Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the 20th Valdai Discussion Club on October 5 and promoted multiple long-standing Russian information operations.
  • Putin offered a bizarre explanation for Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death during a press conference at the Valdai Discussion Club on October 5 to deflect blame from the Kremlin.
  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and reportedly advanced on October 5.
  • The Russian military may have redeployed elements of the 41st Combined Arms Army (CAA) and elements of the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade to the Kherson direction.
  • Russian forces conducted a missile strike on Hroza, Kharkiv Oblast that killed 51 people on October 5 following another series of drone strikes across Ukraine overnight.
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu indicated that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) may be establishing training regiments that can also serve as in extremis operational or strategic reserves, although this is a low confidence assessment.
  • Russia will reportedly build a permanent naval base in Abkhazia, but it will likely remain small.
  • 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 but did not advance on October 5.
  • Russia continues to use the personal data of Russian citizens for crypto-mobilization efforts.
  • Russian occupation officials continue to advertise programs for the forcible removal and deportation of Ukrainian children.

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

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