On March 19, the Institute of study of war published data suggesting that the Russian offensive has probably already shown its best. The time has come for the Ukrainian army to seize the initiative and launch a counteroffensive against the significantly thinned occupying army.
The resources of the Russians were especially depleted in the offensive line in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, especially in the direction of Avdiivka-Donetsk and Vuhledar. According to the colonel of the eastern Ukrainian direction, Serhii Cherevaty, the enemy failed to capture Bakhmut and break through the defences of the Ukrainian army, and is unlikely to succeed. The attack of the Wagner terrorist group on Bakhmut is also approaching sunset: what was advertised as a "major strategic operation of the Russian army" led only to heavy losses among the size of the enemy army, equal to about one company.
Massive losses of personnel of the Russian army in the Vuhledar area continue. The Russian 155th marine brigade, aimed at capturing Ukraine along the Vuhledar direction, did not cope with its task, lost a tremendous amount of personnel and equipment. Therefore, the 155th brigade was reinforced by the reserve forces of the 98th guards airborne division.
"The 98th airborne division is at least partially committed in the Kreminna area in Luhansk oblast, and the commitment of some of its constituent elements to the Vuhledar area is likely indicative of a level of desperation on the part of the Russian military command trying to reconstitute battered units and restart offensive operations in western Donetsk oblast," ISW.
As evidenced by the movement of soldiers and equipment, the Russian military leadership plans to create a separate military detachment Storm, which will include motorised rifle brigades and sub-brigade echelons. This is an indicator of the decline in the strength of the aggressor in the Donetsk region, and the "spring offensive" has probably reached its maximum.
It is noteworthy that in September 2022, the Russian military leadership sent 300.000 mobilised soldiers to the direction of Svatovo-Kreminna, around the town of Bakhmut and along the firing line of Avdiivka-Donetsk and Vuhledar. The goal was to create conditions for a spring breakthrough. However, this brought nothing but colossal losses to the Russian army.
"If 300.000 Russian soldiers have been unable to give Russia a decisive offensive edge in Ukraine it is highly unlikely that the commitment of additional forces in future mobilisation waves will produce a dramatically different outcome this year," ISW.