Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Western states reiterated their support for Ukraine and their commitment to the development of Ukraine’s defense industrial base (DIB) at the 18th Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on January 23.
  • NATO concluded contracts on January 23 for the purchase over 200,000 artillery shells, likely either to allow NATO to send additional aid to Ukraine or to replenish NATO stockpiles.
  • Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces are struggling to compensate for Ukrainian drone and rear-area strikes at the level necessary to break out of positional warfare.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of missile strikes against Ukraine on the night of January 22-23 with a new strike package likely meant to penetrate Ukrainian air defenses.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Palestinian National Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki as part of efforts to deepen Russian relations with Middle Eastern actors.
  • The Kremlin’s domestic policy focus on the “Year of the Family” in 2024 is likely in part meant to address Russia’s ongoing demographic crisis.
  • The Russian Baltic Fleet is conducting a coastal missile exercise likely to posture against ongoing NATO Steadfast Defender 2024 exercises.
  • The Kremlin may intend to use the 2024 Russian presidential election as a referendum on Russia’s war in Ukraine.
  • The Russian legal system is expanding the prosecution of extortion cases to broadly suppress sources of dissent.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Kreminna, Avdiivka, and Donetsk City amid continued positional engagements along the entire line of contact on January 23.
  • Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) government chairperson Yevgeny Solntsev announced on January 23 that a branch of the Russian Nakhimov Naval School in occupied Mariupol will start instructing its first cadets on September 1, 2024.
  • Russian occupation authorities are likely deliberately misrepresenting population statistics in occupied areas to encourage people to relocate to occupied settlements.

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

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