Russo-Ukrainian War 5/14/22

Ukrainian servicemen run for cover as explosions are heard during a Russian attack in downtown Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 17, 2022. Footage from Radio Free Europe depicts a similar scene, with paramedics and servicemen running for cover. (Image via Felipe Dana)

Ukraine has won the battle of Kharkiv, repulsing a long siege and forcing Russian troops to retreat over the border or recommit to ‘encircling’ Ukrainian troops fighting further south.

Victory in Kharkiv has had major implications for the war; taking Kharkiv was an objective meant for the first day, if not hours of the war. After a grueling siege, with ~600 civilians killed and ~600,000 displaced, Kharkiv’s defenders refused to surrender. Preventing the city’s encirclement allowed constant media coverage on the battlefield, including close footage of Ukrainian forces counterattacking with night optics by embedded RFE journalists.

The possibility of a new attack still exists from Russian troops in Belgorod. Still, after months of fighting, such a move would likely not change the momentum in the north, particularly after ongoing setbacks in moving troops from the failed Kyiv offensive further south. It has been assessed that almost all of Russia’s troops have seen some combat and that there are no ‘fresh’ reserves to draw from. With the arrival of U.S. howitzers and other assorted heavy weapons, Russian troops are likely to continue suffering from issues with morale, organization, and supplies.

As Russian forces attempt to narrow their objectives in the south, their recent advances over the JFO line have been met with Ukrainian counteroffensives. British intelligence has assessed that Russia’s offensive has largely sputtered out and is unlikely to make serious gains in the next 30 days.

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