Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova emphasized that Russia's maximalist objectives in Ukraine have not changed, repeating the Kremlin’s demand for full Ukrainian political capitulation and Kyiv’s acceptance of Russia’s military and territorial demands rather than suggesting any willingness to negotiate seriously.
  • Zakharova's demand that Ukraine withdraw its troops from "Russian territory" as a necessary prerequisite for the resolution of the war suggests that Russia's maximalist objectives include controlling the entirety of the four oblasts it has illegally annexed parts of.
  • The Kremlin continues to express an increasingly anti-Israel position in the Israel–Hamas war despite feigning interest in being a neutral arbitrator in the conflict.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Latin America on December 10 likely in order to secure Latin American support for Ukraine.
  • Russian military authorities in Armenia are likely attempting to maintain military power over Armenia amidst the continued deterioration of Armenian-Russian relations.
  • Russian forces conducted a small series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine on December 9 and 10.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in some areas.
  • Russian milbloggers continue to criticize the purported Russian military ban on the use of civilian vehicles for military purposes.
  • Russian authorities continue long-term efforts to indoctrinate Ukrainian students in occupied Ukraine by directing funding to educational institutions in occupied Ukraine.

Authors: Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Angelica Evans, Christina Harward, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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