As international military analysts report that the Russian troops are about to end the “operational pause” in Donbas, Russian Defense Ministry announced its intention to increase the attacks "in all directions" in Ukraine, on July 16.
The statement was made following Minister of Defense of Russia Sergey Shoigu “inspection” of the Russian groupings of troops “South” and “Center” on July 16.
He reportedly "gave the necessary instructions for further buildup of the troops actions in all operational directions."
Shoigu allegedly gave these orders at an unnamed "command post", after hearing the reports from Russian generals - commander of the South grouping Sergey Surovikin and commander of the Center grouping Aleksander Lapin.
The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its latest report suggested that the Russian army is probably putting an end to the so-called operational pause, which it took earlier in Donbas. The suggestion is based on the results of the events at the front on July 15.
The report notes that Russian invading forces carried out attacks northwest of Slovyansk, southeast of Seversk, along the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway, southeast of Bakhmut and southwest of Donetsk.
These attacks are still small-scale and largely unsuccessful, but they may indicate that Russian forces are trying to resume offensive operations in Donbas. If the "operational pause" is indeed over, the Russians are likely to continue and expand such attacks in the next 72 hours, ISW analysts believe.
The analysts are saying that the Russians may alternate shorter pauses with increased attacks for several days before moving on to a full-scale offensive operation.
However, as ISW experts note, after serious losses, the ten-day "operational pause" was probably not enough for Russian troops to fully restore their strength for large-scale offensive operations. The Russian invading troops will be "under constant pressure" when they resume the offensive.