The overall pace of Russian operations in Ukraine appears to have decreased compared to previous weeks. A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Joint Press Center of the Tavriisk Defense Forces, Colonel Oleksiy Dmytrashkivskyi, stated on March 15 that Russian offensive actions have decreased significantly over the last week and noted that daily Russian ground attacks have decreased from 90 to 100 attacks per day to 20 to 29 per day.<1> Dmytrashkivskyi reported that Russian forces have somewhat lost offensive potential due to significant manpower and equipment losses.<2> Dmytrashkivskyis statements are consistent with ISWs general observation regarding the pace of Russian operations along the entire frontline in Ukraine. The Russian offensive operation in Luhansk Oblast is likely nearing culmination, if it has not already culminated, although Russia has committed most elements of at least three divisions to the Svatove-Kreminna line.<3> Russian forces have made only minimal tactical gains along the entire Luhansk Oblast frontline over the last week, and Ukrainian forces have likely recently managed to conduct counterattacks and regain territory in Luhansk Oblast.<4> ISW has been unable to confirm the commitment of the 2nd Motor Rifle Division (1st Guards Tank Army, Western Military District) to the offensive in Luhansk Oblast since certain unspecified elements reportedly deployed to Luhansk Oblast in January--the only large formation assessed to be operational but not yet engaged.<5> It is unclear if the 2nd Motor Rifle Division has already deployed and has not been observed or if it is waiting to deploy to either Luhansk Oblast or other areas of the front. The commitment of two or three of the 2nd Motor Rifle Divisions constituent regiments, however, is unlikely to significantly delay or reverse the culmination of the Russian offensive in Luhansk Oblast, especially considering that at least five Russian regiments have definitely been fully committed in this area, likely along with several others, but Russian forces have still been unable to make substantial gains.<6>

The overall Wagner Group offensive on Bakhmut additionally appears to be nearing culmination. Ukrainian military sources have noted a markedly decreased number of attacks in and around Bakhmut, particularly over the last few days.<7> Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin has recently emphasized the toll that a reported lack of ammunition is having on Wagners ability to pursue offensives on Bakhmut and stated on March 15 that due to ammunition shortages and heavy fighting, Wagner has had to expand its encirclement of Bakhmut.<8> Prigozhin notably claimed that Wagner captured Zalizianske, a tiny rural settlement 9km northwest of Bakhmut on the east side of the E40 Bakhmut-Slovyansk highway, which indicates that Wagner forces are likely conducting opportunistic localized attacks on settlements further north of Bakhmut that are small and relatively easier to seize.<9> Recent Wagner gains north of Bakhmut suggest that manpower, artillery, and equipment losses in fights for Bakhmut will likely constrain Wagners ability to complete a close encirclement of Bakhmut or gain substantial territory in battles for urban areas. The capture of Zalizianske and other similarly small towns north of Bakhmut and east of the E40 highway is extremely unlikely to enhance Wagners ability to capture Bakhmut itself or make other operationally significant gains. It therefore is likely that Wagners offensive on Bakhmut is increasingly nearing culmination. Russian forces would likely have to commit significant reserves to prevent this culmination. They may be able to do so, as ISW has observed elements of Russian airborne regiments in and around Bakhmut that do not seem to be heavily committed to the fighting at the moment. The Russians might also commit elements of other conventional units, including possibly the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division, or units drawn from elsewhere in the theater. But it seems that the Wagner offensive itself will not be sufficient to seize Bakhmut. Russian forces are not pursuing active or successful offensive operations elsewhere in theater, and as the pace of operations slows along critical sectors of the front, Ukrainian forces likely have an increased opportunity to regain the initiative.


Key Takeaways:
The overall pace of Russian operations in Ukraine appears to have decreased compared to previous weeks.
The overall Wagner Group offensive on Bakhmut appears to be nearing culmination.
International journalists reportedly obtained the Kremlins long-term strategy document for destabilizing and reintegrating Moldova back into the Russian sphere of influence by 2030.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin commented on the reports about the dismissal of the Russian Commander of the Airborne Forces Mikhail Teplinsky - likely revealing Teplinskys affiliation with Wagner.
The Russian State Duma adopted the law on punishment for discreditation of all participants of the special military operation in Ukraine on March 14 to foster self-censorship in Russian society.
Continued Russian efforts to portray the war in Ukraine as existential to Russian domestic security by establishing additional air defense installations in areas that will never see hostilities is reportedly sparking internal backlash.
Russian President Vladimir Putin used his March 15 meeting with the Russian Prosecutor Generals Office to continue to bolster his reputation as an involved and effective wartime leader.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Syrian President Bashar al Assad in Moscow, Russia on March 15.
Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks northwest of Svatove and conducted limited ground attacks on the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued advancing in and around Bakhmut and conducted ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces attempted to conduct offensive actions across the Kakhovka Reservoir in Kherson Oblast.
The Kremlin reportedly tasked the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) to recruit 400,000 contract servicemen starting on April 1.
Ukrainian partisans killed a Russian collaborator in an IED attack in Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast.

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The Russian Federal State Security Service (FSB) appears to be trying to penetrate the Russian Defense Industrial Base (DIB) in a way that is reminiscent of the KGBs involvement with the Soviet military establishment. Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Center for the Research of Trophy and Prospective Weapons and Military Equipment of the Ukrainian General Staff Andrii Rudyk remarked on March 16 that Ukrainian experts have found FSB markings on many Russian weapons components that Ukrainian forces have destroyed or captured on the battlefield. Rudyk noted that these markings appear not only on equipment such as T-90M tanks, but also on weapons microcircuits, and suggested that this means that the FSB conducted an equipment inspection of such weapons and components. Rudyk concluded that this means that the FSB does not trust Russian military leadership and is conducting inspections of Russian equipment accordingly. FSB markings on Russian equipment and weapons components, if confirmed, would have broader implications for the relationship between the FSB, the Russian DIB, and the broader Russian military apparatus. Either FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov has instructed the FSB to conduct these investigations at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or Bortnikov has issued this directive independent of Putin. In either case the FSB appears to be directly inserting itself into the inner workings of the Russian DIB, likely penetrating equipment acquisition and inspection processes. The KGB (the FSBs predecessor) notably penetrated the Red Army and Soviet defense industry in a similar fashion.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that he received a press question exposing a plot spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev to undermine and neutralize the Wagner Group. Prigozhins press service published a claimed request for comment on March 16 from Russian outlet Nezavisimaya Gazeta asking if Prigozhin was aware of alleged discussions between Putin and Patrushev regarding the future of the Wagner Group. The press comment claims that information on these discussions has recently circulated on Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels and alleges that Patrushev suggested to Putin that there will be nothing left of Wagner in one and a half to two months. The post goes on to claim that Patrushev suggested that upon Wagners destruction in Ukraine, Prigozhin will try to unite the former and remaining active Wagner fighters under a far-fetched pretext, arm them, and "send them to the territory of Russia in order to seize power in the regions bordering Ukraine with a possible advance inland. The post concludes that Patrushev has already ordered observation and control over the movement of former Wagner fighters and that Putin reportedly agreed with this step and thanked Patrushev for his efforts to neutralize Wagner in general and Yevgeny Prigozhin in particular. Prigozhin posted an audio clip in response to the claimed press comment saying that he had not heard about these supposed negotiations or observed speculation on Telegram channels, remarking that Russian special services should work to neutralize threats to Russia regardless of where they come from.

