ISW: Russian air campaign likely aims to degrade Ukraine’s counteroffensive capability

Russia’s recent drone and missile strikes likely aim to disrupt Ukraine’s counteroffensive operations, the Institute for the Study of War wrote in its May 14 report.

The recent strikes targeted Kyiv and “alleged Ukrainian military industrial and logistics facilities in deep rear areas.” The choice of targets, combined with the use of Shahed drones to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses, suggests that counteroffensive capability is the target of the new Russian air campaign.

“The alleged targets and limited nature of this campaign indicates that Russian forces are immediately concerned with current Ukrainian capabilities to launch counteroffensive operations, although the diminished effectiveness of these strikes are likely not significantly constraining Ukrainian capabilities writ large,” the report wrote.

Recent Russian attacks across Ukraine have injured civilians and damaged infrastructure. In Kyiv, Ukraine’s Air Force intercepted all Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russian forces toward the capital on May 13.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, 740 air raid sirens have sounded in Kyiv, the Defense Ministry reported on May 12. The combined time of these sirens added up to 851 hours and 38 minutes, or over 35 days.