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ISW: Sufficient Western aid key for Ukraine to halt possible Russian spring, summer offensives

Western military assistance “critical” for Ukraine to hold territory as Russian forces likely to continue offensives to destabilize Ukrainian defenses this spring & prepare for new offensive effort in summer 2024, according to the ISW’s report.
ukrainian soldier 2024
Ukrainian soldier. Credit: President Volodymnyr Zelenskyy via Telegram
ISW: Sufficient Western aid key for Ukraine to halt possible Russian spring, summer offensives

Russian forces will likely continue ongoing offensive efforts to destabilize Ukrainian defensive lines in the spring of 2024 while also preparing for a forecasted new offensive effort in the summer of 2024, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on 15 March.

Russian forces continue to maintain the tempo of their offensive operations throughout eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi said on 15 March that Russian forces had concentrated their efforts on the Avdiivka direction and had been conducting daily mechanized and infantry assaults to break through Ukrainian defenses.

According to the report, weapon shortages caused by delays in Western security assistance forced Ukraine to prioritize limited resources to critical sectors of the front. It increased the risk of a Russian breakthrough in other less-well-provisioned sectors and made the frontline overall more fragile.

“Russian forces will continue to use the advantages provided by possessing the theater-wide initiative to reweight their offensive efforts this spring dynamically and into the summer, likely in hopes of exploiting possible Ukrainian vulnerabilities,” the ISW reported.

The Institute for the Study of War assessed that “the provision of Western security assistance will play a critical role in Ukraine’s ability to hold territory now and to repel a new Russian offensive effort in the coming months.”

Western officials also expressed concerns about delays in Western security assistance to Ukraine ahead of this expected Russian offensive effort. EU High Commissioner Josep Borrelll said on 14 March that the West must increase and speed up its support for Ukraine as the next months will be “decisive” ahead of the expected major Russian offensive in the summer of 2024.

“There is no reason to doubt that Ukraine could further stabilize the frontline and prepare for repelling the reported Russian offensive effort this summer if materiel shortages abated,” ISW reported.

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