A new Map Showing where Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army is most likely to lose ground in Ukraine was released by Britain’s Defense Ministry on Thursday, a day after its top defense official announced it was “deliberately” slowing the ongoing offensive.
The map shows a “probable Ukrainian advance” taking place at three points along the warfront, with arrows showing the direction each is advancing. One of these likely Ukrainian advances is in the northeastern Kharkiv region, pushing down and slightly east, roughly towards the Russian-held city of Izium. A piece of land next to Izium is also marked on the map as “Contested Area”.
The second advance appears to be pushing from a central part of the Dnipropetrovsk region of south-east Ukraine towards Russian-held territory in the southern Kherson region. The last begins in a central area of the southern Mykolayiv region and advances into Russian-occupied lands in a lower part of the region. In the case of possible advances in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv, the arrows point directly to patches of disputed territory.
When Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, many expected his army to claim a quick victory. But as the war marked its six-month anniversary on Wednesday, the Russian leader’s prospects for victory looked unclear. Territorial assessments of Ukraine show that Putin’s forces still control some territory in the eastern and southern parts of the country, but these probable Ukrainian advances noted by Britain, if true, could potentially eat into his gains.
When Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that the military was slowing down the offensive, he phrased it as a measure to protect civilians.
“Everything is being done to avoid civilian casualties,” he said at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan. “Of course that slows down the pace of the offensive, but we do it consciously.”
Shoigu also said during the meeting that Russia’s “military special operation” in Ukraine is proceeding according to plan and all of its goals are being achieved, according to an English translation of a telegram post from the Russian Defense Ministry.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in one go ridiculed the minister’s explanation of Russia’s election campaign pace tweetand called Shoigu the “King of Goodwill Gestures”.
“We promise to do our best to turn this ‘slow down’ into a good old-fashioned retreat. Or as the Russians like to say… a reverse offensive,” she added.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), in its Aug. 24 assessment of the Russia campaign, said that Shoigu’s testimony may have been an attempt to excuse “negligible gains” made by Putin’s army over the past six weeks. The ISW estimated that Russia only gained about 450 square kilometers of new territory after resuming operations after a temporary hiatus in July. Meanwhile, Russia has lost 45,000 square kilometers of territory since March 21, the ISW said.
“As the ISW has previously noted, Russian forces are unable to convert limited tactical gains into broader operational successes and their offensive operations in eastern Ukraine are peaking. Schoigu’s explanation is likely an attempt to explain these errors,” the report added.
news week asked the defense ministries of Russia and Ukraine for their opinion.
https://www.newsweek.com/map-shows-where-russian-forces-most-likely-lose-ukraine-territory-1737096 Map shows where Putin’s troops are most likely to fail in Ukraine