Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin grossly misrepresented the Ukrainian Constitution and Ukrainian domestic law on May 28 in order to further promote the Kremlin information operation claiming that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is no longer the legitimate president of Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk directly responded to Putin's deliberate misinterpretation of Ukrainian law and explicitly stated that the Ukrainian Constitution and laws stipulate that Zelensky remain in office until the end of martial law in Ukraine.
  • Russian allegations about Zelensky's lack of legitimacy are a known Kremlin information operation that Kremlin officials have been promoting extensively in recent weeks, in part targeted at foreign audiences.
  • The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)'s Committee on Culture supported a resolution that recognizes Russia's deliberate erasure of Ukrainian culture as an element of Russia's genocidal campaign in occupied Ukraine, consistent with ISW's longstanding assessment that Russia is pursuing a broad occupation strategy premised on eradicating Ukraine's national identity and independence.
  • Russian authorities are preparing to intensify the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia throughout Summer 2024, further consolidating another component of Russia's genocidal campaign in Ukraine.
  • Iran's continued support for Russia's defense industrial base (DIB) and provision of lethal aid to Russia is bolstering Russia's technological output and military capabilities on the battlefield in Ukraine.
  • The Georgian Parliament overrode Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili's veto of Georgia's Russian-style "foreign agents" law in an 84-to-4 vote on May 28.
  • A limited segment of the Russian ultranationalist information space has resumed its standard public criticisms of the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and warned that new Defense Minister Andrei Belousov may not solve certain systemic issues within the Russian MoD and military.
  • Portugal and Belgium both signed long-term bilateral security agreements with Ukraine on May 28.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed support on May 28 for delisting the Taliban as a prohibited organization in Russia, indicating that Russia will likely do so soon.
  • Ukrainian forces recently made confirmed advances near Lyptsi, and Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Avdiivka and the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area.
  • The Russian military is reportedly intensifying efforts to recruit citizens from Central African countries to fight in Ukraine.

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

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