Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukrainian forces marginally advanced in western Zaporizhia Oblast and continued offensive operations near Bakhmut on October 25.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations near Avdiivka on October 25 and made a confirmed advance.
  • Russian sources claimed on October 25 that Ukrainian forces resumed larger-than-usual ground operations on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and maintain positions in several areas on the east bank. Only a handful of Russian sources are currently claiming that Ukrainian forces have resumed larger-than-usual ground operations on the east bank, however.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that Ukrainian forces are preparing for a fall-winter Russian strike campaign against Ukraine after another series of Russian drone strikes on the night of October 24 to 25.
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited an Eastern Grouping of Forces command post in the south Donetsk direction (Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area) on October 25.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed that Lieutenant General Andrei Kuzmenko is the Russian Eastern Grouping of Forces Commander on October 25, likely also confirming Kuzmenko’s position as Eastern Military District (EMD) commander.
  • The Kremlin’s support for ultranationalist Russian Orthodox religion and ideology appears to be complicating Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov’s ability to balance appealing to his Chechen Muslim constituencies with keeping the Kremlin’s favor.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove line, near Bakhmut, southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia but did not make confirmed advances.
  • Russian National Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev claimed that nearly 385,000 people have entered service with the Russian armed forces between January 1 and October 25, 2023.
  • Russian occupation authorities continue to use medical infrastructure to justify the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia and to further consolidate control of occupied areas of Ukraine.

Authors: Angelica Evans, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Karolina Hird, and Mason Clark.

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