Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) proposed on May 21 that the Russian government reassess Russia’s maritime borders in the Baltic Sea so that these borders “correspond to the modern geographical situation.”
  • Kremlin and Russian MoD officials denied on May 22 that Russia is planning to change the Russian maritime border, but invertedly implied that the Russian government is considering undertaking some “security” measures in the Baltic Sea.
  • Western officials noted that Russia may be reassessing the basis for maritime borders in order to revise maritime zones in the Baltic Sea.
  • The Kremlin appears to be developing a system to legalize the status of Russia's so-called “compatriots abroad,” likely as part of its efforts to set information conditions to justify further aggression and hybrid operations abroad as “protecting” Russia's compatriots.
  • United Kingdom (UK) Defense Minister Grant Shapps stated on May 22 that US and UK intelligence have evidence that the People's Republic of China (PRC) “is now or will be” providing lethal military assistance to Russia, a statement that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan questioned.
  • Western officials warned that Russian intelligence services intend to increase sabotage activities and other hybrid operations against NATO member countries.
  • US Space Command reported on May 21 that Russia recently launched an anti-satellite weapon, the most recent report that Russia intends to field disruptive anti-satellite capabilities.
  • Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan indirectly accused Russia and directly accused Belarus of helping Azerbaijan to prepare for the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, against the backdrop of deteriorating Armenian-Russian relations.
  • Ukrainian forces recently recaptured territory near Vovchansk and Chasiv Yar, and Russian forces recently marginally advanced near Vovchansk, Avdiivka, Donetsk City, and Velyka Novosilka.
  • Russian courts reportedly began forcibly hospitalizing Russians charged with political crimes such as spreading “fake” information about the Russian military, in psychiatric hospitals.

Authors: Christina Harward, Riley Bailey, Angelica Evans, Grace Mappes, and George Barros.

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