ISW has not observed any information to suggest that these discussions have happened, nor has ISW captured any speculation in the Russian information space about them. Nezivisimaya Gazeta has not published the press comment on its own site, and no record of the comment is visible anywhere other than in references to the post by Prigozhins press service. The lack of external confirmation on this subject suggests that Prigozhin has fabricated the alleged plot to further several information operations on behalf of Wagner and his own reputation. First, this exchange clearly identifies Patrushev and possibly the Russian Security Council as enemies of the Wagner Group. Prigozhin appears to be setting careful information conditions to blame Patrushev for Wagners failures and potential crackdowns against the group, as well as introducing an invented scenario wherein Wagner poses a direct threat to Russia domestically. This effort appears to be the next evolution of Prigozhins campaign against the Russian military establishment, and Patrushev could become Prigozhins next target after his concerted informational campaigns against the Russian Ministry of Defense and General Staff.

Key Takeaways:

The Russian Federal State Security Service (FSB) appears to be trying to penetrate the Russian defense industrial base (DIB) in a way that is reminiscent of the KGBs involvement with the Soviet military and industrial base.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that he received a press question exposing a plot spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev to undermine and neutralize the Wagner Group.
Western news agencies confirmed that Chinese companies have sold military and dual-use equipment to unidentified Russian entities. These sales appear small in scale but could alleviate strain on Russias defense industrial base (DIB) and circumvent Western attempts to limit Russian access to microchips.
Syrian President Bashar Assad used a staged interview with Russian outlet RIA Novosti to amplify notable Russian information operations.
Polish President Andrzej Duda stated that Poland will give Ukraine four MiG-29 fighter jets.
Russians decision to redeploy elements of its peacekeeping force from Nagorno-Karabakh to Ukraine is eroding Russias influence with Armenia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to reassure the Russian public that the war in Ukraine will not have significant long term economic consequences, likely as part of the Kremlins effort to prepare Russians for a protracted war.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued advancing in and around Bakhmut and continued ground attacks along the AvdiivkaDonetsk City line and in Western Donetsk Oblast.
Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted localized assaults in Zaporizhia Oblast.
Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces increased their naval presence in the Black Sea.

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Ukrainian forces likely conducted a localized counterattack southwest of Bakhmut amid growing Russian discussion about a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Bakhmut area. Geolocated footage published on March 19 indicates that Ukrainian forces conducted a successful counterattack southwest of Ivanivske (6km west of Bakhmut) and pushed Russian forces further away from the T0504 highway in the area.1 Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Serhiy Cherevaty reported that Russian forces conducted 25 attacks in the Bakhmut area on March 19, but Russian forces likely only secured marginal gains.2 Russian sources amplified footage on March 18 alleging to show a column of Ukrainian armored vehicles along the T0504 southwest of Kostyantynivka (22km southwest of Bakhmut) and speculated that Ukrainian forces are preparing to launch counteroffensive operations southwest of Bakhmut.3 A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces are currently capable of intensifying counterattacks to stabilize the front line around Bakhmut.4 The growing Russian discussions about an imminent Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Bakhmut area suggest that Russian sources are increasingly uncertain about the Russian militarys ability to maintain the initiative around Bakhmut.

Statements made by Ukrainian military officials on the pace and prospects of current Russian offensive operations may suggest that the overall Russian 2 Institute for the Study of War & The Critical Threats Project 2023 spring offensive may be nearing culmination. Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Serhiy Cherevaty stated on March 19 that Russia was unable to gather sufficient forces for the anticipated major offensive in Donbas and noted that current Russian offensive actions cannot be called a major strategic operation.5 Cherevaty emphasized that Russian forces cannot even complete the tactical capture of Bakhmut, which supports ISWs assessment that the Wagner Group offensive near Bakhmut is likely nearing culmination.6 Russian forces are also notably struggling to secure operationally significant gains elsewhere along the frontline, particularly in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City and Vuhledar areas. Ukrainian Tavriisk Defense Forces spokesperson Colonel Oleksiy Dmytrashkivskyi noted on March 19 that Russian forces have been desperately attacking Avdiivka to restart offensive operations on Vuhledar, likely suggesting that continued Russian attacks in the Avdiivka area are meant partially to pull Ukrainian reserves away from western Donetsk Oblast to the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area.7 Dmytrashkivskyi stated that this renewed offensive focus on Avdiivka has recently led to major Russian losses around Avdiivka amounting to the equivalent of one company, on which ISW has previously reported.8

Ukrainian military officials additionally continue to indicate that massive Russian losses in the Vuhledar area are severeley degrading Russian offensive capacity in Donetsk Oblast. Dmytrashkivskyi stated that Russian forces have reinforced elements of the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade (currently heavily committed in the Vuhledar area) with reserve forces of the 98th Guards Airborne Division.9 The 155th Naval Infantry Brigade suffered catastrophic manpower and equipment losses during continued failed attacks on Vuhledar in November 2022 and February 2023, and Russian military leadership is likely heavily relying on reserve elements from the 98th Airborne Division to offset and compensate for the 155th Naval Infantry Brigades losses.10 The 98th Airborne Division is at least partially committed in the Kreminna area in Luhansk Oblast, and commitment of some of its constituent elements to the Vuhledar area is likely indicative of a level of desperation on the part of the Russian military command trying to reconstitute battered units and restart offensive operations in western Donetsk Oblast.11 The Ukrainian General Staff similarly noted that the Russian military leadership is in a hurry to send reinforcements to Vuhledar and has been creating a Shtorm detachment within the 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (36th Combined Arms Army, Eastern Military District), which will presumably deploy to the Vuhledar area on March 24.12 The ad hoc reconstitution of existing units for deployment to Vuhledar, as well as the apparent creation of sub-brigade echelon special formations, suggests that Russian combat capabilities in western Donetsk Oblast are greatly degraded.

The overall Russian spring offensive is thus likely approaching culmination. Ongoing Russian offensives along the Svatove-Kreminna line, around Bakhmut, and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City and Vuhledar frontlines have failed to make more than incremental tactical gains in the first few months of 2023. Russia has committed the approximately 300,000 mobilized soldiers, called up by partial mobilization in September 2022 for the purpose of pursing exactly such a spring offensive, to these various offensive efforts. If 300,000 Russian soldiers have been unable to give Russia a decisive offensive edge in Ukraine it is highly unlikely that the commitment of additional forces in future mobilization waves will produce a dramatically different outcome this 3 Institute for the Study of War & The Critical Threats Project 2023 year. Ukraine is therefore well positioned to regain the initiative and launch counteroffensives in critical sectors of the current frontline.

Key Takeaways
Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces likely secured marginal gains near Bohdanivka (6km northwest of Bakhmut) amidst continued Russian offensive operations in and around Bakhmut.
Russian forces continued offensive operations along the outskirts of Donetsk City and may have advanced towards Berdychi, about 10km northwest of Avdiivka.
Russian forces continued erecting defensive fortifications throughout southern Ukraine.
Unknown actors killed a Russian occupation Ministry of Internal Affairs Patrol Service platoon commander with a car bomb in occupied Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian media hypothesized that the attack may have been a partisan attack or a result of Russian infighting.
Russian federal communication supervisor Roskomnadzor blocked a website that helped Russians escape mobilization in continued crackdowns against resistance to mobilization.

