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Russia seized 752 square kilometers of Ukraine's territory in 2024, Kremlin overestimates its success – ISW

Russian occupier. Source: rosmedia

Recently appointed Russian Defense Minister Andrei Belousov boasted that Russian occupation forces allegedly captured almost 900 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory in 2024. He made this statement against the backdrop of the Russian offensive in the north of Kharkiv region, during which the Russians managed to achieve some tactical success.

However, Belousov significantly embellished the real achievements of the occupiers, "adding" at least about 130 square kilometers to the Ukrainian territory occupied this year. This was noted by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The analysts stated that the head of the Russian Defense Ministry on May 31 boasted that the invaders allegedly managed to occupy 880 square kilometers of Ukraine's territory in 2024. However, the ISW noted that Moscow's dreams in this regard differ significantly from reality.

"Despite the fact that in early May 2024, Russian troops achieved significant tactical success in the northern part of the Kharkiv region, Russian Defense Minister Andrei Belousov has greatly overestimated Russian offensives in Ukraine since the beginning of 2024," the analysts emphasized.

Russia seized 752 square kilometers of Ukraine's territory in 2024, Kremlin overestimates its success – ISW

Thus, the ISW found evidence of Russian occupation of "only about 752 square kilometers" since the beginning of the year, which is almost 130 square kilometers less than Belousov claimed.

If we take into account the "territorial achievements" of the invaders before the offensive in the north of Kharkiv region, the figures will be even more modest.

"Earlier, the ISW estimated that Russian troops seized about 516 square kilometers between January 1, 2024, and April 29, 2024," the analysts stated.

Earlier, the US National Security Council said that Russia's offensive in the Kharkiv region was a failure. They stated that Ukraine had effectively stopped the Russian invaders' offensive in the north of the region, and the invaders suffered significant losses.

In addition, Russia's activity in the north of Kharkiv region led Washington to revise the restrictions on the use of American weapons. Thus, the United States has officially confirmed that its weapons can be used to strike the Russian Federation, in particular, military targets across the border from the Kharkiv region. We are talking about Russian bases, headquarters, and warehouses used to attack Ukraine.

However, this authorization does not apply to long-range ATACMS missiles: the White House's position on them has remained unchanged.

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