Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • The pace of Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast appears to have slowed over the past 24 hours, and the pattern of Russian offensive activity in this area is consistent with ISW's assessment that Russian forces are prioritizing the creation of a "buffer zone" in the international border area over a deeper penetration of Kharkiv Oblast.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin's candidate for Russian Defense Minister Andrei Belousov outlined his and Putin's intended priorities for the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) during a speech to the Russian Federation Council on May 14.
  • Russian authorities detained Russian Deputy Defense Minister and Russian MoD Main Personnel Directorate Head Lieutenant General Yuri Kuznetsov on May 13 on charges of accepting large-scale bribes.
  • Putin appointed former Tula Oblast Governor Alexei Dyumin and former Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev as his presidential assistants on May 14, further re-balancing his ministerial cabinet for his fifth term.
  • The Georgian parliament passed Georgia's Russian-style "foreign agents" bill in its third and final reading on May 14, amid continued protests against the bill in Tbilisi.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US is interested in a bilateral security agreement with Ukraine during a visit to Kyiv on May 14.
  • Likely Ukrainian actors conducted a strike against a Russian railway line in Volgograd Oblast on May 14.
  • Russian forces recently marginally advanced near Lyptsi, Vovchansk, Svatove, Chasiv Yar, Avdiivka, Donetsk City, and Krynky.
  • The Russian MoD is reportedly coercing Russian citizens and migrants into Russian military service through false job opportunities, likely as part of ongoing crypto-mobilization efforts.
  • Ukrainian officials continue efforts to return forcibly deported Ukrainian children to Ukrainian-controlled territory from Russia.

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

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