March 27, 2022

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment 

Institute for the Study of War

March 27, 4:30 pm ET
Russian forces have not abandoned efforts to reconstitute forces northwest of Kyiv to resume major offensive operations, and the commander of Russia’s Eastern Military District (EMD) may be personally commanding the operations. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russia’s 35th Combined Arms Army is rotating damaged units into Belarus and that Russian forces established a command post for all EMD forces operating around Kyiv in the Chernobyl area. Ongoing Russian efforts to replace combat losses in EMD units and deploy additional reinforcements forward are unlikely to enable Russia to successfully resume major operations around Kyiv in the near future. The increasingly static nature of the fighting around Kyiv reflects the incapacity of Russian forces rather than any shift in Russian objectives or efforts at this time.Ukrainian forces continued to conduct limited counterattacks in several locations, recapturing territory east of Kyiv, in Sumy Oblast, and around Kharkiv in the past 24 hours. Ukrainian counterattacks are likely enabling Ukrainian forces to recapture key terrain and disrupt Russian efforts to resume major offensive operations. Likely escalating Russian partisan operations around Kherson are additionally tying down Russian forces. Russian forces continue to make slow but steady progress in Mariupol, but Russian assaults largely failed elsewhere in the past 24 hours.Key TakeawaysRussian Eastern Military District (EMD) Commander Colonel-General Alexander Chayko may be personally commanding efforts to regroup Russian forces in Belarus and resume operations to encircle Kyiv from the west. The Kremlin is highly unlikely to have abandoned its efforts to encircle Kyiv but will likely be unable to cohere the combat power necessary to resume major offensive operations in the near future.Neither Russian nor Ukrainian forces conducted major operations northwest of Kyiv in the last 24 hours.Ukrainian forces counterattacking east of Brovary since March 24 successfully retook territory late on March 26.Ukrainian forces conducted limited counterattacks in Sumy Oblast on March 26-27.Fighting continued around Izyum in the past 24 hours, with little territory changing hands.Russian forces continued steady advances in Mariupol.Ukrainian partisans around Kherson continue to tie down Rosgvardia units in the region, likely hindering Russian capabilities to resume offensive operations in the southern direction.
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