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Institute for the Study of War:  Ukrainian forces succeed in slowing Russian offensive in Eastern Ukraine

April 29, 2022


Russian forces made limited advances west of Severodonetsk on April 29 but remain stalled south of Izyum. Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine are likely successfully conducting a maneuver defense rather than holding static positions, redeploying mechanized reserves to resist attempted Russian advances. Concentrated Russian artillery is enabling minor Russian advances, but Ukrainian positions remain strong. Limited Ukrainian counterattacks around Kharkiv city may additionally force Russian forces to redeploy units intended for the Izyum axis to hold these positions.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces likely intend to leave a minimal force in Mariupol necessary to block Ukrainian positions in Azovstal and prevent partisan actions and are deploying as much combat power as possible to support offensive operations elsewhere.

  • Ukrainian forces are successfully slowing Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine, which secured only minor advances west of Severodonetsk and did not advance on the Izyum front in the last 24 hours.

  • Ukrainian counterattacks in Kharkiv are unlikely to develop into a major counteroffensive in the coming days but may force Russia to redeploy forces intended for the Izyum axis to hold their defensive positions around the city.

  • Ukrainian intelligence continued to warn that Russian false flag attacks in Transnistria are intended to draw Transnistria into the war in some capacity and coerce Moldova to abandon pro-European policies.

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