Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • The anticipated Russian 2024 winter-spring offensive effort is underway in the Kharkiv-Luhansk Oblast border area.
  • Ukrainian officials continued to deny rumors about the purported dismissal of Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
  • Russian forces appear to be continuing to violate the Chemical Weapons Convention to which Russia is signatory.
  • Russian Army General Alexander Dvornikov was reportedly appointed the new chairperson of the Russian Volunteer Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation, and Navy of Russia (DOSAAF).
  • Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev made offensive and inflammatory comments about Japan while asserting Russia’s rights to the disputed Kuril Islands, likely as part of wider Kremlin efforts to demonstrate Russia’s support of China against the US alliance system in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Senior Russian officials may be intensifying their attempts to frame and justify Russia’s long term war effort in Ukraine as an existential geopolitical confrontation with the West by explicitly equating the US with the Nazis.
  • Russian opposition sources suggested that widespread internet outages in Russia on January 30 may be the result of Russian efforts to establish the “sovereign internet” system.
  • The Kremlin has been intensifying efforts to consolidate control over the Russian information space in advance of the March 2024 Russian presidential election, and these efforts support the development of the “sovereign internet” system.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Bakhmut and Horlivka amid continued positional engagements along the entire line of contact on January 30.
  • The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that the Russian defense industrial base (DIB) can produce at least 100 main battle tanks per month and is therefore able to replace battlefield losses, allowing Russian forces to continue their current tempo of operations “for the foreseeable future.”
  • Russian authorities are planning to increase the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia in 2024.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Christina Harward, Nicole Wolkov, Angelica Evans, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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