Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russia continues to weaponize its position on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to propagate several long-standing Russian information operations.
  • Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited Kyiv on January 22 and announced a new Polish defense package for Ukraine.
  • Footage purportedly showing an altercation between a Russian soldier and Chechen “Akhmat-Vostok” forces in occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast, reignited criticism of Chechen forces for their lack of contributions to Russian military operations in Ukraine.
  • An investigation by a Russian opposition outlet suggests that Russian elites may have accepted and internalized the domestic consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
  • Russian officials and information space actors are attempting to further rhetorically justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by misrepresenting a decree that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed on January 22 concerning discrimination against ethnic Ukrainians in Russia. Zelensky’s decree does not establish any territorial demands upon Russia, as select Russian ultranationalists falsely claimed.
  • Russian forces made confirmed advances south of Avdiivka and west of Donetsk City amid continued positional engagements along the entire frontline.
  • Kyrgyzstan issued a statement against Russia’s continued practice of targeting naturalized migrants as part of ongoing crypto-mobilization efforts.
  • Russian federal subjects continue to establish ties with areas of occupied Ukraine.

Authors: Angelica Evans, Nicole Wolkov, Riley Bailey, Karolina Hird, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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