ISW: Ukraine is able to return the initiative to the battlefield in 2023
Ukraine will be able to return the initiative to the battlefield in 2023, subject to sufficient and timely support from the West. This was reported by the American Institute for the Study of War.
Analysts drew attention to the statements of President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov that Ukrainian troops continue to prepare for counter-offensives in the near future. The ISW also quoted a member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, Fyodor Venislavsky, who said that Russia had deployed & # 171; all combat-ready units on the line of contact in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and partly in the Zaporozhye region& # 187;.< /p>
Venislavsky confirmed the assessment of experts that Russia does not have large unused combat-ready reserves that could be transferred and change the course of the operation.
«These data are consistent with the ISW assessment that Ukraine has the potential to resume the initiative in 2023 with sufficient and timely support from the West»,— stressed at the Institute.
At the same time, analysts recall Zelensky’s other words that the Ukrainians will continue the defense of Bakhmut, but «not at any cost». They believe that Ukraine's decision to defend Bakhmut is a strategically justified attempt to squeeze Russian troops on a separate sector of the front and break them.
«It was clear that Ukraine would not continue to defend Bakhmut, risking seeing a large number of Ukrainian troops are surrounded by the city, so Zelensky’s comment is unlikely to be a real change in Kiev’s strategy,” the report says.