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ISW Asseses Russia Has Failed in Its Initial Ukraine Campaign
Protracted and bloody stalemate will ensue
Insitute for the Study of War (ISW) Report
‘Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment’
March 19, 2022
Written by Frederick W. Kagan, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko
(This is part of their summary. Please go to the end for a link to the full report.)
Ukrainian forces have defeated the initial Russian campaign of this war.
That campaign aimed to conduct airborne and mechanized operations to seize Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and other major Ukrainian cities to force a change of government in Ukraine.
That campaign has culminated.
Russian forces continue to make limited advances in some parts of the theater but are very unlikely to be able to seize their objectives in this way.
The doctrinally sound Russian response to this situation would be to end this campaign, accept a possibly lengthy operational pause, develop the plan for a new campaign, build up resources for that new campaign, and launch it when the resources and other conditions are ready.
The Russian military has not yet adopted this approach. It is instead continuing to feed small collections of reinforcements into an ongoing effort to keep the current campaign alive.
We assess that that effort will fail.
The initial Russian campaign to seize Ukraine’s capital and major cities and force regime change has failed;
Russian forces continue to try to restore momentum to this culminated campaign, but those efforts will likely also fail;
Russian troops will continue trying to advance to within effective artillery range of the center of Kyiv - prospects for their success are unclear;
The war will likely descend into a phase of bloody stalemate that could last for weeks or months;