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Russian forces made marginal gains in and around Bakhmut amid a reported increase in the tempo of Russian operations around Avdiivka. Russian forces likely made additional gains in southwestern and northern Bakhmut as well as northwest of Bakhmut between Bohdanivka and Khromove as of March 20. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on March 19 that Russian troops attacked toward Berdychi (10km northwest of Avdiivka), which indicates that Russian forces likely advanced west of Krasnohorivka (9km north of Avdiivka) and captured Stepove (just west of Krasnohorivka). Russian forces are likely increasing the tempo of operations north of Avdiivka in an effort to set conditions for the encirclement of the settlement and are reportedly employing a greater number of aviation units in the area to support these operations. Avdiivka Mayor Vitaly Barabash told AFP News on March 20 that Russian forces are increasingly using Kh-59, Kh-101, Kh-555, and S-300 missiles in the Avdiivka area. A Ukrainian military spokesperson stated on March 20 that Russian forces have lost about three unspecified companies (likely referring to infantry) in assaults on Avdiivka since March 19. ISW previously reported that this increased tempo of Russian operations in the Avdiivka area has reportedly led to major losses and is likely a misguided effort to pull Ukrainian forces away from other areas of the front. ISW has not observed Russian forces arraying substantial combat power along the outskirts of Donetsk City, and it is unlikely that Russian forces will be able to sustain this temporary increased tempo. ISW assesses that the overall Russian spring offensive is likely approaching culmination, and Russian forces may be intensifying efforts to make even marginal gains before they lose the initiative in Ukraine. It remains possible that Russian advances could prompt Ukraine to withdraw from Bakhmut and/or Avdiivka although neither appears likely at this time.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 20 and offered a more reserved vision for Russian-Chinese relations than what Putin was likely seeking. Xi and Putin touted the strength of Chinese-Russian relations in their meeting on March 20, but offered differing interpretations of the scale of future relations in articles they published on March 19. Putin published an article in Chinese state media in which he argued that Russia and China are building a partnership for the formation of a multipolar world order in the face of the collective Wests seeking of domination and the United States pursuing a policy of dual containment against China and Russia. Xi offered a less aggressive overarching goal for Russian-Chinese relations in his article published in Russian state media outlet Rossiskaya Gazeta, in which he noted that Russia and China are generally pursuing a multipolar world order but not specifically against an adversarial West. Xi instead focused heavily on presenting China as a viable third-party mediator to the war in Ukraine whose plan for negotiations reflects the unity of views of the world community on overcoming the Ukrainian crisis. Putin wrote that Russia welcomes Chinas willingness to play a constructive role in crisis management regarding the war in Ukraine, but Putin likely was hoping for Xi to adopt a similarly aggressive rhetorical line against the West.

Xis refusal to explicitly align China with Russia in Putins envisioned geopolitical conflict with the West is a notable departure from Chinas declared no limits partnership with Russia preceding the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Xis rhetoric suggests that he is not inclined to fully give Russia the economic and political support that Russia needs to reverse setbacks in Ukraine. Putin and Xi offered somewhat similar visions for increased Chinese-Russian economic partnership, and it is likely that the two will sign bilateral trade and economic agreements during Xis visit, some of which will likely aim to facilitate schemes for sanctions evasion. Xi will also likely offer a more concrete proposal for a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine, although it remains unclear what his proposal will entail and how receptive the Kremlin will be to it. The prospects of China supplying Russia with military equipment also remain unclear.

Putin is likely increasing his attempts to rhetorically rally the rest of the world against the West, although it remains unlikely that he will achieve decisive effects through this effort. Putin attended the International Parliamentary Conference Russia-Africa in a Multipolar World on March 20 and stated that Russia and states in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America uphold the norms of social principles, morality, and traditions and oppose neo-colonial ideology. Putins depiction of an envisioned Chinese-Russian axis against the West and his comments at the conference likely amount to an intensified proposal to non-aligned countries to form a defined anti-Western bloc. Putin likely hoped that Xi would offer a similar vision to augment this proposal, and Xis refusal to do so likely weakens the impacts of Putins efforts. The attractiveness of a potential anti-Western Chinese-Russian-based geopolitical bloc lies more with Chinas economic and political power than with Russias declining economic strength and its military power badly degraded by fighting in Ukraine. Russias ongoing diplomatic efforts to generate support for its war in Ukraine continue to produce few tangible results, and an intensified effort to rally the rest of the world against the West will not likely be more effective.

Wagner Group Financier Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to maintain powerful political leverage and regional connections within Russia despite some officials attempts to distance themselves from the Wagner Group. Prigozhin claimed on March 20 that Krasnodar Krai Governor Veniamin Kondratyev personally invited a Wagner representative to Krasnodar Krai, overruled local refusals to bury Wagner mercenaries, and informed the representative that the Wagner Group will face no further obstacles burying its dead. Prigozhin on March 18 claimed that authorities in Goryachiy Klyuch, Krasnodar Krai, reneged on an agreement to bury Wagner personnel. A Goryachiy Klyuch official initially told a Wagner representative that Kondratyev stripped him of authority to cooperate with Wagner, which ISW assessed as an indicator of weakening connections between Prigozhin and regional officials. Prigozhins ability to reach out to Kondratyev directly and resolve the situation suggests that his leverage in the krai remains strong. Goryachiy Klyuch officials initial refusal to bury Wagner mercenaries and ongoing clashes between Prigozhin and St. Petersburg officials over Wagner burials indicate that some authorities do seek to distance themselves from Wagner PMC, however.

Key Takeaways
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and offered a more reserved vision for Russian-Chinese relations than Putin likely desires.
Putin is likely increasing his attempts to rally the rest of the world against the West, although it remains unlikely that he will achieve decisive effects in this effort.
Wagner Group Financier Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to maintain powerful political leverage and regional connections despite some officials attempts to distance themselves. Russian authorities are likely unsure of how to redefine Wagners new role following Prigozhins overextension of Wagner resources and support.
The Russian information space continues to respond to the International Criminal Court (ICC)s issuance of arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner on Childrens Rights Maria Lvova-Belova with ire and anxiety.
Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Spokesperson Andriy Yusov stated that the frequency of large Russian missile attacks has decreased.
Russia requested that the UN Security Council discuss Israeli airstrikes in Syria possibly in retaliation for Israels approval of export licenses for anti-drone jamming systems for Ukraine.
Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian and Russian forces conducted offensive operations northeast of Kupyansk.
Russian forces continued offensive operations near Svatove and Kreminna.
Russian forces continued making advances in and around Bakhmut.
Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline and made marginal gains near Avdiivka.
Russian sources claim that Russian forces are building up defensive fortifications and repelled Ukrainian reconnaissance-in-force operations in Zaporizhia Oblast.
Russian sources accused unknown actors of planting a bomb that exploded near a gas pipeline in occupied Simferopol, Crimea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Russian difficulties obtaining components for high-tech industrial production.
Ukrainian partisans killed Russian-appointed head of the Kherson Oblast pre-detention center Serhii Moskalenko with an improvised explosive device on March 17.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be setting conditions to weaponize the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a method of Russian power projection in advance of Russias accession to the rotating UNSC presidency in April. Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya stated during a press conference on March 21 that Russia plans to hold an informal UNSC meeting in early April to discuss the real situation of Ukrainian children taken to Russia. Nebenzya claimed that Russia planned to hold the meeting before the announcement of the International Criminal Courts (ICC) arrest warrants for Putin and Russian Commissioner on Childrens Rights Maria Lvova-Belova for the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. Nebenzyas announcement, as well as vitriolic denials of the ICCs accusations by Russian officials, come as Kremlin-appointed occupation officials continue to facilitate the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia under a variety of schemes and guises. Putin additionally made a number of notable comments proclaiming Russias commitment to the UN, UNSC, and the UN charter during his press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 21. Taken in tandem, Nebenzyas and Putins comments suggest that Russia continues to use its position on the UNSC as a base of power projection as the UNSC prepares for Russia to take the UNSC presidency in April. By setting information conditions to posture about Russias supposed commitment to the UNSC, Putin is positioning himself to continue to weaponize and exploit Russias UNSC veto power in the coming months.

