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Russia may have begun preparations for an offensive in Donetsk region: ISW points to evidence

Ukrainian defenders hold back Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine. Source: 56th separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The Russian occupation army is likely to increase the pace of its offensive operations in Donetsk region and slow down the pace of attacks in the north of Kharkiv region. This is how the aggressor confirmed that its "offensive on Kharkiv" was an attempt to constrain and distract Ukrainian forces to allow its troops to strengthen elsewhere on the front.

This was pointed out by analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). They suggested that the aggressor country, Russia, may be preparing (and possibly already continuing) a summer offensive.

It is noted that on the night of June 18, the occupiers increased the intensity of attacks in the direction of Toretsk - Horlivka (southwest of Chasovyi Yar and northeast of Avdiivka). They maintained a relatively high tempo of attacks in the area from June 19 to 22, "achieving several tactical successes."

"Russian forces were generally inactive in this area of the frontline during 2024, so their intensification and reinforcement deserve attention. On the contrary, the pace of their offensive operations in the north of Kharkiv region has decreased sharply in recent days, especially compared to the beginning of attacks to the north and northeast of Kharkiv in mid-May 2024," the analysts emphasized.

Russia may have begun preparations for an offensive in Donetsk region: ISW points to evidence

ISW has long assessed that the Russian command was going to conduct its offensive in the Kharkiv region to fix the Ukrainian military and their scarce equipment along the northern border. In this way, the enemy intended to give its forces the opportunity to re-intensify offensive operations in other critical areas of the front, especially in Donetsk region.

Ukrainian sources confirmed the redeployment of some units to the Kharkiv sector from Donbas. Experts therefore assume that the occupiers may use this alleged weakness in Ukrainian defense lines to intensify their attacks, especially in the Toretsk-Horlivka area.

Russia may have begun preparations for an offensive in Donetsk region: ISW points to evidence

Russian troops additionally maintained a high frequency of attacks in the direction of Chasovyi Yar and beyond the captured Avdiivka after slowing down their offensive in Kharkiv region. According to analysts, they may soon intensify attacks in the area if their commanders determine the coming weeks as a "favorable time to advance" before the Ukrainian army redeploys reserves back to the Donetsk region.

Russia may have begun preparations for an offensive in Donetsk region: ISW points to evidence

"Ukrainian sources have warned that Russia will conduct a summer offensive, likely to be centered in the east, following continued offensive operations in the north aimed at depleting Ukraine's limited resources. The recent intensification in the Donetsk region may indicate preparations for such a summer offensive, if it has not already begun," ISW stated.

As OBOZ.UA previously reported, Pokrovske is the hottest area in Donetsk region: at least 44 combat engagements took place there over the past day. The enemy is attacking with all available means of fire - aviation, artillery, armored vehicles, attack UAVs, FPV drones and small arms.

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