Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu celebrated an odd group of Russian armed formations operating in the western Zaporizhia Oblast direction during a conference call with Russian military leadership.
  • Shoigu’s choice of units could indicate he seeks to highlight Russian commanders who continue to follow Russian military leadership’s orders for relentless counterattacks.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) signaled its support for both Chechen units in Ukraine and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov amid a recent controversy surrounding interethnic tensions in the Russian government, military, and information space.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly preparing to announce his (certain to win) presidential campaign in November 2023, and reportedly intends to discuss the war in Ukraine as little as is necessary in political messaging.
  • Reuters report published on October 3 stated that Russian forces have embedded “Storm-Z” units within conventional Russian units to conduct costly counterattacks against Ukrainian gains in key sectors of the front.
  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on October 3.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of drone and missile strikes against Ukraine on the night of October 2 to 3.
  • The Armenian Parliament ratified the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Rome Statute on October 3.
  • 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 Oblast and reportedly advanced in some areas.
  • The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is reportedly investigating Kursk Oblast Governor Roman Starovoit, likely in an attempt to remove government officials with connections to deceased Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin.
  • Russian opposition outlet Verstka revealed that almost half of all occupation officials of the senior and middle management levels in occupied Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts are from Russia.

Authors: Nicole Wolkov, Christina Harward, Angelica Evans, Riley Bailey, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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