Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian authorities claimed to have arrested the four attackers and seven others involved in the March 22 “Crocus City Hall” concert venue attack, which Russian authorities reported killed at least 133 civilians.
  • ISW assesses that the Islamic State (IS) is very likely responsible for the Crocus City Hall attack.
  • The Kremlin nevertheless and without evidence quickly attempted to tie Ukrainian actors to the Crocus City Hall attack but has yet to formally accuse Ukraine of involvement in the attack.
  • Russian ultranationalists responded to the attack by reiterating typically xenophobic calls for anti-migrant policies, reflecting the growing tension in Russian society over the mistreatment of migrants and the impacts migrant disenfranchisement could have on expanding a viable recruitment base in Russia for Salafi-Jihadi groups.
  • Russian sources accused Ukrainian actors of reportedly conducting a successful drone strike against a Russian oil refinery in Samara Oblast on the night of March 22 to 23.
  • Russia is reportedly delaying the delivery of two S-400 air defense systems to India, likely due to limitations in Russia’s production of S-400 systems, an increased need for air defense systems to protect cities and strategic enterprises in Russia from Ukrainian drone strikes, and a reported souring of Russian relations with India.
  • Russian forces made confirmed advances near Avdiivka and Donetsk City and in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on March 23 that will release individuals from criminal liability if they are called up for mobilization or sign military service contracts.

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

See the original here.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter