According to a new report from the Institute of War Research (ISW), Russian troops were unable to fire back at Ukrainian troops in a key area of the Donetsk-Zaporizhia border as they attempted to counter Kiev’s counteroffensive.
In its latest update on Friday, the Washington, D.C.-based think tank ISW wrote that Russian battalion commander Alexander Khodakovsky warned that Russian forces would The lack of “counter-battery capabilities” is located in the Donetsk region of southeastern Ukraine.
The report comes as Ukraine continues its counteroffensive against Russian forces. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday that while the counteroffensive appeared to have stalled for weeks, Ukraine had made significant progress in recent days. Ukraine, backed by Western military aid, responded to a Russian invasion in February 2022 with a stronger-than-expected defense effort that prevented Moscow from achieving a substantial progress.
Khodakovsky said his troops were under “extreme stress” defending the southeastern Velikanovosilka region due to “continuous Ukrainian artillery fire” and an alleged “inability to return fire,” the report said. physical and mental stress”.
“Khodakovsky expressed concern over whether the exhausted Russian military would be able to withstand future Ukrainian offensives in this part of the front line,” the report said.
ISW also wrote that Khodakovsky had previously raised similar concerns about Russia’s ability to defend the region from Ukraine, but called his latest remarks “a more negative and defeatist tone.”
His concerns “are not necessarily indicative of a broader phenomenon in Russian defence,” the report added.
The ISW report said: “However, Khodakovsky’s remarks may accurately reflect the situation in his limited but important frontline area, as well as Khodakovsky’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) The case of often-overlooked proxy military units such as the “Oriental” battalion.”
Weekly newspaper The Russian Ministry of Defense was contacted by email for comment.
Report comes amid progress in Ukraine
ISW said earlier this week that Ukraine had “made some progress” in the western Zaporozhye region and in the north-west of Kryshchivka, about 5 miles southwest of Bakhmut in Donetsk region.
Ukrainian forces have made progress in efforts to retake Russian-held territory in the Zaporozhye region, which has long been a topic of international concern because it is home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hannah Malial said on Monday. location.
“Our troops were successful southeast of Roboteyny and Mali Tokmachka in the Zaporozhye region,” Malial wrote.
Ukraine, meanwhile, has also declared a victory for its military to regain control of the village of Urozain in recent weeks.