Challenges in replacing equipment and limited reserves show a likely lack of resources to increase the intensity of the Russian winter offensive in Luhansk Oblast, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update on Feb. 19.
“Russian tank losses have been enormous in this war, amounting to the equivalent of around 16 tank regiments worth, which is likely hindering Russia’s ability to reconstitute its tank units rapidly,” the report said.
The challenges in replacing equipment combined with the existing pattern of Russian deployments suggest limitations on the possible surprise introduction of large Russian reserves in Luhansk Oblast or elsewhere.
The D.C.-based think tank offered an example of logistical challenges, claiming Russian forces are unable to repair modernized S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems near the frontlines. Instead, they have to send them to manufacturing plants in Russia, according to Ukrainian military officials cited in the report.
On Feb. 19, Russian forces likely secured gains in the northern suburbs of Bakhmut and in the eastern outskirts of the city, according to the report. In its Feb. 17 report, ISW deemed it unlikely that Russia will meet its goal of capturing Bakhmut by Feb. 24.