The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has said that Russia is lacking the reserves to increase the scale of their intensity in the offensive in Luhansk and have most likely only made small gains.
Vladimir Putin’s forces are continuing their offensive in the outskirts of Donetsk, Bakhmut and Vuhledar, but Moscow will likely fall short of “achieving operationally significant gains.”
The ISW said, “The major phase of Russian offensive operations in Luhansk Oblast is underway, and Russia likely lacks sufficient uncommitted reserves to dramatically increase the scale or intensity of the offensive this winter.
“Russian forces almost certainly still have some reconstituted mechanized units in reserve, but the commitment of these limited reserves to the Luhansk Oblast frontline is unlikely to change the course of the ongoing offensive dramatically.”
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Russia has also lost an “enormous” amount of tanks which will hinder Putin’s forces further and the ISW claim that half of Moscow’s pre-war tank fleet was wiped out in the first year of the war in Ukraine.
Dutch open-source investigative organization Oryx said that recent intelligence has discovered that more than 1,000 Russian tanks were destroyed and Ukrainian forces captured 500 tanks.
The repercussions from this means that Russia now lacks “the kind of punch required to make and exploit operationally significant breakthroughs.”
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that Russia has “sustained very high losses in Vuhledar” and Putin’s forces “are likely combat ineffective.”
Putin is under immense pressure to score some sort of victory in Ukraine and as the one year anniversary nears “tensions within the Russian leadership will likely increase.”
The MoD’s latest intelligence bulletin said, “Russia continues to pursue several offensive axes in eastern Ukraine: Vuhledar, Kremina, and Bakhmut.
“Casualties reportedly remain high, particularly in Bakhmut and Vuhledar. Specifically, the ‘elite’ 155th and 40th Naval Infantry Brigades have sustained very high losses in Vuhledar and are likely combat ineffective.”
Russian forces were likely under increasing political pressure as the anniversary of the invasion approached, the MoD said.
The statement added, “It is likely that Russia will claim that Bakhmut has been captured to align with the anniversary, regardless of the reality on the ground.
“If Russia’s spring offensive fails to achieve anything, then tensions within the Russian leadership will likely increase.”
Putin is fully aware of the situation around him and “fears for his life” as the power struggle in the Kremlin continues which has forced the Russia leader to keep himself isolated.