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ISW: Surge in Russian attacks in Donetsk Oblast signals potential summer offensive

This increased activity contrasts with a drastic decrease in Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast.
ISW: Surge in Russian attacks in Donetsk Oblast signals potential summer offensive
Ukrainian forces on the front line. Photo: General Staff
ISW: Surge in Russian attacks in Donetsk Oblast signals potential summer offensive

Russian forces intensified their assaults in the Toretsk-Horlivka direction (southwest of Chasiv Yar and northeast of Avdiivka in Ukrainian Donetsk Oblast), maintaining a high attack rate and making several tactical gains since 18 June, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). 

This surge in activity is notable, as Russian forces had been largely inactive in this sector throughout 2024. In contrast, the pace of Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast has significantly decreased in recent days.

“Ukrainian sources warned that Russia may launch a summer offensive in Ukraine’s east, following northern operations aimed at stretching Ukraine’s resources. Recent intensifications in Donetsk Oblast suggest preparations for this offensive may already be underway,” ISW analysts reported.

This aligns with ISW’s assessment that Russian operations in Kharkiv Oblast aim to fix and distract Ukrainian forces, allowing Russia to escalate attacks elsewhere. The redeployment of some Ukrainian forces from Donetsk to Kharkiv may have created an opportunity for Russian forces to intensify attacks in the Toretsk-Horlivka area. 

On 22 June, DeepState analysts reported that Russian forces captured the village of Shumy in Donetsk Oblast and increased pressure on Toretsk.

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