The second day of Chinese President Xi Jinpings visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to suggest that Putin has not been able to secure the no-limits bilateral partnership with China that he likely hoped for. Putin and Xi signed a Joint Statement by the Russian Federation and the Peoples Republic of China on Deepening Comprehensive Partnership and Strategic Cooperation, Entering a New Era on March 21, which stressed that RussianChinese relations are comprehensive, strategic, and at the highest level in history. The Joint Statement outlines a variety of bilateral intentions and affirms the commitment of Russia and China to each others state sovereignty and territorial integrity, among other diplomatic promises. The commitments made by Xi and Putin were notably lopsided, however, indicating the Xi is agreeing to a more reserved version of RussianChinese relations than Putin likely desires, as ISW observed on March 20. Xi praised Putin, reaffirmed Chinas commitment to Russia in the UNSC, and amplified Chinas position on a political settlement of the war in Ukraine; but Xi did not go much further than offering those statements. Putin, by contrast, announced a number of measures that signal Russias continued orientation towards and dependence on China in the energy and economic sectors, which appear very one-sided compared to Xis relatively tempered commitments. Xi additionally did not signal an intent to provide support for Russias war in Ukraine beyond vague diplomatic assurances, which is likely a step down from what Putin hoped to secure in negotiations. Putin has likely failed to secure the exact sort of partnership that he needs and desires, and Xi will likely leave Moscow having secured assurances that are more one-sided than Putin intended them to be. Putin observed that Russia and China had a very substantiative and candid exchange of views on the prospects for the further development of the Russian-Chinese relations. Such rhetoric notably lacks the language normally used in diplomatic readouts to indicate that the two parties have come to definitive and substantive agreements.

Putin portrayed the Western provision of depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine as a significant escalation in order to bolster information operations aiming to deter Western security assistance to Ukraine and to place the onus for negotiations on the West. Putin claimed on March 21, while discussing the Chinese peace plan, that the West is beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component in a response to the UKs announcement that it would provide Ukraine with shells with depleted uranium. Putin claimed that the UKs provision of depleted uranium shells indicated that the West is not ready for a peaceful settlement." Anti-tank munitions in the West are commonly made of depleted uraniumthat is, uranium that is less radioactive than natural uraniumdue to its high density and the penetrative effect it generates. Such munitions cannot be used to produce either nuclear or radiological weapons. Putin seeks to portray the provision of depleted uranium shells as escalatory in order to deter Western security assistance despite the shells not containing any fissile or radiological material.

The Wagner Group may lose most of its convict force in the upcoming weeks as convicts finish their six-month military contracts. The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) assessed that thousands of Wagner convicts who were recruited during fall 2022 will be pardoned and released, given that Wagner appears to be sticking to its promise of releasing convicts after six months of service. The UK MoD forecasted that the exodus of convict forces would worsen Wagner personnel shortages as the Kremlin has also blocked Wagner from recruiting additional prisoners. The Kremlin had previously confirmed on January 27 that Russian President Vladimir Putin is issuing preemptive pardon for convicts who serve in Russian combat operations in Ukraine. The Kremlins announcement aligns with the ISW-established timeline of Putins decision to completely distance himself from Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin following the fall of Soledar, Donetsk Oblast, on January 1213. The Kremlin had likely deliberately authorized publicization of pre-emptive pardons to incentivize more Wagner convicts to leave following the expiration of their contracts to further erode the Wagner force. Prigozhin has developed a brand consistently mocking the Russian MoD for its disregard for the troops wellbeing and is unlikely to anger a convict force by retaining them on the frontlines past the expiration of their contracts.

Key Takeaways

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be setting conditions to weaponize the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a method of Russian power projection in advance of Russias accession to the rotating UNSC presidency in April.
The readouts of the second day of Chinese President Xi Jinpings visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to suggest that Putin has not been able to secure the no-limits bilateral partnership with China that he likely hoped for.
Putin falsely portrayed the Western provision of depleted uranium ammunition (not suitable for use in nuclear or radiological weapons) to Ukraine as a significant escalation in order to bolster information operations aiming to deter Western security assistance to Ukraine and to place the onus for negotiations on the West.
Wagner Group may lose most of its convict force in the upcoming weeks as convicts finish their six-month military contracts.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) launched a criminal investigation into the Deputy Commander of the Rosgvardias Central District, Major General Vadim Dragomiretsky.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it authorized a presidential drawdown to provide around $350 million of security assistance to Ukraine.
Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces did not make any confirmed gains in or around Bakhmut and continued offensive operations along the outskirts of Donetsk City.
The Kremlin continues crypto mobilization campaigns to recruit men across Russia for contract service to avoid declaring second mobilization wave.
Russian occupation officials continue to facilitate the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.


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Russian forces conducted a limited drone and missile strike campaign in Ukraine overnight on March 21-22, indicating that Russian forces continue struggling with precision missile shortages. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted 21 drone strikes targeting residential and infrastructure areas in Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhia, and Odesa oblasts, and Ukrainian forces shot down 16 of the drones. Ukrainian officials stated that Russian forces struck two residential high-rise buildings in Zaporizhzhia City, killing at least one civilian and injuring 33. Russian forces conducted more intensive and wider-ranging strikes during the fall 2022 air and missile campaign, suggesting that Russian forces may now be rationing their use of high-precision munitions for these strike campaigns or may simply lack the necessary munitions to sustain strike campaigns at their earlier pace and intensity. Head of the Ukrainian Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Forces Nataliya Humenyuk stated that the Russian missile strike threat remains high but that Russian forces would likely only conduct a limited campaign.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) intends to increase the size of Russias air defense forces at a Russian MoD collegium on March 22. Shoigu stated that one of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) development priorities is to generate more air defense units with advanced air defense systems. He noted that in 2023 Russian forces plan to form a new air defense division and brigade, form a special purpose air defense missile brigade, form a new anti-aircraft missile regiment with more advanced S-350 systems, form a military transport aviation regiment, and complete the modernization of Moscow Citys air defense systems. Shoigu also commented on Russian combat experience in Ukraine, stating that Russian pilots conducted over 140,000 combat sorties since February 24, 2022, and that 90 percent of operational-tactical and army aviation, 60 percent of strategic long-range aviation, and 85 percent of UAV operators have combat experience.

The Russian military is unlikely to generate such forces within several years, let alone by the end of 2023. Russias defense industrial base has historically experienced multi-year delays in developing advanced air defense systems, even before the strict sanctions and exacerbated resource constraints resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Current Russian air defense brigades and regiments received their S-400 systems up to several years behind schedule. The Russian military had only fielded the S-500 system, which was reportedly supposed to enter production in 2015, in one Russian air defense army by 2021. Russia also delayed its planned delivery of a second S-400 battery to India in 2022 due to constraints caused by Russias invasion of Ukraine. Russia may eventually grow its air defense forces as part of a larger effort to recreate a large conventional military in the long term, however. Shoigus announcement is similar to his previous announcement at an MoD collegium in December 2022 in which Shoigu stated that Russia seeks to form 17 new maneuver divisions over several years.

The formation of new Russian air defense and airlift units will not increase Russian combat power in Ukraine this year. Shoigus statement is likely intended to reassure the Russian people that the Russian MoD is continuing to develop the Russian military as a world-class military power to offset perceptions about Russian military failures in Ukraine.

