Russo-Ukrainian War 5/30/22

Evacuations from Sumy in late March (Image via Ukrainian Ministry of Defense)

Russia is possibly preparing to attack Sumy, calling into doubt their deferment of a Kyiv offensive. In light of increased Belarusian military activity, an attack on Sumy could force Ukraine to divert more resources north to counter what could be a renewed Kyiv offensive, though, given the new deliveries of heavy weapons to Ukraine, such an attack would likely face a devastating resistance.

Ukrainian forces have managed to defend the initial onslaught in Sievierodonetsk, but the outlook is still grim among Western and Ukrainian analysts. Many see an opportunity for Ukrainian forces to retreat and defend the banks of the Siverskyi Donets river. Already, Russia’s ability to mount successful river crossings has been called into doubt after a disastrous attempt that resulted in hundreds slain and several dozen vehicles destroyed by artillery fire.

Russian state media has continued their escalatory rhetoric, particularly in acknowledging the “special operation in Ukraine” as a war, particularly World War III. TV hosts, including members of Russia’s State Duma, advocated for the ‘destruction’ of a minimum of two million Ukrainians in order to achieve their goal of denazification.

In regards to rocket artillery, though President Biden reiterated it would not send rocket systems that can “hit Russia” (a statement which former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev praised), the Biden administration later issued corrections stating that MLRS was not off the table and that the President was referring to long-range rather than battlefield rocket artillery. There is still a significant amount of materiel that analysts assess will likely be donated, with ranges reportedly up to 70km.

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