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ISW: Ammunition shortage could enable Russian breakthrough on ‘not stable’ Ukraine front

Russian forces retain the initiative and could destabilize previously stable sectors of Ukraine’s front line in a short period of time if Ukrainian ammunition shortages persist, ISW reports.
ukrainian soldier 202a4
Credit: 1st Separate Tank Siver Brigade
ISW: Ammunition shortage could enable Russian breakthrough on ‘not stable’ Ukraine front

Ukrainian shortages of ammunition and other war materiel, resulting from delays in the provision of US military assistance, may be making the current Ukrainian front line more fragile than the relatively slow Russian advances in various sectors would indicate, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on 13 March.

Ukrainian military earlier prioritized some sectors that were most threatened by intensive Russian offensive operations. However, it created vulnerabilities on the others, which Russian forces may be able to exploit to make sudden advances if Ukrainian supplies continue to dwindle.”

The ISW report cites interviews with unnamed Ukrainian commanders published by German outlet Der Spiegel on 12 March, who said that “almost all Ukrainian units and formations have to husband ammunition and materiel because of the overall ammunition shortage.”

“Some Ukrainian units with limited ammunition and materiel can only hold their current positions if Russian forces do not ‘attack with full force.'”

Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi said on 13 March on Telegram that there is a “threat of Russian units advancing deep into Ukrainian formations in unspecified areas of the frontline.”

“The operational situation on the Eastern Front remains difficult. Russian military continues to conduct offensive actions, focusing its main efforts in Terny, Ivanivske, Berdychi, Tonenke, Verbove and Robotyne,” he said.

ISW assesses that “Russian forces have the theater-wide initiative and will be able to determine the time, location, and scale of offensive operations so long as they retain the initiative.”

“An intensification of Russian offensive operations in an area where Ukrainian forces have not prioritized allocating already limited ammunition supplies could lead to a Russian breakthrough and destabilization along a previously stable sector of the frontline in a short period,” ISW reported

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