Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • The Kremlin is pursuing a concerted effort to remove senior Russian defense officials and has likely expanded this effort to senior officers commanding Russian combat operations in Ukraine.
  • Russian border guards removed buoys in Estonian waters of the Narva River, which demarcates the Estonian-Russian international border, likely to set conditions to further question maritime borders and test NATO resolve.
  • Select US officials are reportedly pressing for a reconsideration of the White House's current policy prohibiting Ukraine from using US-provided weapons to strike within Russia.
  • Polish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Pawel Wronski stated on May 23 that Poland is considering using its air defense to protect Ukrainian airspace against Russian strikes.
  • Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) conducted a series of drone strikes against Russian defense industrial facilities in the Republic of Tatarstan on May 23.
  • Iranian leaders have used the occasion of President Ebrahim Raisi's funeral events to emphasize close ties with Armenia even as tensions between Yerevan and Moscow continue to increase.
  • Ukrainian forces advanced near Lukyantsi and Kreminna, and Russian forces advanced near Berestove, Chasiv Yar, Avdiivka, Donetsk City, and Velyka Novosilka.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) proposed applying regular military punishments to volunteers, likely as part of the MoD's continued formalization efforts.

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

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