Russia-Ukraine War: Situational Assessment Summer 2024

On 10 May, Russian forces launched an offensive along the Russia-Ukraine border into northern Kharkiv Oblast. As of 1 June, Russian tactical gains have been minimal, capturing 5 Ukrainian border villages during the offensive. Since April, US military aid has steadily bolstered Ukraine’s defensive capabilities. The Russian Kharkiv offensive has coincided with the culmination of their Winter offensive in the Donbas. Throughout the Winter, Russia made moderate tactical gains, notably capturing the Ukrainian town of Adiivka in February. Nonetheless, Russia’s tactical victories over the past six months have not significantly altered the strategic dynamic of the war.

Key Judgement 1. – It is likely Russia’s Kharkiv offensive is a fixing operation designed to overstretch Ukrainian brigades defending Russia’s Donbas offensive.

Key Judgement 2. – It is likely Ukraine’s tactical withdrawals during spring were driven by the country’s acute manpower crisis and shortage of air defence weaponry.

Key Judgement 3. – It is unlikely US and EU military aid promised in Spring has reached Ukraine in sufficient quantities yet to stabilise the frontline.

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