16 June 2022: Here are the key takeaways from this evening’s Ukraine update from the Institute for the Study of War (whose daily update map was photographed being used today in Kyiv by Ukrainian leaders briefing the visiting leaders of France, Germany, and Italy):
— The leaders of Germany, France, Italy, and Romania visited Kyiv today and committed to Ukrainian officials that the West would not demand any concessions from Ukraine to appease Russia and will support Ukraine to the end of the war. French President Emmanuel Macron declared that France, Germany, Italy, and Romania are “are doing everything so that Ukraine alone can decide its fate.” Macron added that Ukraine “must be able to win” and pledged to provide six more self-propelled howitzers.
— Macron, Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis additionally vowed to back Ukraine’s bid to become an official candidate for European Union membership.
— Ukrainian defense officials explicitly requested Western heavy artillery, unmanned aerial vehicles, and multiple-launch rocket systems.. Ukrainian Defense leaders stated that Ukrainian forces need hundreds of artillery systems, infantry fighting vehicles, and tanks, as Ukrainian forces have suffered 30% to 50% equipment losses in active combat. They also noted that Ukrainian forces need Predator drones and loitering munitions to accurately strike Russian forces, and asked for long-range precision weapons such as MLRS to defend the entire frontline in Ukraine.
— Ukrainian officials stated that Russian forces have already committed about 330,000 servicemen to their invasion of Ukraine without conducting partial or full-scale mobilization in Russia. Ukrainian General Staff Main Operations Deputy Chief Oleksiy Gromov stated that Russian forces grouped 150,000 servicemen into battalion tactical groups (BTGs) and other formations, and involved additional 70,000 troops from air and sea elements, with the remaining personnel staffing non-combat support units. Gromov noted that while it is unknown if the Kremlin will declare mobilization, Russian forces will still need time to execute the deployment and training of the new personnel whether or not the Kremlin announces full mobilization.
— Russian forces continued to launch ground assaults on Severodonetsk and settlements along the Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Lysychansk.
— Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations northwest of Slovyansk, while Ukrainian forces reportedly resumed preparations for counteroffensives west of Izyum.
— Russian and Ukrainian forces engaged in clashes north and northeast of Kharkiv City, though no significant territory changed hands.
— Russian forces continued to fortify fallback positions in northwestern Kherson Oblast, likely in anticipation of Ukrainian counteroffensives in the region.