Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to conduct offensive operations in eastern and southern Ukraine despite rainy and snowy weather conditions.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Russian officials are struggling to subdue Russian hysteria around Ukrainian operations in the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of missile and drone strikes overnight on November 20-21 and on November 21 targeting port and civilian infrastructure, including a hospital in Donetsk Oblast.
  • US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby reported on November 21 that the Wagner Group is preparing to provide an air defense system to either Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah or Iran.
  • Imprisoned ardent nationalist and former Russian officer Igor Girkin’s presidential campaign announcement has generated some discourse in the Russian information space, but most Russian milbloggers refrained from discussing Girkin’s campaign likely due to self-censorship.
  • Washington, D.C.-based analytics company Gallup found that Russian society’s confidence in the Russian military has marginally decreased in 2023.
  • German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced a new military aid package to Ukraine during a visit to Kyiv on November 21.
  • The Armenian Ministry of Defense (MoD) denied Russian allegations that Armenia is planning to supply Ukraine with weapons.
  • Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev accused the West of destabilizing the South Caucasus region by supplying weapons to Armenia.
  • A former Russian Investigative Committee departmental head who was serving sentences for accepting bribes from the Russian mafia died in prison on the night of November 20-21, allegedly by suicide.
  • 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 on November 21 and advanced in some areas.
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu addressed the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) Collegium on November 21 and announced that the Russian MoD is increasing its military training efforts across Russia.
  • US Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller commented on November 20 about a report that found that Russian officials in collaboration with Belarusian officials transported more than 2,400 Ukrainian children between ages six and 17 to Belarus.

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

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