Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russia continues to reckon with the economic ramifications of labor shortages partially resulting from the war in Ukraine.
  • Ukraine's Western partners continue efforts to provide Ukraine with military and economic support.
  • Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko discussed deepening Belarusian-Chinese relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China on December 4.
  • Kremlin-backed United Russia State Duma deputies and Federation Council senators proposed a bill to introduce criminal punishments for leaking personal data, likely as part of ongoing efforts to control the Russian information space ahead of the March 2024 Russian presidential elections.
  • The Kremlin likely continues efforts to insert itself into power vacuums in several African countries as Wagner Group elements continue to operate in the Central African Republic (CAR).
  • Voronezh Oblast Governor Alexander Gusev confirmed on December 4 the death of Russian 14th Army Corps Deputy Commander Major General Vladimir Zavadsky in Ukraine.
  • 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 advanced in some areas on December 4.
  • Select Russian Duma deputies appear to be at odds over the issue of extending Russian conscript service.
  • Russian Presidential Administration Head for Domestic Policy Andrei Yarin reportedly visited occupied Ukraine as part of ongoing efforts to legitimize Russian authority over occupied Ukraine ahead of the March 2024 Russian presidential election.

Authors: Kateryna Stepanenko, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Angelica Evans, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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