Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russia advanced legal mechanisms to form the Leningrad Military District as part of ongoing large-scale military reforms.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut and marginally advanced in western Zaporizhia Oblast on October 8.
  • Russian forces are intensifying mining efforts in the Robotyne-Verbove area and seek to fix Ukrainian forces on areas of the front away from western Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • Russian sources are highlighting apparent fault lines between regular Russian forces and irregular formations of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).
  • Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Ihnat expressed concern over an anticipated Russian Shahed 131/136 drone strike campaign against Ukraine this winter.
  • The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) observed satellite imagery showing that rail traffic between North Korea and Russia “dramatically” increased since Russian President Vladimir Putin met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on September 12-17
  • The Russian federal government continues to disenfranchise certain ethnic minority federal subjects (regions) while selectively empowering others.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, western Donetsk Oblast, and on the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast administrative border on October 8 and reportedly advanced in some areas.
  • Prague-based Russian-language outlet Current Time reported on October 8 that the number of desertion cases within the Russian military has increased.

Authors: Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Angelica Evans, Christina Harward, and Mason Clark.

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