Urgent discussion of Luhansk and Donetsk regions' 'merging' with Russia indicates panic amid Ukraine's counteroffensive – ISW

Urgent discussion of Luhansk and Donetsk regions’ ‘merging’ with Russia indicates panic amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive – ISW

An urgent discussion on September 19 among Russian protégés about the need for immediate Russian annexation of Luhansk and Donetsk regions indicates that the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive is causing panic among puppet forces and some in the Kremlin, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) say.

“Partial annexation at this stage would also place the Kremlin in the strange position of demanding that Ukrainian forces unoccupy ‘Russian’ territory, and the humiliating position of being unable to enforce that demand. It remains very unclear that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be willing to place himself in such a bind for the dubious benefit of making it easier to threaten NATO or Ukraine with escalation he remains highly unlikely to conduct at this stage,” according to the ISW analyst report for September 19.

It is noted that recent Ukrainian counteroffensive successes are further reducing the already poor morale among Russian units that had been considered elite before February 24. In addition, the size of the volunteer units that Russia can create is likely to be reduced. Analysts point out that the Russian forces have been constantly reducing the units they used as the main tactical ones – there is a transition from battalions to companies, and in some cases to platoons, which drastically reduces the combat power of new units.

At the same time, Ukrainian forces continue limited and localized offensive operations across the Oskil River and along the Lyman-Yampil-Bilohorivka line, as well as strikes against Russian military, transport and logistics facilities in Kherson region. Russian troops continue to attack south of Bakhmut.

Ukrainian and Russian sources identified three main areas of combat activity on September 19: northwest of the city of Kherson, near the Ukrainian bridgehead on the Inhulets River, and in the north of Kherson region in Olhyne district.

Fuente: interfax.com.ua

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