Institute for the Study of War: Russian forces achieve minor advances around Severodonetsk 

April 24, 2022

Russian offensive operations in eastern Ukraine made minor advances around Severodonetsk on April 24, seizing several small towns and establishing a pontoon bridge across the Krasna River west of Severodonetsk. Russia’s offensive in eastern Ukraine continues to follow the pattern of their operations throughout the war, using small units to conduct dispersed attacks along multiple axes rather than taking the pauses necessary to prepare for decisive operations. Russian forces continued to bombard the remaining Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol’s Azovstal Steel Plant and may be preparing for renewed assaults on the facility, which would likely lead to high Russian casualties. The military situation in southern Ukraine did not change in the last 24 hours.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces continued to pressure Ukrainian defenders in the Azovstal facility in Mariupol.

  • Ukrainian sources report that Russian troops are preparing to conduct renewed assaults on Azovstal that would likely prove costly—possibly to meet a Kremlin-imposed deadline to clear Mariupol—but ISW cannot independently confirm these reports.

  • Russian forces secured limited gains northwest of Severodonetsk but remain unlikely to be able to launch massed offensive operations.

  • Additional Russian forces are deploying to reinforce unsuccessful attacks on the Izyum front.

  • Ukrainian civilians in occupied Kharkiv Oblast are reportedly organizing volunteer movements to resist Russian occupation measures, similar to previously documented actions in southern Ukraine.