Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian insider sources claimed that the Kremlin’s inner circle is again actively disagreeing about the necessity of and preparations for a second wave of reserve mobilization ahead of the semi-annual fall conscription cycle, which starts on October 1.

  • These plans, proposals, and disagreements are not new and do not indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ultimately decided to conduct a second reserve mobilization wave in the near term.

  • Putin also reamplified several boilerplate information operations falsely framing the Ukrainian counteroffensive as a failed endeavor and accused Ukraine of being unwilling to negotiate during his address at the Eastern Economic Forum.

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Primorsky Krai on September 12 and will meet with Putin in the coming days, likely to discuss the provision of North Korean artillery munitions to Russia.

  • Russian authorities have reportedly adjusted air defense systems around Moscow in light of recent increased drone strikes on the city, likely in part to assuage complaints in the Russian information space about the ineffectiveness of air defenses around the capital.

  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, along the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia and advanced in some areas on September 12.

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  • Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in at least two sectors of the front on September 12 and advanced near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast.

  • Russian officials introduced a bill to the Russian State Duma that would punish Russian servicemen fighting within volunteer armed formations for losing or deliberately destroying military equipment or supplies.

  • Russian occupation officials continue to deport children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia under the guise of recreational programs.


Authors: Grace Mappes, Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Christina Harward, and Mason Clark.

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