Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in at least three directions and reportedly made gains on June 15. Ukrainian General Staff Spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun reported that Ukrainian forces conducted successful offensive operations north and northwest of Bakhmut. Ukraine’s Tavrisk Group of Forces Press Center reported that Ukrainian forces advanced up to one kilometer in western Donetsk Oblast and are continuing attempts to improve their tactical positions near Vuhledar (30km southwest of Donetsk City). Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian troops unsuccessfully attacked southwest and south of Orikhiv in western Zaporizhia Oblast and claimed that Ukrainian forces are increasing the tempo of counteroffensive operations in the area due to improved weather conditions. Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Department of the Ukrainian General Staff Brigadier General Oleksii Hromov reported that Ukrainian forces have advanced up to 3km near Mala Tokmachka in western Zaporizhia Oblast and up to 7km near Velyka Novosilka in western Donetsk Oblast and have liberated seven settlements in those areas since beginning counteroffensive operations. Advisor to the Ukrainian Presidential Office Mykhailo Podolyak however stated on June 15 that Ukrainian forces have yet to launch counteroffensives “as such” but acknowledged that Ukrainian forces are conducting offensive actions, a likely clarification that Ukrainian forces have not yet begun their main effort. ISW assesses that ongoing Ukrainian offensive operations are likely setting conditions for wider Ukrainian counteroffensive objectives that are not immediately clear and therefore represent the initial phase of an ongoing counteroffensive.
Russian milbloggers continue to credit alleged superior Russian electronic warfare (EW) capabilities and defensive doctrine for Russian forces’ successful defenses against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine. A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces are implementing a “strategic defense” that seeks to attrit advancing Ukrainian forces in extended positional battles along a first line of defense before later launching counterattacks against weakened Ukrainian assault units. ISW continues to assess that Russian forces are maintaining doctrinally sound defensive operations in this sector in which a first echelon of forces repels or slows attacking forces before a second echelon of forces counterattacks against any enemy breakthrough. Another prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Russian EW complexes prevent Ukrainian forces from using precision-guided munitions guided by GPS coordinates and heavily disrupt Ukrainian radio communication. The milblogger specifically claimed that Russian forces use “Murmansk-BN” EW complexes to disrupt sensors on Ukrainian aerial reconnaissance equipment and “Krasukha-4” EW complexes to suppress connections with satellite signals within a radius of 300km. ISW has previously assessed that Russian EW capabilities have been critical in complicating Ukrainian attacks in the Zaporizhia direction, although it is unclear if continued successful Russian EW tactics are a result of superior capacities or improved Russian employment of these systems. ISW has previously noted that initial Ukrainian assaults and Russian defensive operations should not be extrapolated to predict the outcome of all Ukrainian counteroffensive operations.
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in at least three directions and reportedly made gains on June 15.
- Russian milbloggers continue to credit alleged superior Russian electronic warfare (EW) capabilities and defensive doctrine for Russian forces’ successful defenses against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine.
- Russian forces conducted another series of drone and missile strikes across Ukraine early in the morning of June 15.
- The Russian military is advancing initial efforts to stand up new corps- and army-level formations to implement Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s announced intent to conduct large-scale force restructuring by 2026, though these new formations are not yet staffed and operational.
- Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov deployed Chechen “Akhmat” special forces to border areas in Belgorod Oblast, likely as part of a continued effort to align himself with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
- Western states may provide F-16 fighter aircraft and additional Leopard tanks to Ukraine in the coming months.
- Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
- Ukrainian and Russian forces conducted ground attacks near Bakhmut, and Russian forces have gained territory as of June 15.
- Ukrainian and Russian forces reportedly continued limited ground attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in western Donetsk Oblast.
- Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
- Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian forces are beginning to decommission specialized company-size assault units and transferring their personnel to volunteer formations.
- Ukrainian partisans reportedly sabotaged a railway in occupied Melitopol, though ISW has observed no visual confirmation or Russian corroboration of the attack.