Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Western media continues to report that select US officials have resumed discussing the idea of “freezing the lines” where they are because the latest package of US military assistance to Ukraine may not be enough for Ukraine to regain all its territory. Supporters of the current package have not claimed that it would by itself allow Ukraine to liberate all occupied territory, and the discussion of possible end states of the war is very premature as President Joe Biden signed the bill authorizing the new package only two days ago.
  • Public meetings between officials from Russia, Belarus, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Iran, and North Korea have surged in recent days, with at least 10 high-level bilateral meetings between April 22 and 26, underscoring the deepening multilateral partnership these states are constructing to confront the West.
  • PRC officials claimed that NATO bears responsibility for Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine amid meetings between PRC officials and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on April 26.
  • Ukraine’s Western partners continue to provide Ukraine with immediate and longer-term military assistance, particularly for Ukraine’s air defenses.
  • The Ukrainian military has reportedly pulled US-provided M1A1 Abrams tanks from the frontline in part because of the widespread threat of Russian drones and other strikes.
  • Russian authorities continue efforts to expand the definition of prosecutable anti-war sentiment to portray Russians who oppose the war in Ukraine as opposing Russia itself.
  • Russian forces recently made a confirmed advance northwest of Avdiivka, and Ukrainian forces made a confirmed advance in east (left) bank Kherson Oblast, although this advance was likely not recent.
  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Tatar-Bashkort service Idel Realii reported on April 26 that Samara Oblast is forming a new “Batyr” volunteer motorized rifle battalion.
  • The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) issued a joint statement on behalf of 45 member states stating that Russia has arbitrarily detained thousands of Ukrainian civilians in occupied Ukraine and subjected them to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

ISW - map.

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

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