Key Takeaways:

  • A Ukrainian public opinion survey on Ukrainian attitudes towards the Ukrainian government and military indicates that Ukrainian society overwhelmingly supports Ukraine’s military and its leadership while experiencing tensions typical in a society fighting an existential defensive war.
  • A new independent poll from the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC) found that Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains strong domestic support for his regime and his war in Ukraine, despite relatively poor economic conditions and living standards in Russia.
  • Russian ultranationalist vitriolic responses to gender integration in the Ukrainian military highlight Russia's ongoing shift towards a cultural-ideological worldview that seeks to restore rigid and traditional gender roles and exposes gaps between Russia and Ukraine's respective abilities to mobilize their own societies.
  • Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Ihnat reported that Ukraine has a shortage of anti-aircraft guided missiles after several recent large Russian missile and drone strikes against Ukraine.
  • Russian sources continue to complain about persistent command and communication problems that degrade Russian combat capability in east (left) bank Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian sources are reviving longstanding calls for a large-scale Russian offensive operation in Kharkiv Oblast to create a “buffer zone” with Belgorod Oblast despite the Russian military’s likely inability to conduct an operation to seize significant territory in Kharkiv Oblast in the near term.
  • Recent Kremlin and Russian media rhetoric aimed at threatening Moldova likely continues to embolden pro-Russian separatist leaders in Moldova to attempt to sow political instability and division in Moldova.
  • Bloomberg reported that officials from Ukraine, the Group of Seven (G7) countries, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other unspecified countries held a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 16 to build support for Ukrainian conditions to negotiate with Russia.
  • Russian forces made confirmed advances southwest of Donetsk City, and positional engagements continued along the entire frontline.
  • The Russian military is reportedly abusing Serbian nationals whom Russian officials have recruited to serve in Russian formations in Ukraine.
  • Russian occupation officials continue the systematic oppression of residents of occupied Crimea using law enforcement and administrative means.


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

    You can read the original here. 
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