Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 19 May 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Russia Is Bracing For Ukrainian Counteroffensive
Ukraine’s effective counterattacks near Bakhmut have shrouded Russian forces in confusion. That might mean a Ukrainian counteroffensive is drawing near. Perhaps Ukrainian troops are seeking to distract Russian attention as the authorities in Moscow have no clue where or when a Ukrainian assault might happen. Despite that, the Kremlin is making continuous efforts to thwart a Ukrainian success.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces on May 18 stated that Ukrainian forces advanced up to 500 meters in the Bakhmut direction. Russia is bracing for Ukraine’s anticipated counteroffensive. That is why its forces have been digging extensive, layered fortifications. They are also building up tactical offensive operations near Bakhmut. After Ukraine launched a series of successful counterattacks, Russia deployed some extra units of airborne troops from other sections of the front line. Consequently, Russian forces are weakened in some areas where a major Ukrainian strike might happen. Unaware of the direction of the Ukrainian assault, Russia has no choice but to resort to other methods to slow down a counterattack. Russia has intensified its strikes on the country recently, perhaps seeking to weaken the Ukrainian air defenses. Russian aerial attacks target command and control centers in Kyiv and other major facilities. Ukrainian air defense systems are capable of downing Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, demonstrating Ukraine’s growing capabilities in this respect. Awaiting a Ukrainian counteroffensive, Russia is deploying its Belarus-trained troops to the war theater. Furthermore, Russian forces have increased heavy shelling, rocket fire, and missile strikes alongside attempted advances in several border regions of Ukraine, including the provinces of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy.
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