Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukrainian forces have made further tactically significant gains in western Zaporizhia Oblast, and several Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Ukrainian forces are advancing through what Ukrainian and US sources suggested may be the most challenging series of prepared Russian defensive positions.
  • Ukrainian forces now appear within striking distance of the next series of prepared Russian defensive positions, which may be weaker than the previous set of Russian defenses but still pose a significant challenge.
  • A Ukrainian source indicated that Russian forces have laterally redeployed elements of a relatively elite formation from the Kreminna area in Luhansk Oblast to the Robotyne area in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • Russian irregular formations remain willing to threaten to withdraw from combat unilaterally despite recent efforts by Russian military command to purge and suppress insubordination.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is reportedly prosecuting the junior officers and soldiers of a Russian unit that complained about senior commanders’ inattention to frontline issues.
  • No prominent channels known to be directly affiliated with Wagner shared additional information on the future of the group, while the majority of Russian sources have focused their attention on kinetic activity on the frontline.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, and in western Donetsk Oblast but did not make any confirmed advances.
  • Russian regional governments continue to facilitate the forced deportation of Ukrainian children from occupied Ukraine to occupied Crimea.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Nicole Wolkov, Grace Mappes, Christina Harward, and Mason Clark.

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