Mapping Russia’s sudden attack across Ukrainian lines

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Suddenly, the Russian armed forces are making progress in many directions at once.

In recent days, Russian troops have crossed the border from the north and opened a new attack line nearby KharkovUkraine’s second-largest city, capturing settlements and villages and forcing thousands of citizens to flee.

Sources: Institute for the Study of War with the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project, Ukrainian officials

The New York Times

It could be a feint. The real goal may be to distract the already weakened Ukrainian forces from critical battles elsewhere. But one thing is clear: the battle map in Ukraine today looks very different than it did a week ago.

Ukraine is more vulnerable than at any time since the harrowing early weeks of the 2022 invasion, several soldiers and commanders have said in interviews.

It is too early to know whether the war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. But Russian progress is not only taking place in the Northeast.

Russia has made small but geographically broad gains on the eastern front. And what started as a modest Russian advance was near Avdiivka has grown in recent weeks into a bulge of about 25 square kilometers that complicates the defense of the Donetsk region.

Sources: Institute for the Study of War with Critical Threats Project of the American Enterprise Institute, Ukrainian officials

The New York Times

Months of delays in U.S. aid, rising casualties and severe ammunition shortages have taken a deep toll, evident in the exhausted expressions and weary voices of soldiers involved in the daily battle.

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Whether Russia will succeed in weakening Ukrainian defenses in other parts of the front line remains to be seen.

According to Franz-Stefan Gady, a Vienna-based military analyst, a major goal appears to be to draw Ukrainian forces away from Chasiv Yara city on strategically high ground where Ukrainians fought for weeks to avert an attack.

Russia’s wide range of attacks appears to be stretching Ukrainian forces thin. General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, said in an interview from a bunker in Kharkov this week that it has been difficult to find personnel to strengthen defenses in the northeast.

“All our forces are here or in Khasiv Yar,” he said. “I used everything we have. Unfortunately we don’t have anyone else in the reserves.”

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