Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian forces have reportedly made notable changes to their command and control (C2) in Ukraine to protect command infrastructure and improve information sharing, although Russian force deployments are likely still exacerbating issues with horizontal integration.
  • Artillery constraints in Ukraine are reportedly prompting the Russian military to accelerate longstanding efforts to implement a fires doctrine prioritizing accuracy over volume.
  • Russian forces are additionally reportedly adapting their deployment of electronic warfare (EW) complexes.
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly continued to advance south of Bakhmut and south of Robotyne in western Zaporizhia Oblast but did not make any confirmed gains on September 8.
  • Russian forces conducted another series of Shahed-131/136 drone strikes targeting Odesa Oblast on the night of September 7–8.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov publicly rejected an incredibly favorable offer from the UN Secretariat that met many of Russia’s stated demands to rejoin the Black Sea Grain Initiative on September 6, indicating that the Kremlin is either delaying its return to the grain deal in an attempt to extract maximum concessions from the West or has no intention whatsoever of returning to the grain deal.
  • The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) directly responded to recent indications that the Armenian government may be questioning its decades-long security relationship with Russia.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove line, near Bakhmut, and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line but did not make any confirmed advances on September 8.
  • The New York Times (NYT) — citing Western, African, and Russian sources — reported that Russian intelligence structures are competing for control of the Wagner Group’s assets and operations in Africa.
  • Russian occupation officials continue to hold illegal regional elections in occupied Ukraine. Russian occupation officials in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts announced the start of in-person voting in occupied territories on September 8.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Kateryna Stepanenko, Angelica Evans, Grace Mappes, Annika Ganzeveld, and Mason Clark.

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