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Ukrainian armed forces vulnerable to Russian offensive without US support - ISW

Ukrainian armed forces vulnerable to Russian offensive without US support - ISW Photo: The Armed Forces will not be able to defend against a Russian offensive if the US stops helping (GettyImages)

Russian forces, even poorly equipped, will be able to advance if the US delays or fails to provide military assistance to Ukraine, according to the ISW report.

According to ISW, the current scheme of Russian offensive operations allows elements of units involved in less intense actions to rest and recuperate, while other units, which likely rested or recently received reinforcements, can then activate efforts on another operational direction, compelling Ukrainian forces to redistribute their defensive resources across the entire theater of operations and creating vulnerabilities that Russian forces can exploit.

ISW reports that Russian forces are creating reserves at the operational and strategic levels capable of sustaining current offensive operations in Ukraine, likely to support anticipated spring-summer offensives.

According to the institute's assessments, these reserves are unlikely to be ready to act as first echelon breakthrough forces or second echelon exploitation forces capable of conducting large-scale mechanized attacks in 2024, as long as Ukrainian forces have means to resist them.

Russian forces would likely use these reserves to replenish or reinforce existing formations and continue attritional attacks, led by infantry with sporadic limited thrusts of mechanized assets in their chosen direction at critical moments.

However, if the US does not resume providing assistance to Ukraine and Ukrainian forces as before, there will be a lack of necessary artillery and, in particular, ammunition for air defense, even poorly trained and poorly equipped Russian forces may be able to conduct successful offensive operations.