Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • The Wagner Group continues to maintain a presence at facilities in Belarus and the status of its rumored withdrawal to Russia remains unclear.

  • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin has yet to comment on these speculations either directly or through intermediary sources as he has done previously, suggesting that Prigozhin may not be entirely at liberty to comment on the future of Wagner.

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front and advanced in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area on August 10.

  • A Russian milblogger accused Russian military personnel of fabricating or embellishing claims of Russian forces destroying Ukrainian vehicles in Ukraine.

  • Russian forces conducted another series of missile and drone strikes in Ukraine overnight on August 9-10.

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  • The Kremlin is likely attempting to crypto-nationalize Russian internet giant Yandex to strengthen control over the Russian information space in preparation for the 2024 Russian presidential election.

  • The possible transfer of Yandex to affiliates of Russian First Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff Sergey Kiriyenko suggests that Putin seeks to reward Kiriyenko for his personal loyalty, particularly following the June 24 Wagner Group rebellion.

  • Affiliates of arrested former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer and ardent ultranationalist Igor Girkin continue to explicitly attack the Kremlin on August 10.

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  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on August 10 and made some advances.

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front and advanced in the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area on August 10.

  • Russian officials continue to highlight the claimed success of the Russian defense industrial base (DIB).

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  • A Ukrainian military official reported that Russian forces are co-opting civilian infrastructure for the repression of local populations in the occupied territories.

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

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