Shoigu likely signaled to Japan that it should not attempt to exploit Russias current military vulnerability in the Kuril Islands and to China that Russia remains a worthwhile military partner. Shoigu extolled the strength of Russias Eastern Military District (EMD) at length and announced that the EMD deployed a battery of Bastion coastal defense missile systems on Paramushir Islandan island in the northern portion of the Russian-occupied Japanese Kuril Islands. Shoigus statement was likely a warning signal to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who visited Kyiv and Bucha on March 21, about becoming too engaged in supporting Ukraine. The Russian Eastern Military District is severely degraded. Significant Russian EMD elements deployed to Belarus and were badly damaged during the Battle of Kyiv in early 2022. Russian EMD elements of the 155th and 40th Naval Infantry Brigades recently fought and suffered heavy losses near Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast in early 2023. The 155th has been destroyed and reconstituted as many as eight times in the past year. Shoigus statement was also likely a signal to Chinese President Xi Jinping that Russia supports Chinese security objectives in East Asia and remains a viable military partner despite the terrible damage Ukraine has inflicted on the Russian military.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu walked away and refused to answer a question about how soon to expect peace in Ukraine. A journalist from the Russian Ministry of Defense-run media outlet TV Zvezda first asked Shoigu how the war will end, to which Shoigu responded, any war ends in peace. The journalist then asked Shoigu how soon to expect peace in Ukraine. Shoigu did not answer the question and walked away. TV Zvezda originally aired the footage of Shoigu walking away but cut it in a later release. ISW previously reported that the Kremlin aims to set information conditions and prepare the Russian information space for a protracted war.

Key Takeaways

Russian forces conducted a limited drone and missile strike campaign in Ukraine overnight on March 21-22, indicating that Russian forces continue struggling with precision missile shortages.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) intends to increase the size of Russias air defense forces at a Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) collegium on March 22.
Shoigu likely signaled to Japan that it should not become more engaged in supporting Ukraine by announcing the deployment of an anti-shipping missile system on one of the Kuril Islands.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu walked away and refused to answer a question about how soon to expect peace in Ukraine.
The tempo of Russian operations around Bakhmut appears to be slowing amid Western reporting that Russian forces may be attempting to launch offensives in other directions.
Russian forces may be deploying T-54/55 tanks from storage to Ukraine to compensate for significant armored vehicle losses.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces made marginal territorial gains within Bakhmut and continued offensive operations in and around Bakhmut and on the outskirts of Donetsk City.
Ukrainian officials stated that Ukrainian forces continue to clear an area on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River.
The Kremlin continued hybrid reserve callup and crypto mobilization campaigns to recruit Russians for contract service.
Russian officials and occupation authorities continued to advocate for legislative changes in an effort to further legitimize the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.


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> Ukrainian officials stated that Ukrainian forces continue
>to clear an area on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River.

  

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Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin has softened his rhetoric towards the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) likely out fear of completely losing his mercenary force in Bakhmut. Prigozhin emphasized his concerns about a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive in eastern Ukraine during a 23-minute interview on March 23. Prigozhin claimed that Ukraine has 200,000 reserves concentrating to attack along the entire eastern frontline, into Belgorod Oblast, and in Bakhmut. Prigozhin also claimed that the Ukrainians currently have 80,000 troops in Bakhmut, Slovyansk, and Kostyantynivka to counterattack Bakhmut a claim that former Russian officer Igor Girkin observed was dubious. Prigozhins exaggerated statements about the imminent threat to Russian forces are likely an attempt to secure more supplies and reinforcements from the Russian MoD to save his forces in Bakhmut. Prigozhin made several positive statements about the Russian MoD, even acknowledging that Russian MoD forces are fighting alongside Chechen units in Bilohorivka, Luhansk Oblast. Prigozhin also surprisingly promoted both Russian MoD-controlled volunteer recruitment efforts and recruitment into Wagner, instead of only advertising service with Wagner formations as he has usually done. Prigozhin expressed some generalized criticism of the Russian military bureaucracy namely the defense industrial base (DIB) - but such criticisms echo the current state propaganda narrative. Prigozhin had been an avid critic of the Russian military command, and the softening of his rhetoric may indicate that he may be attempting to partially appease the Russian MoD to gain supplies or reinforcements for Wagner forces in Bakhmut.

Prigozhin denied the Kremlins claims that Russia is fighting NATO in Ukraine and questioned whether there are actually Nazis in Ukraine as the Kremlin constantly claims. Prigozhin stated that Russia is fighting exclusively with Ukrainians who are equipped with NATO-provided equipment and some russophobic mercenaries who voluntarily support Ukraine - but not NATO itself. Prigozhin also noted that Russian officials most likely knew that NATO would offer Ukraine military aid, because it is ridiculous to think that when decided to conduct this special military operation it did not account for NATOs help to Ukraine. Prigozhin noted that he is unsure about the denazification objectives in Ukraine, because he does not know if there are Nazis in Ukraine. Prigozhin also noted that Russia will demilitarize Ukraine only when all of the Ukrainian military is destroyed, claiming that this effort is ongoing, but that it is unclear if it will be successful. Prigozhin stated that Russia can avoid an exhausting protracted war by deciding now which borders it wants to capture. Prigozhin also called on the Russian military and media to stop underestimating Ukrainian forces and engaging in internal conflicts. Prigozhin effectively rejected the Kremlins pre-war and post-war claims that Russia needed to defend itself against a NATO threat in Ukraine and undermined the necessity and probability of Russian President Vladimir Putins stated maximalist objectives for this invasion.

Bloomberg reported that Prigozhin is preparing to scale back Wagners operations in Ukraine after the Russian military leadership succeeded in cutting key supplies of personnel and munitions, citing unspecified people familiar with the matter. Bloombergs sources stated that Wagner is planning to shift focus back to Africa but that there is no current indication that Prigozhin is planning to redeploy the Wagner Group to Africa. Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the Kremlin and intelligence services, that top Russian military commanders worked to undermine Prigozhins position with Russian President Vladimir Putin by claiming that Prigozhin achieved limited and slow success despite sending waves of Russian convicts to their deaths around Soledar and Bakhmut. ISW assessed on March 12 that Putin ultimately turned away from Prigozhin following Wagners inability to capture Bakhmut. Bloombergs sources claimed that the Russian MoD will not allow Prigozhin to take credit for the fall of Bakhmut in state-run media, which is consistent with the MoDs ongoing effort to diminish and supplant the role of Wagner forces in territorial gains in the area. Prigozhin notably denied Bloombergs claim of scaling back and shifting focus to Africa.

A Ukrainian intelligence official supported ISWs prior assessments that Russian forces are unable to conduct large-scale, simultaneous offensive campaigns on multiple axes. Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Spokesperson Vadym Skibitsky stated on March 23 that Russian forces have demonstrated in the last year of the war that Russian forces are unable to maintain large-scale, strategic-level offensives on multiple axes of advance. Skibitsky stated that Russian forces failed to achieve expected quick or significant advances in the Donbas offensive that began in early 2023. Skibitsky stated that Ukrainian forces fixed Russian forces to multiple areas on the front line, and that Russian forces in occupied Crimea and Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts are on the defensive. US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby stated on March 21 that Russian forces will try to start another offensive, possibly even on multiple different axes, in the coming weeks.

