Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russia likely deployed elements of at least two Central Military District (CMD) brigades to reinforce offensive operations by Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) forces on the Avdiivka front.
  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on October 16.
  • A new Russian procedure restricting the border checkpoints that Ukrainians can use to enter Russia from third countries came into force on October 16, effectively only allowing Ukrainians to enter Russia from third countries through the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
  • A group of Russian lawyers appears to be challenging the Kremlin’s precariously crafted veneer of legality surrounding the Russian judicial system, calling for a strike three days after Russian authorities arrested four lawyers on extremism charges.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, in the Bakhmut direction, near Avdiivka, southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in some areas.
  • The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) reported further details on ongoing North Korean weapons shipments to Russia on October 16.
  • Senior Russian officials reiterated boilerplate narratives about the Ukrainian counteroffensive and the Israel-Hamas war during a Russian Security Council meeting on October 16 likely to deter Western support for Ukraine.

Authors:Angelica Evans, Nicole Wolkov, Grace Mappes, Christina Harward, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Mason Clark.

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