Ukraine-Russia. ISW: the offensive on Kharkov was intended to divert attention, the Russians will attack in a new direction

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The Russian military has reduced the frequency of attacks in the Kharkiv Oblast in order to concentrate its forces in the Donetsk Oblast, according to the Institute for War Studies. According to the think tank, the Russians previously wanted to divert Ukraine's attention from other sections of the front and tie its forces to fighting.

As noted in the latest analysis by the American think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russian forces are likely to intensify the pace of offensive operations in the Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine, while reducing the frequency of attacks in the Kharkiv Oblast in the northeast of the country.

Greater activity of invasion forces in the Donetsk Oblast is visible especially in the Toretsk-Gorlivka direction, as well as southwest of Chasiv Yar and northeast of Avdiivka, the think tank reported.

The intensity of Russian offensive operations in the northern part of the Kharkov region has decreased significantly in recent days, especially in comparison to Russian activity in the areas north and northeast of Kharkov observed in mid-May, the ISW noted.

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This proves that Russian offensive operations in the Kharkiv Oblast are aimed, above all, at tying the enemy up in combat and diverting his attention from other sections of the front where the Russians want to increase the possibilities of their actions, said the analytical center, recalling the conclusions of previous analyses.

Russia wants to take advantage of Ukraine's weakening in Donbas

Sources in Kiev confirmed that part of the Ukrainian forces were transferred from the Donetsk Oblast towards Kharkov, therefore the aggressor's troops may take advantage of the weakness of Ukrainian positions in Donbas to intensify attacks in this part of the country – the study emphasizes.

Russian army mil.ru

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Ukraine's civilian and military authorities have repeatedly warned that Russia will conduct an offensive in the summer, which will probably focus on the eastern part of the country. The recent increase in the intensity of fighting in the Donetsk Oblast may indicate preparations for such an attack – assuming that Russia has not yet launched this offensive – said the ISW.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/UKRAINIAN ARMY / OLEG PETRASIUK / HANDOUT



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