Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian forces have sustained the tempo of their offensive operations in the Toretsk direction since activating in the area on June 18 and likely aim to reduce a Ukrainian salient in the area, but there is little current likelihood of rapid Russian gains near Toretsk. Russian forces have committed only limited forces to this operation so far, which suggests that Russian forces continue to prioritize gradual advances through consistent grinding assaults over operationally significant gains through rapid maneuver.
  • Slow grinding Russian offensive operations in the Toretsk direction are in line with Russian President Vladimir Putin's articulated theory of victory that posits that Russian forces will be able to continue gradual creeping advances indefinitely, prevent Ukraine from conducting successful operationally significant counteroffensive operations, and win a war of attrition against Ukrainian forces
  • Ukraine signed long-term security agreements with the European Union (EU), Lithuania, and Estonia on June 27.
  • Russian officials and information space actors continue to frame migrants as a threat to Russian society amid ongoing efforts to utilize migrant communities to address Russia's force generation needs.
  • The Kremlin may be using indirect means to bypass Russian law and codify a state ideology that emphasizes Russia's "traditional" social values while attempting to increase Russia's birth rate.
  • There is currently no evidence supporting recent reports that North Korea may be sending engineering forces to rear areas of occupied Ukraine, and ISW has been unable to locate the North Korean confirmation that some Western amplifications allege has been made.
  • Russian forces recently marginally advanced near Siversk, Avdiivka, and Donetsk City.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on the long-term future of the Russian Navy and Russian shipbuilding on June 26 and noted that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) plans to introduce more than 40 new ships and vessels to the Russian Navy in 2024.

Authors: Angelica Evans, Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Nicole Wolkov, and George Barros.

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