Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukraine continues to defend against Russian aggression and the Kremlin’s attempt to destroy Ukrainian statehood and identity despite growing difficulties two years after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
  • Ukraine’s European and Canadian partners commemorated the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion by committing additional aid to Ukraine and discussing Ukraine’s integration into the European Union (EU).
  • Russian opposition media estimated that upwards of 75,000 Russian personnel have died in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) continues to highlight Russian Central Grouping of Forces Commander Colonel General Andrei Mordvichev and Russia’s seizure of Avdiivka.
  • Mordvichev highlighted Russian technological and tactical adaptations in the Russian seizure of Avdiivka in a likely effort to address persistent criticisms of Russian forces in Ukraine.
  • Senior Russian military officials likely are attempting to deflect responsibility for high-profile apparent Russian war crimes away from themselves and onto mid- and low-level Russian commanders.
  • A recent Russian opinion poll indicates that Russian sentiments about the war in Ukraine have largely remained unchanged in recent months, but notably suggests that another mobilization wave would be widely unpopular.
  • Ukrainian special services conducted a drone strike on one of Russia’s largest metallurgical plants on the night of February 23-24.
  • Ukrainian reporting indicated that the A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft shot down on February 23 temporarily halted Russian aviation operations elsewhere in the theater.
  • Russian information space actors continued responding to the February 23 A-50 shootdown and largely denied that Ukraine is responsible for the downing of any recent Russian aircraft.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Bakhmut and Avdiivka and in western Zaporizhia Oblast amid continued positional engagements along the entire line of contact on February 24.
  • Indian authorities have asked Russian authorities for the “early discharge” of Indian citizens fighting for Russia in Ukraine.
  • The Russian government continues efforts to support infrastructure and logistics development in occupied Ukraine likely to support the Russian defense industrial base (DIB) and solidify Russian control over occupied areas.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Nicole Wolkov, Christina Harward, Grace Mappes, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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