Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized that continued shortages in air defense systems and artillery are preventing Ukraine from effectively defending itself against Russian strikes and ground assaults. Zelensky stated in an interview with PBS News Hour, which aired on April 15, that Ukrainian forces continue to lack enough air defense systems to protect Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Zelensky noted that Ukrainian forces were only able to destroy the first seven of the 11 Russian missiles launched against the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant (TPP) on April 11 before running out of air defense missiles, allowing the remaining four missiles to destroy the plant.

America’s Stark Choice in Ukraine and the Cost of Letting Russia Win

April 16, 2024 - ISW Press

The current US debate about providing additional military assistance to Ukraine is based in part on the assumption that the war will remain stalemated regardless of US actions. That assumption is false. The Russians are breaking out of positional warfare and beginning to restore maneuver to the battlefield because of the delays in the provision of US military assistance to Ukraine. Ukraine cannot hold the present lines now without the rapid resumption of US assistance, particularly air defense and artillery that only the US can provide rapidly and at scale.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian officials continue to warn that US security assistance is vital to Ukrainian forces’ ability to defend against current and future Russian offensive operations forecasted to begin in late spring and summer. Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Head Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov stated that Ukrainian forces are preparing to repel a future Russian major offensive expected in late May or the beginning of June but noted that this will be “catastrophically difficult” without Western military assistance. Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov stated on April 14 that the current situation in eastern Ukraine is “tense” and that Russian forces are focusing their efforts west of Bakhmut in the Chasiv Yar direction. Umerov stated that Ukrainian forces are successfully using modern technology against Russia’s larger quantities of personnel.

Iran Update, April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024 - ISW Press

Israeli officials have emphasized the need to respond to the Iranian drone and missile attack but have not specified how or when they will do so. An unnamed US official told Axios that Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a phone call on April 15 that Israel has “no choice” but to respond to the Iranian attack. Gallant stated that Israel will not allow ballistic missiles to be launched against its territory without a response. An unnamed Israeli official told NBC News that Israel’s response may be “imminent” following an Israeli war cabinet meeting on April 15. The official added that any Israeli response will be coordinated with the United States.

Iran Update, April 14, 2024

April 14, 2024 - ISW Press

Senior Iranian military and political officials praised the alleged success of the April 13 Iranian attack against Israel and simultaneously warned the United States that Iran would target US bases in the region if the US supported an Israeli response.[1] Iranian Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Chief Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri warned that, if the United States supports any Israeli response to its attack, Iran will target US bases in the region.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 14, 2024

April 14, 2024 - ISW Press

Israel’s success in defending against large-scale Iranian missile and drone strikes from Iranian territory on April 13 underscores the vulnerabilities that Ukrainian geography and the continued degradation of Ukraine’s air defense umbrella pose for Ukrainian efforts to defend against regular Russian missile and drone strikes.

Iran’s Attempt to Hit Israel with a Russian-Style Strike Package Failed...for Now

April 14, 2024 - ISW Press

The Iranian April 13 missile-drone attack on Israel was very likely intended to cause significant damage below the threshold that would trigger a massive Israeli response. The attack was designed to succeed, not to fail. The strike package was modeled on those the Russians have used repeatedly against Ukraine to great effect. The attack caused more limited damage than intended likely because the Iranians underestimated the tremendous advantages Israel has in defending against such strikes compared with Ukraine. The Iranians will learn lessons from this strike and work to improve their abilities to penetrate Israeli defenses over time as the Russians have done in repeated strike series against Ukraine.

Iran Update, April 13, 2024

April 13, 2024 - ISW Press

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force launched a large-scale drone and missile attack from Iranian territory that targeted Israel from Iranian territory on April 13. This marks the first time Iran has targeted Israel directly from Iranian territory. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari confirmed that Iran launched drones and then missiles from Iranian territory toward Israel. The IRGC announced the start of operation “True Promise” at approximately 15:30 EST on April 13.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 13, 2024

April 13, 2024 - ISW Press

Russian forces are pursuing at least three operational-level efforts that are not mutually reinforcing but let Russian forces prioritize grinding, tactical gains on a single sector of their choice at a time. Ukrainian forces will increasingly struggle to defend against these Russian efforts the longer Ukraine lacks further US military assistance. Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi stated on April 13 that the situation in eastern Ukraine has significantly worsened in recent days and that Russian forces are conducting mechanized attacks in the Lyman, Bakhmut, and Pokrovsk (west of Avdiivka) directions.

Iran Update, April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024 - ISW Press

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq—an umbrella organization of Iranian-backed Iraqi militias—threatened on April 12 to renew its attack campaign targeting US forces in Iraq.