ua en ru

ISW explains why Russia failed in its offensive in Kharkiv region

ISW explains why Russia failed in its offensive in Kharkiv region ISW explained why Russia failed in its offensive in the Kharkiv region: The Russians underestimated their strength during the attack on the Kharkiv region (Photo: Getty Images)

The success of the Russian army in the northern part of the Kharkiv region was thwarted by the premature start of the offensive operations and the Russian command's refusal to deploy maximum reserves, according to a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

It is noted that on May 10, Russian forces managed to catch the Ukrainian Defense Forces off guard and achieve tactically significant successes in less defended areas of the Kharkiv region.

ISW reminded that on May 25, the State Bureau of Investigation (DBR) of Ukraine announced the start of an investigation into the improper preparation of the Ukrainian defense in this area and the leaving of certain units of the Armed Forces in positions near the villages of Lypky and the city of Vovchansk. According to the Bureau, this allowed enemy forces to advance to the second line of Ukrainian defense. However, the limited human resources did not allow Russian forces to achieve a deeper penetration into the region.

"While it is possible that the Russian military command thought the accumulation of a larger force would have alerted Ukrainian forces and prevented the opportunity for operational surprise, the Russian decision to not immediately introduce significant reserves likely prevented Russian forces from achieving rapid gains and a deeper penetration," the ISW report said.

The Institute for the Study of War noted that the Defense Forces had entrenched themselves in defensive positions in this area. Instead, the Russian army used its tactical capability to achieve relatively quick success against positions fortified and controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Russia's offensive in the Kharkiv region

On the night of May 10, several tens of thousands of Russian troops crossed the state border of the Russian Federation with Ukraine and began an active offensive in the Kharkiv region. Within two days, the Russian army occupied several villages and entered the city of Vovchansk.

However, the Defense Forces halted Russia's advance, with street battles raging in Vovchansk. The city is constantly shelled with precision-guided aerial bombs and artillery.

On May 24, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported the halt of enemy forces in the Kharkiv region.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the losses on the Kharkiv front were eight Russians to one Ukrainian.