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ISW: Delayed US military supplies impact the Ukrainian forces’ capabilities to respond to Russian mechanized assaults

While Russian mechanized assaults intensify in Ukraine’s east, materiel shortages don’t allow Ukrainian forces to contest the battlefield initiative
Can Russia take Kharkiv?
Destroyed Russian armored vehicles on the way to Balakliyia, Kharkiv Oblast, 2022. Photo:
ISW: Delayed US military supplies impact the Ukrainian forces’ capabilities to respond to Russian mechanized assaults

The Institute for the Study of War estimated on 6 April that Ukrainian armed forces experienced critical material shortages amid growing Russian mechanized assaults in the eastern frontline.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed concerns over the country’s ability to effectively counter the increasing tempo of Russian mechanized assaults in eastern Ukraine due to ongoing delays in US security assistance. In a recent interview, Zelenskyy emphasized that Ukrainian forces currently lack sufficient ammunition to initiate and sustain future counteroffensive operations, forcing them to rely on drones to partially compensate for artillery shortages.

Zelenskyy says Ukraine is open for loans as a form of US aid if it is provided timely

The situation has become particularly challenging east of Chasiv Yar and west of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, where Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi reported a significant intensification of Russian mechanized assaults ranging from platoon-sized to battalion-sized attacks. The Press Service of the Ukrainian Airborne Forces reported that Russian forces are still attempting to break through Ukrainian defenses west of Avdiivka using massed armored vehicle support, however, at a slightly lower scale than during assaults as large as the ones that they conducted in the area between March 29 and March 31.

Despite successfully repelling these assaults, Ukrainian forces struggle to maintain their defense due to persistent material shortages.

Frontline report: Ukrainian troops in Chasiv Yar face extensive bombing and numerous attacks

Zelensky also stressed the urgent need for additional Western security assistance to bolster Ukraine’s air defense capabilities against the intensified Russian strike campaign and increased Russian aviation operations along the frontline. He warned that Ukraine would require 25 Patriot air defense launchers to provide full coverage of its territory and prevent the collapse of its energy grid.

Furthermore, Zelensky cautioned that the arrival of all promised F-16 fighter jets from Ukraine’s Western partners in 2024 would only provide 10 percent of the aircraft needed to completely defeat Russian aviation and restore Ukraine’s ability to operate effectively in the air domain.

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