Key Takeaways

·       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.

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·       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.

US, UK Widen Ban on Russian Metals in Bid to Disrupt Revenues
Other Topics of Interest

US, UK Widen Ban on Russian Metals in Bid to Disrupt Revenues

The new ban will prevent new aluminum, copper, and nickel produced by Russia from entering the market in the West's latest bid to deprive Moscow of revenue to finance its war in Ukraine.

·       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.

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

See the full report here.

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