· The Kremlin will likely subsume elements of Belarus’ defense industrial base (DIB) as part of Moscow’s larger effort to reequip the Russian military to support a protracted war against Ukraine.
· Lukashenko confirmed that Belarus has implemented more Union State integration programs - marking progress in the Kremlin’s decades-long pressure campaign to formalize the Russian-Belarusian Union State.
· The Kremlin’s gains in Belarus underscore that Putin’s imperialistic ambitions transcend Ukraine and that containing the Russian threat requires the West’s sustained attention.
· The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed the names of the four military district commanders, finalizing a complete turnover of the Russian military’s initial command since the start of the invasion of Ukraine.
· Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to be mounting an informational counteroffensive against the conventional Russian military establishment.
· Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
· Russian forces continued ground attacks around Bakhmut, in the Donetsk City-Avdiivka area, and in western Donetsk Oblast.
· Russian and Ukrainian military activity near Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast indicates that Russian forces are likely deployed to positions close bank of the Dnipro River.
· The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) reported that Russian forces have likely suffered up to 200,000 casualties since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
· Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a variety of laws on February 17 to integrate occupied territories into Russian legal, economic, and administrative structures.
Writers: Riley Bailey, George Barros, Karolina Hird, Nicole Wolkov, Layne Philipson, and Frederick W. Kagan.
See the full report here.
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