Here are the key takeaways:

·       Kremlin insiders reportedly told Bloomberg that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing a new offensive to regain the initiative that may begin as early as February or March 2023.

·       The Kremlin confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is issuing preemptive pardons for convicts who serve in Russian operations in Ukraine. 

·       A visual investigation by a Russian opposition outlet confirmed that Russian authorities are deporting children from occupied Kherson Oblast to occupied Crimea.

·       Russian officials denied reported explosions near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) on January 26.

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·       The Russian military command is likely attempting to restrict mibloggers’ frontline coverage to regain control over the Russian information space ahead of the new offensive. These restrictions—if planned—are likely a part of the Chief of the Russian General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov’s efforts to professionalize the Russian Armed Forces.

·       Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Kreminna on Jan. 26 and Jan.27.

·       Russian forces continued ground attacks around Bakhmut, on the western outskirts of Donetsk City, and in western Donetsk Oblast.

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·       Russian sources did not report that Russian forces continued localized offensive operations in Zaporizhia Oblast on Jan. 27.

·       Russian officials claimed that the conscription age will not change in the upcoming 2023 spring conscription cycle.

·       Russian occupation authorities are continuing to intensify efforts to integrate occupied territories into the Russian legal and administrative structures.

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Authors: Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, George Barros, Layne Philipson, Nicole Wolkov, and Frederick W. Kagan.

See the full report here.

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