Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated that a ceasefire in Ukraine would allow Russia to rebuild its forces and means for future offensive operations, as Russia previously did following the start of Russia’s 2014 invasion.
  • Some Russian forces may have improved their tactical capabilities and leveraged limited tactical surprise during the final weeks of the Russian effort to seize Avdiivka, suggesting that select elements of the Russian military may have internalized tactical adaptations from conducting offensive operations in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk stated on March 8 that Ukrainian forces are regularly targeting Russian fighter aircraft.
  • Ukraine’s European partners continue efforts to send additional aid and materiel to Ukraine.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors approved a resolution calling for Russia’s withdrawal from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), undermining Russian efforts to use the IAEA and other international organizations to legitimize its occupation of the plant.
  • Ukrainian efforts to encourage women to serve in the Ukrainian armed forces continues allowing Ukraine to tap into a wider mobilization base for its war effort.
  • Russian information space actors are intensifying their focus on covering recent events surrounding the governor of the pro-Russian Moldovan autonomous region Gagauzia, Yevgenia Gutsul, and are amplifying Kremlin narratives aimed at destabilizing Moldova to a wider audience.
  • A recent Russian state-run poll suggests that the Kremlin aims for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s predetermined “support level” to be around 80 percent in the upcoming March 17 presidential election in an effort to portray Putin as legitimately popular and use the March election to legitimize Putin’s next term.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Avdiivka amid continued positional engagements along the entire line of contact on March 8.
  • BBC Russian Service and Russian opposition outlet Mediazona published a joint report on March 8 that at least 46,678 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022, including at least 1,555 confirmed killed in the past two weeks.
  • Unspecified actors, likely Ukrainian partisans, assassinated a Russian occupation official in occupied Berdyansk, Kherson Oblast on March 6.

Authors: Christina Harward, Angelica Evans, Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, and George Barros.

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