Russian forces may be shifting their missile strike tactics to focus on Ukrainian military facilities as overall Russian missile strikes decrease, indicating the depletion of Russias stocks of high precision missiles. Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Spokesperson Vadym Skibitsky stated that Russian forces may be reorienting the their strikes to focus on Ukrainian military facilities and force concentrations while continuing to strike Ukrainian energy infrastructure, as opposed to prioritizing striking energy infrastructure as Russian forces did in fall 2022. Skibitsky said that the GUR assessed that currently only 15 percent of Russias pre-February 24, 2022 high-precision weapons stocks remain. Skibitsky stated that Russias higher end Kalibr, Kh-101, and Kh-555 cruise missiles comprise less than 10 percent of Russias total remaining stocks. Skibitsky stated that Russian forces cannot conduct missile attacks more than twice a month due to the growing need to conserve missiles, in contrast with how Russian forces conducted large air attacks at a higher frequency of about once a week in October 2022. Skibitsky stated that Russias defense industrial base can produce only produce 20 to 30 Kalibr and Kh-101 cruise missiles per month and that Russias production of Iskander ballistic missiles is even lower. ISW has previously assessed that Russian forces are depleting their missile arsenal, which may constrain Russian missile strikes frequency and intensity.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin outlined various measures to support Russian military personnel, the Russian defense industrial base (DIB), and Russian independence from the West in an address to the State Duma on March 23.Mishustin claimed that Russia aims to produce over 100 aircraft, likely including military aircraft, with unspecified modifications by 2026. Mishustin also claimed that Russia has made significant progress towards mobilizing the DIB for increased production and implementing social support measures to support Russian military personnel, particularly mobilized personnel, and their families. Mishustin used the bulk of his address to claim that Russia has done well but will improve even further despite needing to implement additional economic, social, political, technological and diplomatic measures to both counteract the effects of significant Western sanctions and decrease Russian dependence on the West. Mishustins speech follows Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigus March 22 speech at the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) collegium, and both Mishustin and Shoigu are attempting to portray Russia as capable of maintaining a prolonged war effort at a pace and scope likely beyond Russias actual capability, as ISW has previously assessed.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Rosatom may be working to restore three power lines at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) that would increase Russian control over the ZNPP. IAEA General Director Rafael Grossi on March 22 commented on Russian reports that Russias state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom is working to restore three powerlines at the thermal power plant switchyard to incorporate into the grid system in Russian occupied territory, but that the IAEA has not been able to verify this information. Grossi stated that the IAEA personnel at the ZNPP observed Russian NPP workers training with experienced ZNPP staff in the main control room of the ZNPP. Russian authorities claimed that the purpose of the training is to ensure that adequate staff are available to work at the plant in case of licensed staff shortages. ISW has previously reported on Russian efforts to use Rosatoms management and personnel to establish control over the ZNPP to force the IAEA into accepting Russian control over the ZNPP.

Key Takeaways
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin has softened his rhetoric towards the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) likely out fear of completely losing his mercenary force in Bakhmut.
Prigozhin denied the Kremlins claims that Russia is fighting NATO in Ukraine and questioned whether there are actually Nazis in Ukraine as the Kremlin constantly claims.
Bloomberg reported that Prigozhin is preparing to scale back Wagners operations in Ukraine after Russian military leadership succeeded in cutting key supplies of personnel and munitions.
Ukrainian officials supported ISWs prior assessments that Russian forces are unable to conduct large-scale, simultaneous offensive campaigns on multiple axes.
Russian forces may be shifting their missile strike tactics to focus on Ukrainian military facilities as overall Russian missile strikes decrease, indicating the depletion of Russias stocks of high precision missiles.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin outlined various measures to support Russian military personnel, the Russian defense industrial base (DIB), and Russian independence from the West in an address to the State Duma.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Rosatom may be working to restore three power lines at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) that would increase Russian control over the ZNPP.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces are continuing to attack Bakhmut City and areas in its vicinity and around Avdiivka.
Ukrainian forces continue to conduct raids over the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.
The Kremlin continues efforts to coerce Russian reservists, conscripts, and other personnel into contract service.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced that Russia is continuing efforts to integrate newly-occupied Ukraine into Russian institutions and infrastructure.
Russian forces in Belarus recently redeployed back to Russia ahead of Russias spring conscription call-up on April 1.

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Prominent voices in the Russian information space are increasingly setting information conditions to prepare for a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russian Security Council Deputy Head Dmitry Medvedev emphasized on March 24 that the Russian General Staff is aware that Kyiv is preparing for offensive operations and that the Russian General Staff is considering its own decisions and responses to prepare for a Ukrainian offensive. A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian actors are disseminating disinformation about plans for a Ukrainian attack towards Belgorod Oblast, in order to draw Russian troops to border areas and allow Ukrainian troops to launch attacks on other sectors of the front, partially echoing Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhins prior warnings about a Ukrainian push on Belgorod Oblast. Another Russian milblogger warned that Ukrainian forces will likely try to launch a counteroffensive before the Russian defense industrial base (DIB) gains the capacity to increase production and bolster Russian defensive potential. Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin similarly claimed on March 23 that he knows of plans for an extensive Ukrainian counteroffensive, as ISW previously reported. The wider Russian spring offensive appears to be culminating, and the Russian information space appears to be responding to the slow-down of Russian operations and potential for Ukraine to regain the initiative with substantial anxiety. Russian military command will need to commit a significant number of forces to the frontline to either prevent culmination or launch renewed offensive operations, and it is unlikely that such forces exist at sufficient scale to do either.

Crimean occupation head Sergey Aksyonov has reportedly formed a Wagner Group-affiliated private military company (PMC) in occupied Crimea. Independent Russian investigative outlet Vazhnye Istorii (iStories) reported on March 23 that Aksyonov has publicly sided with Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin against the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and created PMC Convoy under the leadership of Prigozhin associate Konstantin Pikalov, who has led Wagner operations in Africa. PMC Convoy is reportedly a BARS (combat reserve) unit, meaning that Convoy servicemembers sign two contractsone with Convoy itself and one with the Russian MoD. iStories reported that Convoy initially consisted of 300 people and has been deployed to occupied Kherson Oblast. The iStories report is particularly noteworthy against the backdrop of Wagners and Prigozhins continually declining influence in Russia and loss of access to convict recruits. Prigozhin and Prigozhin-affiliated elements may be trying to diffuse Wagners remaining power by creating separate PMCs and other parallel military formations in addition to launching new recruitment efforts through traditional channels. Aksyonov additionally appears to have affiliated himself and the Crimea occupation administration with Prigozhin, which may have important implications for the role of forces from occupied Crimea in subsequent phases of the war.

Some prominent Russian milbloggers criticized the Russian military command for continuing to impale Russian forces on Vuhledar with ineffective human-wave style frontal assaults. The milbloggers claimed that current Russian tactics against Vuhledar, which include an initial frontal assault followed by assaults against fortified Ukrainian flanks, result in high Russian combat losses resulting in no gains due to challenging terrain, lack of combat power, and failure to surprise Ukrainian forces. The milbloggers called on Russian forces to cut Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) into Vuhledar both with strikes against rear GLOCs and by encircling the settlement for a multi-vector attack, but implied that Russian forces are unable to implement these suggestions due to munitions shortages and the failure to take many settlements surrounding Vuhledar. Russian forces are unable to sustain any significant rate of advance anywhere on the front line using these human-wave style attacks, and the Vuhledar area once held informational significance to Russian milbloggers during the offensive for Pavlivka in in late October and early November 2022. The Russian 155th Naval Infantry Brigade has been destroyed and reconstituted as many as eight times since the start of the war in large part due losses sustained during the prolonged effort against Vuhledar. The re-emergence of vitriolic criticism about Russian failures near Vuhledar likely reflects the information spaces ongoing frustration with the Russian military command amid deep-seated fear about a prospective future Ukrainian counteroffensive. It is possible that Russian forces are undertaking a renewed and inconsistent push to take Vuhledar in the style of limited and localized ground attacks, though it is also possible that the sources claiming as such are engaging in circular reporting or re-reporting old events.

