Key Takeaways:

  • Russian sources reported on July 15 that the Russian military command dismissed 106th Guards Airborne (VDV) Division Commander Major General Vladimir Seliverstov.
  • Seliverstov’s dismissal may be a part of an ongoing purge of insubordinate commanders by the Russian military command and may suggest that the corrosion of the Russian chain of command in Ukraine is accelerating.
  • The Russian military leadership is likely attempting to dissuade commanders from emulating recent cases of insubordination by punishing those involved in leaking Popov’s message of complaints.
  • Growing insubordination will likely exacerbate existing factional divides within the Russian military and the wider Russian security sphere.
  • Factions within the Russian security forces and the Kremlin appear to be fighting for control over the Russian insider information space.
  • Polyakov’s arrest suggests that different factions within the Kremlin and Russian security entities are exploiting the Russian information space and secret information to advance their political and financial objectives against the backdrop of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front on June 15 and reportedly made limited gains.
  • The New York Times (NYT) reported that the Ukrainian military has adjusted its strategy to minimize Ukrainian casualties while continuing to attrit Russian forces, supporting ISW’s previous assessments.
  • The Belarusian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that it developed a plan for Wagner Group personnel to train Belarusian forces as Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian sources continue to report that Wagner forces are moving to Belarus.
  • Russian authorities likely continue to forcibly integrate Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) dioceses into the Kremlin-controlled Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) as part of a wider religious persecution campaign in occupied Ukraine.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations and made limited territorial gains near Svatove.
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly made limited territorial gains on Bakhmut’s southern flank, while Russian sources claimed that Russian forces made limited advances on Bakhmut’s northern and southern flanks.
  • Russian forces continued limited offensive operations on the Donetsk City-Avdiivka line but did not make any territorial gains.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations along the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border and reportedly made limited gains.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations and reportedly made limited advances in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced the completion of Russia’s spring 2023 conscription cycle on July 15.
  • The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that the Kremlin launched a program to recruit young adults in Russia for service in occupation administrations in Ukraine.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Kateryna Stepanenko, Nicole Wolkov, Angelica Evans, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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