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Russia mobilizes reserves to increase pace of offensive operations - ISW

Russia mobilizes reserves to increase pace of offensive operations - ISW Russians are accumulating reserves for conducting offensive operations (photo: Getty Images)

Russian forces are deploying tactical and operational reserves to support and potentially escalate the pace of their ongoing offensive operations in eastern Ukraine, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The Institute cites information from Ukrainian military observer Kostiantyn Mashovets, who noted that the Russian military command is deploying tactical and operational reserves for offensive operations in the Lyman direction, near Bakhmut, as well as in the west and southwest of the Donetsk region. This deployment aims to hinder Ukrainian forces from stabilizing the front line in these areas.

The expert clarified that many of these reserves are intended for use in a potential Russian breakthrough of the Ukrainian defense, rather than necessarily to support the current Russian offensive operations aimed at destabilizing Ukraine's defensive positions.

Yes, according to the analyst, Russian forces recently deployed additional units of the 3rd Army Corps (AC) to the southwest of Bakhmut; an unidentified reserve regiment of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division (8th Combined Arms Army, Southern Military District), and the 10th Tank Regiment (1st Army Corps of the Donetsk People's Republic) to the southwest of Donetsk; and units of the 272nd Motorized Rifle Regiment (47th Tank Division, 1st Guards Tank Army) in the Lyman direction.

Mashovets noted that Russian forces still have reserves for further intensification of offensive operations. However, these reserves will be insufficient to break through the Ukrainian defense.

"Russian forces have previously struggled to achieve more than gradual marginal tactical gains in Ukraine since mid-2022, and the introduction of tactical or even limited operational reserves in itself does not change Russian prospects for operationally significant gains because Russian forces have not yet demonstrated the capability to conduct sound mechanized maneuvers to take large swaths of territory rapidly," the ISW report said.

Frontline situation

On March 14, there were 68 combat clashes on the battlefield. Ukrainian soldiers repelled Russian attacks near Pervomaiske in the Donetsk region and repelled a series of attacks in the Lyman, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka directions.

Recently, the Institute for the Study of War reported that despite the slowdown in hostilities west of Avdiivka, the Russians could intensify their offensive.

ISW analysts write that the shortage of ammunition and other weapons in Ukraine could make the current front line more fragile, which Russian forces could exploit for a sudden breakthrough. However, military expert Petro Chernyk is convinced that the enemy currently does not have the potential to implement this plan in reality.