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the Russian Security Council likely as part of his effort to portray himself as a present and effective wartime leader. The meeting centered around Russias effort to develop its electronics industry, though the Kremlin readout provides little detail about the meeting itself. Russia has been seeking ways to mitigate the effect of Western sanctions on the Russian defense industrial base (DIB), which relies on electronics to produce advanced materiel and weaponry. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has notably claimed that Belarus can produce weapons for Russia given Belaruss access to electronics, and Russia and Belarus recently signed an agreement on furthering their respective electronics industries. This meeting likely aimed to portray Putin as holding the Russian Security Council responsible for mobilizing the DIB to meet wartime demands while not providing evidence of any progress towards this goal.

Key Takeaways

Prominent voices in the Russian information space are increasingly setting information conditions to prepare for a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Crimean occupation head Sergey Aksyonov has reportedly formed a Wagner Group-affiliated private military company (PMC) in occupied Crimea.
Some prominent Russian milbloggers criticized the Russian military command for continuing to impale Russian forces on Vuhledar with ineffective human-wave style frontal assaults.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the Russian Security Council likely as part of his effort to portray himself as a present and effective wartime leader.
Russian forces conducted limited attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces have made gains in and around Bakhmut and conducted ground attacks in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area.
The Ukrainian General Staff corrected its March 23 statement that Russian forces withdrew from Nova Kakhovka, occupied Kherson Oblast.
Russian occupation authorities announced the creation of a pro-Russian militaristic youth movement aimed at brainwashing children.
The Russian government is adopting new measures to revitalize and eliminate corruption, lethargy, and resistance in Russias defense industrial base (DIB).
The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) reported on March 24 that at least 1,000 Russian personnel training at the 230th Combined Arms Obuz-Lesnovsky Training Ground in Brest, Belarus, redeployed to Russia.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the predictable next information operation to discourage Ukrainian resistance and disrupt Western support for Ukraine as Russian offensives culminate and Ukraine prepares to launch counter-offensives in an interview with a state-owned Russian news channel on March 25.

Putin claimed that the West cannot sustain weapons provisions to Ukraine and exaggerated Russias potential to mobilize its own defense industrial base (DIB) to create the false impression that further Ukrainian resistance and Western support to Ukraine is futile. Putin claimed that Ukrainian forces expend up to 5,000 shells a day, while the United States produces an average of 14,00015,000 shells a month. Putin alleged that planned Western defense production increases will not match Russian planned increases. Putin announced that Russia will build over 1,600 new tanks by the end of 2023 and that Russia will have more than three times the number of tanks as Ukraine at that time. Putin likely seized the opportunity to advance this narrative based on The Financial Timess March 19 report that European arms manufacturers are hobbled by an explosives shortage. Putin argued that continued Western weapons provisions to Ukraine are merely an attempt to prolong the war.
Putin compared the state of the Russian wartime DIB with current Western military industrial outputs, stating that the West would need to make significant sacrifices to civilian projects to increase military production to support war in Ukraine. Putin added that unlike the West, Russia does not need excessive militarization of the economy to expand its DIB capabilities. These claims are not supportable. The US GDP alone is 10 times the size of Russias. Germany, the UK, and France together have economies nearly five times the size of Russias. The US and its allies certainly must make choices when considering spending the large sums required to support Ukraine, but the choices they face are nothing like as hard as those confronting Russia. The balance of overall available resources and industrial capacity is decisively weighted toward the West. Russian military industrial potential is, in fact, hopelessly outmatched by Western military industrial potential. Putins messaging is intended to persuade the West to commit less of that potential to supporting Ukraine by convincing the West, falsely, that it cannot match Russia. Russia must move to a full war footing to sustain its current military operationssomething Putin has been very reluctant to do. The West does not need to shift to a wartime footing to continue to support Ukraine if it chooses to do so.

Putins stated goals for Russian tank production in 2023 and comparisons with Ukrainian tank stocks also disregard Russias limited industrial capacity to produce more advanced tanks rapidly and ignore Russian tank losses on the battlefield. Russias sole tank production factory, UralVagonZavod, reportedly produces 20 tanks a month. It would take over six years to meet Putins goal at that rate. UralVagonZavod is unlikely to expand production of modern tanks such as the T-90 rapidly enough to meet these targets in nine months due to international sanctions and shortages of skilled labor. The Kremlin will thus likely continue to pull archaic tanks from storage and may attempt to refurbish some older tanks to meet the stated quota. A Kremlin pundit stated on a live broadcast on March 25 that Russia would pull old T-34 tanks from storage and monuments if needed for the war effort while attempting to justify Russias recent deployments of the T-54 and T-55 tanks to the frontlines. These tanks are not comparable to modern Abrams, Challenger, or Leopard tanks, or even to T-72s, in either armament or armor protection.

Key Takeaways

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the predictable next information operation to discourage Ukrainian resistance and disrupt Western support for Ukraine as Russian offensives culminate and Ukraine prepares to launch counter-offensives in an interview with a state-owned Russian news channel on March 25.
Putin pushed the false narrative that the West cannot sustain weapons provision to Ukraine due to limited Western production and hyperbolized Russias potential to mobilize its own defense industrial base (DIB).
Putin advanced another information operation by announcing that Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus by July 1 and renewed tired information operations about the potential for nuclear escalation.
Russian conventional forces may intervene in Wagner Groups offensive around Bakhmut to prevent the offensive from culminating prematurely.
Russian forces do not have the degree of fire control over Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and likely other areas of the front that Russian milbloggers claim.
Russian forces conducted limited attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks in and around Bakhmut and gained limited ground in the city.
Russian forces reportedly conducted a mass rotation of forces in Nova Kakhovka on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin accused Russian authorities on March 25 of rewriting history to cut out Wagner by forcing state-controlled media outlet RT to cut some coverage of the Wagner Group.
The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on March 24 that Moscow elites are competing for funding to restore occupied territories and really plan to use the projects to further their own interests.


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The outcomes of wars often are, in fact, determined on the battlefield with negotiations that merely ratify military realities. Putin likely has one such example vividly in his mindWorld War II in Europe. That war ended only when Allied forces had completely defeated the German military and Soviet troops stood in the wreckage of Berlin. Japan surrendered a few months later after the US had demonstrated what appeared to be the ability to destroy the country completelyand only after the Japanese military had lost the ability to do more than impose casualties on the US in the process of losing. Going further back in history the peaces that ended the three Wars of German Unification, the American Civil War, and the Napoleonic Wars also merely ratified realities created by decisive military victories. Even the most recently ended war adhered to this pattern. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan was followed by a decisive Taliban military victory that has ended that conflict (for now) without any formal treaty or accord ratifying this outcome. History offers many counter-examples, to be sure, including the Dayton Accords that ended the Bosnian conflict and the resolution of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. But it is simply not the case that all wars end in negotiated settlements, particularly if by negotiated settlements is meant mutual recognition of the impossibility of achieving desired aims through military force.

Putin initiated the current war and is the key actor who must decide that he cannot achieve his aims by military power and must instead engage in a negotiated resolution of the conflict if the war is to end in this fashion. The war will protract as long as Putin believes that he can impose his will on Ukraine by fighting or by breaking the Ukrainians will to fight following their abandonment by the West.

