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Mapping Russia’s Sudden Push Across Ukrainian Lines

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All of a sudden, Russian forces are making progress in many directions at once.

In recent days, Russian troops have surged across the border from the north and opened a new line of attack near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, capturing settlements and villages and forcing thousands of civilians to flee.

Sources: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project, Ukrainian officials

The New York Times

It may be a feint. The real goal may be to divert already-weakened Ukrainian forces from critical battles elsewhere. But one thing is clear: The map of battle in Ukraine looks a lot different today than it did only a week ago.

Ukraine is more vulnerable than at any time since the harrowing first weeks of the 2022 invasion, a range of soldiers and commanders have said in interviews.

It is too soon to know if the war in Ukraine has hit a turning point. But Russia’s progress isn’t just in the northeast.

Russia has been making small but geographically broad gains across the eastern front. And what started as a modest Russian advance near Avdiivka has grown in recent weeks into a roughly 15-square-mile bulge that is complicating the defense of the Donetsk region.

Sources: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project, Ukrainian officials

The New York Times

Months of delays in American assistance, a spiraling number of casualties and severe shortages of ammunition have taken a deep toll, evident in the exhausted expressions and weary voices of soldiers engaged in daily combat.

Whether Russia will succeed in weakening Ukraine’s defenses in other parts of the front line remains to be seen.

A big objective, according to Franz-Stefan Gady, a Vienna-based military analyst, appears to be to draw Ukrainian forces away from Chasiv Yar, a town on strategic high ground where Ukrainians have fought for weeks to stave off an attack.

Russia’s broad range of attacks appears to be stretching Ukrainian forces thin. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, said in an interview from a bunker in Kharkiv this week that it has been difficult to find the personnel to shore up defenses in the northeast.

“All of our forces are either here or in Chasiv Yar,” he said. “I’ve used everything we have. Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone else in the reserves.”

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