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ISW: Russia’s eastern offensive sees little progress amid Ukraine’s advances in south

Russia’s offensive operations across eastern Ukraine resulted in little confirmed progress on 15 Nov., even as Ukraine consolidated gains from its Kherson counterattack.
Assessed control of terrain around Kherson as of 15 November, 2023. Credit: ISW
ISW: Russia’s eastern offensive sees little progress amid Ukraine’s advances in south

Russian forces continued offensive operations in eastern Ukraine on 15 November, however, made marginal gains according to both Russian and Ukrainian sources, ISW reported. Ukraine’s counteroffensive has seen more success in Kherson Oblast.

“Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna line on 15 November and made confirmed advances,” reports the Institute for the Study of War. However, the ISW added it has not seen visual confirmation backing Russian claims of progress near several settlements.

The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian attacks were unsuccessful near Synkivka, Petropavlivka and Ivanivka, Luhansk Oblast. Russian sources made similar claims of Ukrainian assaults that did not result in advances.

“Russian forces are likely preparing to launch new assaults by intensifying artillery fire around Bakhmut,” said Ukrainian Ground Forces Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Volodymyr Fityo.

Both sides claimed minor back and forth movement in the Bakhmut area. Meanwhile, “Ukrainian forces launched localized attacks south of Bakhmut on 15 November and made confirmed territorial gains,” the ISW added.

Russian sources also claimed continued offensives near Avdiivka and Donetsk but without visual confirmation of any major changes in control of the territory.

In its daily report, the Institute for the Study of War also confirmed that Ukrainian forces are continuing larger than usual operations on the left bank of Kherson Oblast.

Natalia Humenyuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command, said Ukrainian forces have successfully driven Russian troops back, establishing a buffer zone of three to eight kilometres from the riverbank. The ISW notes this area is significantly larger than what available evidence has shown.

The report also cited Ukrainian advances near the communities of Poyma and Peschanivka as troops sought to capitalize on recent Russian losses. Offensive operations continued on November 15th in western Zaporizhzhia as well, despite claims from a Russian military blogger that attacks there were repelled.

The ISW said it could not independently verify the blogger’s claims.

Other takeaways from the ISW report:

  • The European Union (EU) appears poised to ban the export of precision machine tools and key weapons manufacturing equipment components to Russia.
  • Denmark will reportedly start inspecting and potentially blocking Russian oil tankers in an effort to enforce a price cap on Russian oil and the European Union’s (EU) insurance regulations.
  • The Ukrainian government reached a deal with international insurers that will provide affordable coverage to vessels carrying grain and other critical food supplies through the Black Sea corridor for civilian vessels, amid continued Russian efforts to deny navigation through the corridor.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin stated during a meeting with Russian election commission representatives on November 15 that the Russian government will suppress any foreign or domestic election interference.
  • Recent Russian opinion polls indicate that roughly half of Russians maintain support for the war in Ukraine and for Russia to engage in peace negotiations.
  • Russian and occupation authorities continue efforts to indoctrinate Ukrainian students in occupied Ukraine

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