Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • The Kremlin remains focused on promoting the purported legality and legitimacy of Russian internal politics despite Kremlin officials’ admissions to the contrary.
  • Peskov’s strong comments also indicate the Kremlin's desire to posture confidence and steadfastness against the backdrop of Kremlin concerns over Russian opinions on and support for Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations and reportedly advanced in western Zaporizhia Oblast and near Bakhmut on October 9 amid reports of deteriorating weather conditions in Ukraine.
  • Russian forces reportedly launched localized offensive operations south of Hulyaipole, Zaporizhia Oblast, and may have reorganized the Southern Grouping of Forces, likely in an attempt to further defend against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations.
  • Imprisoned former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin reiterated his previous claims that the Russian military will continue to conduct a strategic defense to freeze the frontlines before the Russian presidential elections in March 2024.
  • The Russian government is moving toward revoking Russia’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, in western Donetsk Oblast, in the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in some areas on October 9.
  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut, in western Donetsk Oblast, and western Zaporizhia Oblast, and reportedly advanced in some areas.

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

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