Russian occupation forces are continuing to accumulate equipment and manpower in the Zaporizhia region, including along the Dniprorudne-Vasylivka-Orikhiv line, likely in response to Ukrainian counterattacks.
The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said this in a Russian offensive campaign assessment on June 19, Ukrinform reports.
According to the report, Russian forces continued to prepare for offensive operations toward Sloviansk from southeast of Izium and west of Lyman but did not make any confirmed advances in either direction on June 19. Researchers say that concentrated Russian artillery power paired with likely understrength infantry units remains insufficient to enable Russian advances within Sievierodonetsk.
The ISW said that Russian forces are likely employing false-flag artillery strikes against infrastructure in Russian-held areas of the Donetsk region in order to dissuade pro-Ukrainian sentiment and encourage the mobilization of proxy forces.
In addition, Russian forces are focusing on strengthening defensive positions along the Southern Axis due to recent successful Ukrainian counterattacks along the Kherson-Mykolaiv region border.