Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russia appears to be employing a known hybrid warfare tactic to artificially create a migrant crisis on the Finnish border.
  • Russia’s apparent hybrid warfare tactic on the Russian-Finnish border is similar to Russia’s and Belarus’ creation of a migrant crisis on the Polish border in 2021 and is likely similarly aimed at destabilizing NATO.
  • Russian milbloggers expressed continued anger at deteriorating Russian-Armenian relations as Armenia appears to distance itself further from Russia while entering further agreements with Western governments.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reportedly started public recruitment for the Russian “Africa Corps” aimed at subsuming Wagner Group operations in Africa after alleged failed MoD attempts to directly recruit former Wagner personnel.
  • The Russian Strelkov (Igor Girkin) Movement (RDS) predictably backed Girkin’s November 19 formal announcement of his intent to run in the 2024 Russian presidential election.
  • Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov continues efforts to distinguish himself in the Russian information space, infringing on the generally accepted boundaries between Russian federal subject (region) heads and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package to Ukraine during US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's visit to Kyiv on November 20.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and marginally advanced in some areas.
  • A Russian federal subject (region) and occupation officials are reportedly planning to work together to provide drones to Russian forces.
  • A Ukrainian official reported that Ukraine successfully returned 45 Ukrainian children whom Russian authorities forcibly deported to Russia in the past six months.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Christina Harward, Angelica Evans, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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