Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia would likely have to seize Kyiv sooner or later while identifying Russia’s possible further territorial objectives in Ukraine.
  • Medvedev’s mention of Russia’s possible intentions to occupy Odesa may be worth noting in light of recent developments in the pro-Russian breakaway republic of Transnistria in Moldova, the southern tip of which is about 50 kilometers from the city.
  • Medvedev also described Russian plans to repress Ukrainian citizens in occupied Ukraine.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) leaders and Republic of Tatarstan Head Rustam Minnikhanov on February 21 and 22.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted another successful strike against a Russian training ground in occupied Kherson Oblast on February 21 and likely inflicted significant casualties.
  • Ukraine’s European and Western allies continue to ramp up their support for Ukraine.
  • Russian opposition outlet Proekt reported on February 22 that the Russian government has subjected at least 116,000 Russians to criminal and administrative charges since the start of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fourth term in office in 2018.
  • Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated on February 22 that the Kremlin does not regard Russian military correspondents (voyenkory) and milbloggers as participants of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, shortly after the suicide of a prominent Russian milblogger on February 21.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
  • A Russian insider source claimed that Russian officials have postponed creating Rosgvardia’s 1st Volunteer Corps from remaining Wagner Group detachments because of an ongoing rotation of former Wagner personnel in Africa.
  • Russia continues to export its state policies on systemic religious persecution to occupied Ukraine.

Authors: Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, Karolina Hird, Angelica Evans, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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