After conducting a series of advances in Donbas, Russian forces are likely emerging from the operational pause of recent weeks, U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War said in its July 15 report.
Russian forces carried out a series of limited ground assaults northwest of Slovyansk, southeast of Siversk, along the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway, southeast of Bakhmut, and southwest of Donetsk.
The assaults are still small-scale and were largely unsuccessful. If the operational pause is truly over, the Russians will likely continue and expand such assaults in the coming 72 hours.
The Russians might instead alternate briefer pauses with strengthening attacks over a number of days before moving into a full-scale offensive operation.
The 10-day-long operational pause was insufficient to fully regenerate Russian forces for large-scale offensive operations, but the Russian military seems to feel continuous pressure to resume and continue offensive operations.
Russian forces focused on preventing Ukrainian forces from advancing toward the Russian border in Kharkiv Oblast.