Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukraine’s liberation of Klishchiivka and Andriivka south of Bakhmut may have degraded the Russian defense in the area south of Bakhmut and could have rendered combat ineffective as many as three Russian brigades according to Ukrainian military officials.
  • Ukrainian counteroffensive operations may have resulted in the particularly severe degradation of critical elements of the Russian elastic defense in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • Recent Ukrainian advances south of Bakhmut may correspond with the similar degradation of defending Russian units in the area.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of Shahed-131/136 drone and cruise missile strikes on coastal and rear areas of Ukraine on the night of September 17-18.
  • An organization with alleged ties to Russian First Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff Sergey Kiriyenko is reportedly responsible for disseminating pro-war propaganda and false information about Ukraine to prominent figures in the Russian information space.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia and advanced in some areas on September 18.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in at least two sectors of the front and advanced in western Zaporizhia on September 18.
  • Some Russian sources claimed that former Wagner Group personnel are working closely with Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard) in order to return fighting in Ukraine.


Authors: Christina Harward, Riley Bailey, Angelica Evans, Grace Mappes, and Mason Clark.

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