Ukraine can launch limited counteroffensive in late 2024 or early 2025 - ISW report

Ukrainian serviceman
Ukrainian serviceman

Ukrainian Armed Forces are likely to stabilize front line in the coming months despite Russian mass assault storms and launch a limited counteroffensive in late 2024 or early 2025, new report of Institute for the Study of War (ISW) stated on April 27.

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Russian troops are likely to gain significant tactical advantages in coming weeks while Ukraine awaits military assistance from United States, but are unlikely to break Ukrainian defense.

ISW noted that arrival of American aid to front will allow Ukrainian Armed Forces to solve current logistical problems and suspend Russian offensive. At the same time, Russian troops are likely to intensify efforts to destabilize Ukraine's defense and try to gain a foothold before aid arrives.

Analysts believe that well-equipped Ukrainian Armed Forces will likely be able to prevent significant advances by Russian troops during expected Russian summer counteroffensive. At the same time, Russian forces will use certain advantages and adaptations to pose significant threat to Ukraine this summer.

Ukrainian Armed Forces did not allow Russian occupiers to achieve even tactical success during previous large-scale offensives. It is unlikely that Russia will conduct offensive operation this summer that will be much larger and more intense than the previous ones, ISW writes.

In addition, Russians partly rely on their numerical superiority in equipment and manpower to put constant pressure on Ukrainian troops. Russian army is suffering losses that Ukraine would not be able to withstand, report says.

Russia's focus on quantity, regardless of quality, supports Russia's tactical advantages, especially as delays in Western aid have eroded Ukraine's qualitative advantages. Russians are likely to use mass assault tactics to achieve tactical advantages even against well-supplied Ukrainian forces this summer.

However, according to ISW, Russia's reliance on numbers is not the only adaptation Russian army made in Ukraine, as they demonstrated an uneven propensity for operational, tactical, and technological innovation and training.

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ISW argues that Russian military commanders are learning from mistakes of past operational planning in Ukraine and will likely conduct a summer offensive that aims to “stretch and overwhelm” Ukrainian forces on a broader front in eastern Ukraine.

Russians have also significantly altered tactical air operations in Ukraine through massive use of glider bombs, which allows aircraft to strike more safely from deep behind enemy lines.

Glider bombing will continue to play a critical role in supporting Russian ground operations this summer, despite improved air defense capabilities that Ukrainian Armed Forces will be able to use against Russian aircraft as additional air defense assets arrive.

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ISW added that Russian army still suffers from large-scale tactical errors, and Ukrainian troops will be able to exploit these errors as long as Russian military command continues to struggle with internalization and spread of adaptations at the tactical level.

“Ukraine is likely to stabilize front line in the coming months and will be able to launch limited counteroffensive operations in late 2024 or early 2025,” analysts concluded.

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