The Russian military probably decided to withdraw completely from its positions around Kharkiv due to the active counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and limited opportunities for reinforcements.
This is stated in a report by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
"It seems that Ukraine has won the battle for Kharkiv. Ukrainian troops prevented Russian troops from surrounding the city, let alone capturing it, and then drove them out of the city, as was the case near Kyiv,” said US military experts.
According to them, Ukrainian troops are likely to try to destroy at least the westernmost lines of supply between Belgorod and Russian forces concentrated around Izium city. The Armed Forces want to block Russiaʼs ground communications with Izium.
Russian troops moved for a long time along the periphery of the Izyum-Donetsk ledge but did not make significant progress. In particular, their attack on Izium was unsuccessful for a long time.
"Earlier, we assumed that Russia may abandon attempts to move from Izium, but the Russians have either not yet made such a decision, or havenʼt fully implemented it. Limited and unsuccessful attacks of Russians on the southern end of the Donbas frontline Donetsk continued, but no real progress was made,” US military experts analyze the current situation.
According to them, Russia will focus on trying to surround Severodonetsk and Lysychansk from the north and south.
"Russian troops attacking Popasna to the north have not made significant progress in the last 24 hours. Those who go from north to south were unable to cross the Siversky Donets river and suffered devastating losses. The Russians may not have enough extra fresh combat force to compensate for these losses and continue the offensive on a scale large enough to complete the encirclement. Although they will probably try to do so,” ISW wrote.
- According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, yesterday, on May 13, the occupiers did not conduct active hostilities in the Kharkiv direction, and focused their efforts on withdrawing their troops from Kharkiv, maintaining occupied positions and supply routes.