Russia’s latest mass missile strike has depleted its reserves of precision weapons, believes ISW

16 November 2022, 04:29 PM
Smoke rises above Lviv after the strike on November 15 (Photo:REUTERS/Pavlo Palamarchuk)

Smoke rises above Lviv after the strike on November 15 (Photo:REUTERS/Pavlo Palamarchuk)

Russia’s mass missile attack on Nov. 15, the largest of the full-scale war so far, depleted their reserves of high-precision weapon systems, the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of the War (ISW) reported in an update on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It also proved that Russia is unwilling to engage in real peace talks, the think tank noted, pointing out that the mass strike must have been prepared well in advance of the presentation of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s 10 point peace plan during the G20 leaders summit in Bali, Indonesia.

That means that the Kremlin "likely deliberately planned a massive missile strike campaign on Ukraine in anticipation of Zelensky’s speech at the G20 summit." The impossibility of launching such a strike on short notice "highlights the Kremlin’s disinterest in setting the stage for negotiations with Ukraine," ISW analysts said.

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ISW experts speculate that Russian troops have depleted significantly their stock of cruise missiles and drones, so the targeted destruction of Ukrainian electricity and energy systems will likely slow down. The dam-age "is unlikely to break Ukrainians’ spirit, however, given Ukraine’s improving air defenses and recent ground victories in Kherson Oblast," the report reads.

Meanwhile on the ground, it is likely that Russian officers ignored their own offensive plans in the Vuhledar direction in favor of hasty and costly assaults on Pavlivka, made by poorly trained "reinforcements". The ISW referred to Donbas puppet militia commander Aleksandr Khodakovsky, who claimed that Russian troops initially planned an attack in the Vuhledar area from two sides on Nov. 15. But then they realized these plans were impossible due to poor training of the soldiers and the lost connection with the brigade commanders.

Khodakovsky said the plans were changed completely and they were sent to attack Pavlivka in Donetsk Oblast instead. Russian troops have already suffered heavy losses in and around Pavlivka, in particular the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade of the Pacific Fleet, the ISW previously reported.

Khodakovsky told the ISW that the Russian military command is trying to blame the "miserable results" in Pavlivka on the commander of the 40th Separate Naval Infantry Brigade of the Pacific Fleet for not properly sup-porting the Russian 155th Naval Infantry Brigade.

Other the ISW update points:

  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continue counter-offensives in and around Svatove and Kreminna, also Ukrainian forces continue shelling Russian logistics to the rear of Luhansk Oblast.
  • Russian forces continue their attack in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Vuhledar directions.
  • Preliminary data about areas liberated on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River once again provoked backlash in the Russian information space.
  • It's highly likely that Russian logistics from Crimea into the south of Ukraine are still heavily damaged (the ISW cited Russian officials who said repairs of the Kerch Strait rail bridge have been postponed to Summer or Autumn 2023 due to dangerous weather conditions).
  • Russian forces are being supplied with Belarusian military equipment.
  • Russia continues to install Russian puppet officials in occupied territories.

Map of hostilities: the Ukrainian Armed Forces offensive on the southern and east-southern directions, fighting in Donbas Oblast

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