Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky indicated that Ukraine does not have enough materiel to contest the battlefield initiative.
  • Zelensky stressed that additional Western security assistance is necessary for Ukrainian forces to effectively defend Ukraine’s airspace against the intensified Russian strike campaign and increased Russian aviation operations along the frontline.
  • Zelensky cautioned that the arrival of all promised F-16 fighter jets from Ukraine’s Western partners in 2024 will provide Ukraine with only 10 percent of the fighter aircraft Ukraine would need to completely defeat Russian aviation and restore Ukraine’s ability to operate effectively in the air domain.
  • Continued delays in US security assistance are specifically impacting the capabilities that Ukrainian forces need to respond to the increased tempo of Russian mechanized assaults in eastern Ukraine.
  • The Kremlin explicitly threatened its long-term ally Armenia on April 5 over Armenian outreach to the West following Russia’s failure to prevent Armenia’s loss of Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2023.
  • The Russian MFA also continues to threaten Finland and claimed that Finland has “lost its independence in making foreign policy decisions” since its accession to NATO — a narrative that the Kremlin routinely used to falsely claim that NATO was controlling Ukraine and using Ukraine to threaten Russia.
  • Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov announced on April 5 that 3,000 former Wagner Group personnel will join the Akhmat Spetsnaz unit following successful negotiations between Akhmat and Wagner commanders.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Avdiivka and Donetsk City.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin passed two laws on April 6, offering Russian society some concession for its sacrifices to support Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Angelica Evans, Kateryna Stepanenko, and George Barros.

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