Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu highlighted ongoing Russian offensive operations near Chasiv Yar, Avdiivka, and Donetsk City and announced Russia’s intent to intensify its strike campaign to disrupt Ukrainian logistics.
  • Shoigu also discussed ongoing Russian military reforms during his April 23 MoD collegium address, cloaking ongoing expansion efforts in an information operation meant to falsely frame all Russian military activity as inherently defensive and responsive to supposed NATO aggression.
  • Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Akbar Ahmadian traveled to St. Petersburg on April 23 to attend the 12th Russian International Security Summit.
  • The Chechen Republic appears to be trying to align itself more closely with Iran over the backdrop of intensifying bilateral security cooperation between Russia and Iran.
  • United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the UK’s largest ever package of military assistance to Ukraine valued at 500 million pounds (around $662 million) on April 23.
  • Moldovan authorities confiscated over one million dollars from Kremlin-linked Moldovan opposition politicians at the Chisinau airport on the night of April 22 to 23, and the opposition politicians likely intended to use to bribe protestors and voters.
  • Russian federal censor Roskomnadzor is blocking 150 virtual private network (VPN) services in Russia, another step in the Kremlin’s efforts to further censor and control the Russian information space.
  • Ukrainian drone strikes and recent flooding in Russia have reportedly brought weekly Russian oil refining to an 11-month low, although the decrease in refining output has so far been marginal.
  • Ukrainian forces recently advanced near Chasiv Yar (west of Bakhmut) and Russian forces recently advanced near Donetsk City.
  • Prominent Russian milbloggers continue to complain about the ineffectiveness of Russian drones on the battlefield.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Angelica Evans, Nicole Wolkov, Christina Harward, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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