its daily report that Russian forces will likely struggle to fully regain the initiative across the theater. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are continuing their own offensive operations and making tactical-level gains along the front, particularly in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and on the east bank of Kherson Oblast.

ISW concluded that the “Russian military command will likely have to decide whether to keep certain Russian elements on certain sectors of the front to defend against ongoing Ukrainian offensive operations or to redeploy them to support offensive operations elsewhere that will likely culminate without reinforcements.”

The analyst said that these choices will hinder Russia’s ability to fully regain the initiative in the coming weeks.

Other takeaways from the ISW report:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin approved amendments to the Russian federal election law on November 14 that increase the Kremlin’s control over the conduct of elections and reduce election transparency ahead of the 2024 presidential elections.
  • The Russian government is likely attempting to force Google to cease operations in Russia.
  • Armenia continues to distance itself from Russia amid deteriorating Russian-Armenian relations.
  • Ukrainian President’s Office Head Andriy Yermak stated on November 13 that Ukrainian forces have established a “foothold” on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast.

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