Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast and in the Bakhmut area on September 29.
  • The Russian government announced details about the semi-annual conscription cycle set to begin on October 1 in most of Russia, reportedly including the illegally annexed territories in Ukraine.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and former Wagner Group commander and current Ministry of Defense (MoD) employee Andrey Troshev on September 29 signaling that Putin will likely back the MoD in its apparent competing effort with the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) to recruit current and former Wagner personnel.
  • The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is likely supporting amendments to a Russian State Duma bill that would expand its tools of digital authoritarianism to surveil users of Russian internet, banking, and telecom companies.
  • The apparent self-censorship in the wider Russian information space has likely opened the door for some fringe elements to directly criticize and speculate about senior Russian military commanders without pushback.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, in the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in some areas on September 29.
  • Russia may be continuing attempts to circumvent sanctions through military-technical cooperation with Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member countries.
  • Russia is relaxing passport controls on Ukrainian citizens leaving and entering Russia likely in an attempt to simplify the movement of Ukrainian citizens to Russia.

Authors: Christina Harward, Riley Bailey, Nicole Wolkov, Grace Mappes, and Frederick W. Kagan.

See the original here.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter