ISW Confirms Putin’s Defeat in Kharkiv Attack

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Two weeks ago Russia launched its major offensive against Kharkiv with a surprise attack. It might fail now. What’s next for Oblast?

KYIV/MOSCOW – The city of Kharkiv and its surrounding areas have been one of the hottest battlefronts in Ukraine’s more than two-year-old war. More recently, it has been the focus of a major Russian offensive, which initially began very promisingly with a surprise attack on Vladimir Putin’s troops.

On Saturday, experts at the Independent American Think Tank Institute for War Studies (ISW) described the major Russian attack on the Kharkiv region as a “failure”. Accordingly, ISW opined that the “premature start of the Russian offensive” destroyed the victory in the south of the Kharkiv region.

Ukrainian forces fired a self-propelled howitzer at a Russian position in the Kharkiv region. © Anatoly Stepanov/AFP

According to ISW, Russia’s major offensive in the Kharkiv region has recently subsided

In its report assessing the main Russian attack on Kharkiv, ISW troops said they launched their offensive in the northern Kharkiv region with only “limited forces”. In order not to immediately call the Ukrainian army into action with an excessive presence of their armed forces. ISW’s military experts explained that the fact that, more than two weeks after the start of the offensive, still could not move significant reserves there inevitably led to a slowdown in Russia’s advances in the region. A mistake that will be difficult for Putin’s troops to make up for.

“The low speed is likely to provide Ukrainian forces with tactical opportunities for a counterattack, although they have yet to launch a limited counterattack aimed at completely dislodging Russian forces from the northern Kharkiv region,” the ISW statement said.

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At the start of its Kharkiv offensive, the Russian Army’s Northern Group of Forces (NGF) reportedly had about 35,000 soldiers in the north of the Kharkiv region. However, according to Ukrainian sources reported by ISW, this is a significantly lower troop strength than Russia: Vladimir Putin actually wanted to deploy 50,000 to 70,000 troops north of Kharkiv.

Situation in the Kharkiv region – Russia’s first surprise attack resulted in a major offensive failure

First, at the beginning of the Kharkiv offensive on May 10, Russian NGF forces managed to surprise the Ukrainian army stationed in the north of the Kharkiv region. According to Ukrainian sources, they made significant tactical gains in well-defended areas. As a result, the Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) announced that it had opened an investigation into “the insufficient preparation of Ukrainian defenses in this area and the abandonment of Ukrainian positions on the Lipki and Volsansk fronts”. A total of 28 officers now face trial for military defection.

Over the next two weeks on the frontline north of Kharkiv, both Russian and Ukrainian sources repeatedly reported that Ukrainian armed forces were able to regain the initiative in the north of Kharkiv region. At the same time, they described Russian actions in the area as defensive.

Nevertheless, they assumed that the Russian armed forces could try to bring the NGF closer to its planned final strength before Putin intensified new offensive operations in the region. Finally, on Friday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army announced that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were pushing back Russian forces from Ukrainian defenses in the north of Kharkiv Oblast.

Zelensky: Russian losses in Kharkiv region are eight times higher than in Ukraine

Now Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also spoken about it Losses on the Russian side As well as on the Ukrainian side in Kharkiv region. Published in an interview with Ukrainian on Saturday Independence of Kiev Zelensky said Russia’s losses after the major offensive in the Kharkiv region were eight times higher than those of the Ukrainian army.

in another The President of Ukraine addresses in a video message Now to the leading politicians of the Global Alliance. Day and night, Kharkiv is under fire from S-300 rockets, which are actually used for missile defense, Zelensky explained. He also drew attention to the fact that Russian troops are now gathering in a new group near the border, 90 kilometers northwest of Kharkiv.

Is Putin planning a new offensive in the Kharkiv region? Zelenskyj warns in a video message

“Russia is the only source of aggression and is constantly trying to expand the war. Now, these days, we are defending ourselves against another attempt at a Russian attack 60 kilometers northeast of here,” Zelensky said. “Does Russia want dialogue?” Zelensky said in his video. asks at the end of the message. “During the war negotiations, Ukraine did not see Russia’s lies like any other country in the world. Russian cover-up lies primarily to prepare for this war,” the Ukrainian president added. Requested from global allies, and apparently from the US ChinaTo participate in the Ukraine Peace Conference scheduled for June in Switzerland. (fh)

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