Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s August 24 remarks about Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death established the Kremlin-approved narrative on the issue, and Russian government officials, Kremlin affiliates, and the Russian information space continued to toe this line on August 25.
  • Some prominent voices in the Russian information space notably deviated from Putin’s established narrative, however.
  • Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko issued a statement on Prigozhin’s death on August 25 that likely aimed at balancing his relationship with the Kremlin with maintaining domestic control, but that also directly contradicted his previous statements concerning the deal he brokered between the Kremlin and Prigozhin.
  • The Financial Times reported on the bleak future of the Wagner Group’s operations in Africa following Prigozhin’s death.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Robotyne in western Zaporizhia Oblast and reportedly advanced on August 25 as Russian milbloggers expressed concern over a lack of reinforcements and troop rotations in the area.
  • Reports of a Russian unit suffering significant losses with inadequate support on an unspecified island in the Dnipro River delta sparked outrage against the Russian military command in some parts of the Russian information space.
  • Ukrainian drones likely struck a Russian duty station in occupied Crimea on August 25.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, and in western Donetsk Oblast on August 25 and advanced.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in at least two sectors of the front on August 25 and reportedly advanced in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • Russian authorities are likely setting conditions to falsify the results of the September 2023 regional elections in occupied Ukraine. 

Authors: Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, Angelica Evans, Christina Harward, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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