In 500 days of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military, which intended to capture Kyiv within three days, has not achieved any of its intended goals, according to experts at the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
“Determined and skillful Ukrainian resistance”, in their opinion, allowed Ukraine to liberate many captured territories, seize the initiative and conduct counter-offensive operations along most of the front line. At the same time, Russian forces are now mainly focused on trying to hold on to the occupied lands, the authors of the daily review stated.
On July 8, Ukrainian forces conducted counter-offensive operations on at least three sections of the frontline, the experts said. On July 7, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar reported an advance of more than a kilometer south of Bakhmut, while Russian sources claimed that the Ukrainian military was conducting offensive operations in the western part of Donetsk and western Zaporizhzhya regions. Ukrainian military sources described offensive operations in the Berdyansk and Melitopol areas.
ISW continues to believe that the counteroffensive is aimed at depleting Russian forces and preserving Ukraine’s combat power through slow advances.