GENERAL PETRAEUS ON RUSSIA’S WAR IN UKRAINE2 min read
5 June 2022: Here are the key takeaways from this evening’s Ukraine update by the Institute for the Study of War:
— Ukrainian forces continued to conduct limited and localized but successful counterattacks against Russian positions throughout Ukraine on June 5, including retaking large areas of Severodonetsk—the city in Luhansk Oblast on which the Kremlin has concentrated the majority of its forces.
— Even as Russian forces continue to pour equipment and troops into the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk area, Ukrainian forces have conducted a successful counterattack in Severodonetsk in the last 48 hours and pushed Russian troops back to the eastern outskirts of the city and out of southern settlements.
— Ukrainian forces are likely seeking to leverage the continued Russian focus on Severodonetsk to conduct counterattacks on other axes of advance.
— Ukraine’s counteroffensive pressure will likely continue to draw the attention of Russian forces to Luhansk Oblast and therefore leave vulnerabilities in Russian defensive efforts in Kharkiv Oblast and along the Southern Axis. The ability of Ukrainian forces to successfully counterattack in Severodonetsk, the Kremlin’s current priority area of operations, further indicates the declining combat power of Russian forces in Ukraine.
— Ukrainian forces reportedly killed Russian Major General Roman Kutuzov, likely the commander of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s 1st Army Corps, on June 5.
— Russian forces conducted their first missile strike against Kyiv in over a month on June 5. Russian forces reportedly fired five X-22 cruise missiles at Kyiv from a Tu-95 aircraft. The missiles hit the Darnytsia Rail Car Repair Plant on the outskirts of Kyiv.
— Russian military bloggers continued to reckon with overarching struggles in Russian force generation on June 5. Russian milblogger Alexander Khodakovsky blamed the pervasive public discourse on general mobilization for making people overthink and subsequently become less willing to enter military service, thereby forcing Russian military command closer to actually needing to announce general mobilization. Khodakovsky suggested that this discourse is setting Russia up for a long war in Ukraine. These and other comments by Russian military specialists suggest that the Russian military community is increasingly aware of issues in sustaining mobilization efforts.
— Russian forces continued efforts to converge on Slovyansk from the southeast of Izyum and west of Lyman, but remain unlikely to make notable advances around Slovyansk due to their continued prioritization of Severodonetsk.
— Russian forces continued to hold their defensive lines and fire at Ukrainian positions along the Southern Axis.
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