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Russia Might Intensify Strikes on Ukraine in the Upcoming Weeks

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) experts suggest Russians may intensify their attacks on Ukraine in the upcoming weeks, using the window of opportunity before the arrival of US aid to Ukraine.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on April 20, providing almost $61 billion of assistance to Ukraine. The bill must now be passed by the Senate and signed by President Joe Biden. These requirements and the logistics of transporting US aid to the frontline in Ukraine will likely mean that new US assistance will not begin to affect the situation on the front line for several weeks.

“The frontline situation will therefore likely continue to deteriorate in that time, particularly if Russian forces increase their attacks to take advantage of the limited window before the arrival of new US aid,” says the report.

The report adds that Ukraine may suffer additional setbacks in the coming weeks while waiting for UA security assistance, but they will likely be able to blunt the current Russian offensive assuming the resumed US assistance arrives promptly.

“The threat of an operationally significant Russian advance in the coming weeks remains, although the Ukrainian command may have more latitude to take short-term risks with dwindling supplies to prevent such an advance once it knows that more materiel will be arriving soon,” ISW wrote.

The analysis suggests that Russian forces will likely intensify ongoing offensive operations and missile and drone strikes in the coming weeks to exploit the closing window of Ukrainian materiel constraints.

“Russian forces have also sought to exploit Ukraine’s degraded air defense capabilities in an effort to collapse the Ukrainian energy grid and cause long-term damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure and defense industrial capacity,” the report adds.

ISW suggests that in addition to targeting energy infrastructure, Russia could shift its focus on Ukrainian transportation infrastructure to constrain Ukraine’s ability to sufficiently distribute manpower and materiel to critical sectors of the front. In addition, Russia will likely intensify its strikes along the front in hopes of causing damage to the Ukrainian defensive positions.

“The likely resumption of US security assistance to Ukraine is a critical turning point in the war in Ukraine, but the Kremlin, the West, and Ukraine still have additional decisions to make that will determine the character and outcome of the fighting,” wrote ISW.

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