After its troops’ withdrawal from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, Russia is launching a new offensive in the eastern Donetsk region, according to the Institute for the Study of War.
In its November 13 assessment, the US-based think tank said that while Ukraine had won an important victory, it was not time for international partners to stop sending aid and start pressing for new peace talks, which are expected to overwhelmingly favour Moscow.
The ISW went on to say that the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) are likely to consolidate their control of the Dnipro river’s west bank, stacking troops to deter Russia from attempting to cross the river again.
The UAF are also expected to reallocate forces to other areas for both defensive and counter-offensive operations.
One of the key areas where the next battles will be concentrated is the East of Ukraine, in the region of Donetsk.
According to the ISW, Russian offensive operations in the Donetsk region will intensify in the coming weeks as additional mobilised servicemen arrive along with forces withdrawn from western Kherson.
Ukrainian forces in the area will find themselves hard-pressed, and Kyiv will very likely have to divert troops to defend against renewed Russian offensives.
In the neighbouring Luhansk region, Ukrainian forces have continued to make limited gains.
According to the ISW, if troops from western Kherson are reallocated there, Ukraine could make even more progress despite Russia reinforcing its defensive positions in the region as well.
As the weather shifts and the mud that’s been complicating operations freezes over, fighting is likely to intensify as conditions become more favourable to “large-scale mechanised maneuver warfare,” according to the ISW.
Looking ahead, the ISW states that the Ukrainians will almost certainly continue their counter-offensive operations already underway.
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