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ISW: Counteroffensive 'slower than expected' pace not indicative of Ukraine’s wider offensive potential

by Haley Zehrung June 22, 2023 6:28 AM 1 min read
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Ukraine's counteroffensive operations are moving slower than expected, but that does not mean it won't succeed in future offensive operations, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its June 21 assessment.

"The overall slower than expected pace of Ukrainian counteroffensive operations is not emblematic of Ukraine’s wider offensive potential, and Ukrainian forces are likely successfully setting conditions for a future main effort despite initial setbacks," the ISW wrote.

President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged on June 21 that battlefield progress has been "slower than desired," due to increased Russian defenses on the frontlines, particularly in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and throughout southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front on June 21, but at relatively slower pace in both western Donetsk and western Zaporizhzhia oblasts compared to the previous days.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar emphasized on June 20 that it is not useful to gauge the success of military actions based "solely by kilometers or the number of liberated settlements,” underscoring that the pace of Ukraine's operations right now is not indicative of future successes.

"Ukrainian forces may be conducting several offensive operations across the entire theater in order to gradually attrit Russian forces" to set the stage for a future large-scale offensive, the ISW said.

Ukraine war latest: Military keeps advancing south, Zelensky says offensive ‘slower than desired’ but not ‘a movie’
Key developments on June 21: * Ukrainian forces report further advance in the south * Germany delivers Patriot missile system to Ukraine * Russia fortifies defense lines in Crimea, creates branch of Black Sea Fleet in occupied Mariupol * Russian forces attack 10 regions, kill 4 people on June 2…

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