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Russia Escalates Attacks in Eastern Ukraine Before Western Aid Arrives

Russia Escalates Attacks in Eastern Ukraine Before Western Aid Arrives
Battles for Chasiv Yar as of May 10, 2024. (Source: DeepState)

Russian forces have noticeably increased the rate of ground attacks in eastern Ukraine over the past month, likely reflecting current battlefield conditions and the intent of the Russian military command to secure gains before the arrival of Western military aid to the frontlines.

This was reported on May 9 by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Ukrainian Khortytsia Group of Forces Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Nazar Voloshyn stated on May 9 that the number of combat engagements increased significantly from 84 on May 8 to 146 on May 9 and noted that most of the fighting occurred in the area from Kharkiv Region down to the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Region border area).

The UK Ministry of Defense reported that the rate of Russian attacks increased by 17% between March and April 2024 and that over 75% of reported ground attacks took place in the Chasiv Yar, Avdiivka, and Marinka directions. It additionally noted that the number of Russian attacks near Chasiv Yar increased by 200 percent between March and April.

Voloshyn suggested that the current intensification of Russian attacks is a result of the fact that the soil has dried out after the spring mud season, which facilitates more rapid mechanized maneuver, and that Russian forces are trying to take advantage of Ukraine’s relative weakness while it awaits the arrival of Western aid.

ISW continues to assess that Russian forces will maintain the high rate of attacks across eastern Ukraine in order to make gains before the arrival of Western aid in Ukraine, which will likely stymie Russia forces' ability to maintain the high rate of attacks and tactical gains that they are currently able to pursue.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy similarly stated on May 9 during a meeting with European Parliament Head Roberta Mestola that the arrival of Western aid to Ukrainian frontline units will allow Ukrainian forces to blunt Russia’s initiative in eastern Ukraine.

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