Key Takeaways:

  • The Kremlin’s effort to use the mythos of the Great Patriotic War (Second World War) to prepare the Russian public for a long war in Ukraine is at odds with Russia’s current level of mobilization and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetorical attempts to reassure Russians that the war will not have lasting domestic impacts.
  • The Kremlin may be instructing actors in the Russian-backed breakaway republic of Transnistria to set information conditions for a possible false-flag operation in Transnistria as part of wider Kremlin efforts to destabilize Moldova.
  • The Kremlin may also be reviving its efforts to leverage Transnistria to create instability in Moldova in order to undermine Ukrainian grain exports along the western coast of the Black Sea.
  • Iran has reportedly developed a new Shahed drone for Russian forces to use against Ukraine and is “close” to providing Russia with surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and systems.
  • European Union (EU) Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton stated that the EU will be able to supply Ukraine with one million shells by spring 2024.
  • Lithuania announced a new long-term military aid package to Ukraine worth 200 million euros (about $220 million) on January 10.
  • The very characteristics that make the Russian ultranationalist milblogger community popular – its perceived independence from and willingness to criticize the Russian government – likely continue to complicate the Kremlin’s efforts to co-opt the community as Kremlin mouthpieces.
  • Russian insider sources continue to discuss the reported removal of First Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff (GRU), Lieutenant General Vladimir Alekseyev, who was reportedly in charge of the Russian “Volunteer Corps” that was intended to replace the Wagner Group in Ukraine.
  • Russian forces advanced southwest of Bakhmut and Donetsk City and in the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast amid continued positional engagements along the entire front.
  • Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov stated on January 10 that the Russian military plans to reorganize the five existing naval infantry brigades of Russia’s fleets into naval infantry divisions and the Caspian Flotilla’s naval infantry regiment into a naval infantry brigade in the medium-term.
  • Russian authorities continue to deport prisoners from prisons in occupied Ukraine to Russia and are likely using penal colonies as part of widespread efforts to collect data on Ukrainian citizens.
  • 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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