Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ongoing antisemitic demonstrations in the Republic of Dagestan and elsewhere in the North Caucasus are highlighting heightened interethnic and interreligious tensions in Russia.
  • The Kremlin has yet to respond and appears to have left regional authorities to make an official response to the demonstrations.
  • The Kremlin will likely struggle to reassure constituencies that the situation is under control and convince Jewish audiences that Jewish minorities are safe in Russia despite its efforts to present Russia as a religiously tolerant country.
  • Russian ultranationalists expressed concerns that antisemitic demonstrations will spread from Dagestan and the North Caucasus elsewhere in Russia.
  • Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Head Alexander Bortnikov and Russian Investigative Committee Head Alexander Bastrykin may be attempting to capitalize on heightened ethnoreligious tensions in Russia to regain favor with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Russian milbloggers claimed on October 29 that Airborne Forces (VDV) Commander Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky replaced Colonel General Oleg Makarevich as the commander of the Russian “Dnepr” Grouping of Forces operating in the Kherson direction.
  • Ukrainian forces advanced near Bakhmut amid continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on October 29.
  • The New York Times (NYT) reported that US officials will send Ukraine hybrid air defense systems in fall 2023.
  • Unspecified actors may have purposefully conspired to shut down a prominent Russian Airborne Forces (VDV)-affiliated milblogger.
  • The Russian information space continues to debate the future of the Wagner Group’s remaining personnel.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove line, near Bakhmut, near Avdivvka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced west of Donetsk City.
  • Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces have begun deploying a new electronic warfare (EW) data station system in Ukraine.
  • Russian military personnel continue to commit violent crimes in occupied Ukraine.

Authors: Angelica Evans, Kateryna Stepanenko, Christina Harward, Grace Mappes, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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