Luring Ukraine from US Southern Think Tank: Russia May Be Planning a Diversionary Offensive
Ukraine is apparently preparing a counteroffensive in the south of the country. To slow this down, Russia may want to unleash new fighting in the east. Battles, therefore, can also distract from the failures of the last days.
The US Institute for War Studies (ISW) considers a new Russian offensive in the Donbass possible to delay the Ukrainian counter-attack in the south of the country. The Russian army notably scaled back its attacks near Siwersk in the northeast of the Donetsk region in early August, the think tank reports in its latest analysis of the war. Since August 11, however, significantly more attacks have been recorded again.
(Photo: photo alliance / AA)
“This, together with the ongoing attacks near Bakhmut, could be an attempt to lure Ukrainian defense equipment and personnel into the Donbass,” write the military experts – presumably from the south, where the Ukrainian armed forces created all the conditions for a effective attack. counter-offensive. The fact that Moscow wants to distract itself from the failures of the past few days could also play a role in the new tactics.
British intelligence recently reported that Ukraine had successfully shut down major Russian supply lines in the southern Kherson region. Thus, the most important road bridges over Dnipro can no longer be used for larger deliveries. A major railway bridge over the river and an important rail link connecting the Crimea annexed to the region were also disrupted after Ukrainian attacks. Thousands of Russian soldiers stationed on the west side of the Dnipro could be cut off from further supplies. On the Black Sea peninsula itself, several explosions took place at a Russian military base during the week.
Heavy fighting in the east
At the same time, both the Russian Defense Ministry and the Ukrainian military confirmed intense fighting in the Donetsk region. The ministry in Moscow announced that the Donetsk suburb of Pisky, in the northwest of the city, has finally been taken over. The Ukrainian military disagreed: fierce fighting continued in Pisky, the general staff said. “The occupiers are trying to break through the lines of defense of our troops towards Oleksandropol, Krasnohorivka, Avdiyvka, Maryinka and Pisky,” he said.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and currently occupies about a fifth of the neighboring country, including the Crimean peninsula annexed in 2014, including the Luhansk and Kherson regions and much of the Zaporizhia region. Ukraine is urgently demanding heavy weapons from the West to stop the Russian advance and retake territory.