Assessment of the state of the Ukraine War April 2023

Research by our Senior Researcher, Csaba Barnabás Horváth

March 2023 has been the so far most static month of the entire war in terms of territorial gains by the belligerents ever since the start of the all-out Russian invasion on the 24th of February 2022. The net outcome of the month was a mere 70kmterritorial gain by Russia. In our January and February assessments, we already got to the conclusion that Russia is unlikely to win the war, however, we seem to have still overestimated the momentum of the Russian advance and underestimated upcoming Russian losses. Besides such turn of events in equipment losses, another one has been the acceleration of arms supplies. In our previous monthly assessment, we noted the discrepancy between the hardening rhetoric of the United States and other Western supporters of Ukraine on the one hand and the lengthy process of arms deliveries. This discrepancy could have been reduced either by toning down the rhetoric or by doubling down on the arms deliveries. In March 2023, the US and its allies seem to have shifted towards the latter: While in February, it seemed that many of the Western tanks promised to Ukraine won’t arrive before the end of the rasputitsa mud season in May, and the 31 M1-Abrams tanks promised by the US may take more than a year to arrive. Contrary to this, in March it turned out that many of the western tanks already started to arrive, and it was announced that even the 31 M1-Abrams tanks will arrive by this fall. Another major shift in arms supplies has been that Poland and Slovakia announced the delivery of MIG-29 jet fighters, the first jet fighters since the start of the war.

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