Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • The Wagner Group may be supplanting the Russian military as the Belarusian military’s key training partner.

  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) likely succeeded in recruiting an unknown number of Wagner personnel following Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s failed rebellion, though Prigozhin ordered remaining Wagner fighters to assemble in Belarus by August 5.

  • Prigozhin stated that the Wagner Group stopped recruiting in Russia and claimed that the Wagner Group does not need to recruit more personnel and has sufficient reserves.

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made largely boilerplate comments framing the Russian state as adequately supporting long-term force-generation efforts and meeting Russian weapons demand through domestic production and international cooperation.

  • Imagery posted on July 30 and 31 visually confirms damage to the Chonhar Bridge following a Ukrainian strike on July 29.

  • Kremlin-appointed Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova confirmed on July 31 that Russia has transferred 4.8 million Ukrainians, including over 700,000 children, to the Russian Federation since the beginning of the war, very likely violating the Fourth Geneva Convention.

  • Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front on July 31.

  • Iran and Belarus are deepening bilateral cooperation over the backdrop of their mutual support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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  • Ukrainian Presidential Administration Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak stated on July 30 that Kyiv and Washington will begin consultations on providing Ukraine “security guarantees” as soon as the week of August 6 – 13.

  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna and Avdiivka-Donetsk City lines and made claimed gains in Luhansk Oblast.

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut.

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in western Donetsk and western Zaporizhia oblasts.

  • Russian forces conducted limited counterattacks in western Donetsk and western Zaporizhia oblasts.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin ratified a law on July 31 increasing the fine for mobilized personnel’s or conscripts' failure to arrive at a military registration office after being summoned.

Authors:Karolina Hird, George Barros, Grace Mappes, and Mason Clark

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