Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • A recent video appeal by a Serbian mercenary addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin has unleashed discussions about an ongoing “clan war” within the Kremlin and the Russian information space against the backdrop of the Russian presidential campaign.
  • In-fighting and factional dynamics within the Kremlin are not new phenomena and do not indicate the imminent collapse of Putin’s regime, particularly because power verticals are the foundation of Putin's regime.
  • Russian forces launched a medium-sized drone, missile, and air attack against Ukraine on the night of January 12-13 using a strike package similar to recent Russian strike packages.
  • Russian forces are reportedly increasingly using chemical weapons in Ukraine in continued apparent violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which Russia is a party.
  • A fire destroyed a large warehouse in St. Petersburg belonging to Russia’s largest online retailer Wildberries on January 12.
  • Russian forces made confirmed advances near Kreminna and Avdiivka amid continued positional engagements along the entire front line.
  • Russian forces may be forming air assault brigades within combined arms ground formations as part of ongoing large-scale military reforms.
  • Russian officials continue to fund social projects in occupied Ukraine in an effort to integrate these territories further into Russia and create the veneer of an active civil society in occupied areas.

Authors: Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Angelica Evans, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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