Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian forces may intensify efforts to capture Kupyansk, Kharkiv Oblast, in the coming weeks and have a grouping of forces in the area that appears to be less degraded than Russian groupings responsible for offensive efforts elsewhere in eastern Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted a series of drone and missile strikes against Russian targets in occupied Crimea and Krasnodar Krai on the night of January 4 to 5.
  • Russian forces conducted Shahed 131/136 drone strikes and missile strikes against frontline areas in Ukraine overnight on January 5.
  • Germany announced a new military assistance package to Ukraine on January 4.
  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will convene on January 10 and discuss Russia’s reported use of North Korean ballistic missiles in Ukraine, a likely violation of UNSC resolutions.
  • Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov strangely offered to exchange 20 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) for lifting sanctions against his family members.
  • The Moscow Arbitration Court ordered Google to unblock four YouTube channels belonging to Russian state-affiliated channel 5TV on January 5, likely as part of an ongoing effort to consolidate control over the Russian information space ahead of the March presidential elections.
  • Russian forces made a confirmed advance near Avdiivka as positional engagements continued along the entire frontline.
  • International sanctions are reportedly impeding Russia’s Su-34 aircraft production.
  • The Kremlin continues to solidify federal administrative oversight of local and regional occupation administrations in occupied Ukraine.

Authors: Nicole Wolkov, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Karolina Hird, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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