Key inflections in ongoing military operations on March 26:
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar called for informational silence regarding a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Russian milbloggers largely amplified and praised Russian President Vladimir Putins March 25 information operations. One milblogger claimed that the deployment of nuclear weapons does not change Russias military situation in Ukraine or need to defend against a future Ukrainian counteroffensive, however.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks on the Svatove-Kreminna line. Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Serhiy Cherevaty stated that Russian and Ukrainian forces fought 10 battles in the Kupyansk-Lyman direction.
Russian forces continued attacking Bakhmut and its environs and made marginal gains within the city. Russian sources claimed that Wagner Group forces cleared the AZOM plant in northern Bakhmut.
Russian forces continued attacking along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line and made marginal gains within Marinka. Ukrainian intelligence stated that Wagner Group forces may arrive in the Avdiivka direction.
Russian forces continued routine fire against areas in Zaporizhia, Kherson, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts. Head of the Ukrainian United Coordination Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces Nataliya Humenyuk stated that Russian forces in southern Ukraine lack adequate supplies of missiles and drones.
Russian sources reported the formation of the Uragan volunteer battalion of the irregular formation 1st Wolves Sabotage and Reconnaissance Brigade, which operates in the Avdiivka area.
United Russia Secretary Andrey Turchak announced the proposal of a draft law on March 24 that would allow families of employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) who died in the war to be eligible to receive a one-time housing payment.
The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian occupation authorities in Berdyansk in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast are requiring locals to obtain passes from the occupation administration by April 1 in order to move around occupied Zaporizhia Oblast.

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Rumors about the dismissal of Russian Eastern Group of Forces (Eastern Military District) Commander Colonel General Rustam Muradov on March 27 generated a muted and cynical response in the Russian information space. The milbloggers claimed that Russian military authorities dismissed Muradov from his position as Eastern Group of Forces commander, but ISW cannot currently verify these claims. Muradov took command of the Russian Eastern Military District (EMD) on October 6, 2022, and has overseen a series of disastrous offensive operations led by EMD elements in western Donetsk Oblast over the past five months. One milblogger claimed that Muradov is on vacation, which the milblogger noted is tantamount to resignation. Others claimed that Muradovs removal is a positive step but stated that Muradovs replacement is more important than his removal. Some milbloggers noted that Muradov was responsible for significant Russian military failures in western Donetsk Oblast, including the high casualties suffered in the assault against Pavlivka in October-November 2022 and the prolonged and failed effort to take Vuhledar. Independent Russian investigative outlet Vazhnye Istorii (iStories), citing sources close to the Russian General Staff, reported that the Russian General Staff accused Muradov of being inept due to battlefield failures and significant losses in western Donetsk Oblast, including the near obliteration of the Tatarstan Alga volunteer battalion. One prominent milblogger claimed that military authorities are also considering dismissing Western Military District Commander Colonel General Yevgeny Nikiforov, whose forces operate along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line in eastern Ukraine.

ISW cannot confirm the rumors of either Muradovs or Nikiforovs dismissals, but it is noteworthy that Russian milbloggers are discussing potential dismissals of commanders associated with areas of operation in which Russian forces have been largely unable to secure substantial gains or have suffered major losses. Russian milbloggers do not appear to be hypothesizing about the removal of either the Central Military District (CMD) Commander Lieutenant General Andrey Mordvichev or Southern Military District Commander (SMD) Colonel General Sergey Kuzovlev. Neither the CMD nor the SMD are heavily committed in critical areas of the front, and Mordvichev and Kuzovlev have therefore likely avoided becoming targets of Russian command skepticism because they are not currently responsible for significant failures. The muted information space response to the reported firings is additionally indicative of broader disillusionment with Russian military command, which milbloggers have argued for months needs systemic overhauls. Many milbloggers have consistently praised former Commander of Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine Army General Sergey Surovikin despite the fall of west (right) bank Kherson Oblast under his command, however. One milblogger claimed on March 27 that Surovikin may be responsible for defending against a future Ukrainian counteroffensive and claimed that Surovikins military strategy is better than that of Russian Chief of the General Staff and current Commander of Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine Army General Valery Gerasimov. Russian authorities and some milbloggers have fixated on identifying and punishing individual commanders for the failures of their troops, rather than interrogating and resolving endemic issues in Russian command and control, force structure, and deployment patterns.

Russian milbloggers also had a muted response to Russian President Vladimir Putins March 25 announcement that Russia will deploy tactical nukes to Belarus, suggesting that Putins messaging is aimed at Western rather than domestic Russian audiences. Many milbloggers and news aggregators simply amplified various points from Putins March 25 interview that artificially inflate the capabilities of the Russian military and defense industrial base (DIB) to sustain a prolonged war effort, as well as the nuclear weapons deployment announcement itself. One milblogger correctly noted that deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus does not improve Russias military situation in Ukraine, claiming that Russian forces need to instead prepare for a future Ukrainian counteroffensive, and criticized continued Russian military command and organization issues. Another milblogger recognized that Putin targeted his nuclear weapons deployment announcement at the West and praised the prospect of being the nightmare of the US.

Russian military leadership likely committed limited higher quality Wagner Group elements to the offensive on Avdiivka, potentially to reinforce recent limited tactical successes in the area. Ukrainian Tavriisk Defense Forces Spokesperson Colonel Oleksiy Dmytrashkivyskyi stated on March 25 that Ukrainian intelligence forecasts that Wagner may appear in the Avdiivka direction. A Russian VK user posted an obituary on March 26 announcing the death of Wagner Group fighter Yevgeny Malgotin in Avdiivka on March 20. The obituary claims that Malgotin had prior military experience and fought with the 2nd Russian Volunteer Detachment of the Army of Republika Sprska (commonly referred to as the Bosnian Serb Army) in 1992. Malgotin appears to have been a seasoned fighter, and likely represents the higher caliber of fighter that comprises Wagners special operations forces. While Wagner has heavily committed a majority convict-based force to operations near Bakhmut, there is likely a contingent of higher-quality operators at various locations in Ukraine. Russian military leadership may have decided to deploy certain Wagner elements to the Avdiivka area in recent weeks to support exhausted and lower-quality Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) elements in their efforts to take the settlement. If such Wagner fighters have been fighting near Avdiivka, their involvement may help explain the limited tactical gains made in the area over the past week.

Key inflections in ongoing military operations on March 27:
Rumors about the dismissal of Russian Eastern Group of Forces (Eastern Military District) Commander Colonel General Rustam Muradov on March 27 generated a muted and cynical response in the Russian information space.
Russian milbloggers also had a muted response to Russian President Vladimir Putins March 25 announcement to deploy tactical nukes to Belarus, underscoring that Putins messaging is aimed at Western rather than domestic Russian audiences.
Russian military leadership likely committed limited higher quality Wagner Group elements to the offensive on Avdiivka, potentially to reinforce recent limited tactical successes in the area.
Russian forces made marginal gains around Svatove and Russian forces continue ground attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued ground attacks in and around Bakhmut and made gains within Bakhmut.
Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
Russia appears to be increasingly deploying elements of conventional formations in a piecemeal fashion along the entire frontline, including in southern Ukraine.
Russian authorities continue forming new volunteer battalions subordinate to irregular formations.
Ukrainian partisans conducted an improvised explosive device (IED) attack against an occupation law enforcement officer in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast



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Wagner Group forces have likely taken the AZOM industrial complex in northern Bakhmut and continue to make gains within the city. Russian milbloggers widely claimed on March 28 that Wagner fighters have captured the AZOM complex and are working to clear the area of remaining Ukrainian forces. These claims are relatively consistent with available visual evidence of Russian presence in the AZOM complex. Geolocated footage posted on March 26 shows a military correspondent from Russian outlet RIA Novosti moving around the territory of the complex with apparent ease, indicating that Wagner likely controls enough of the plant to host media personalities in relative safety. RIA Novosti correspondent Sergei Shilov additionally visited AZOM on March 28 and indicated that fighting has now moved to the industrial zone south of AZOM. Several Russian milbloggers also claimed on March 28 that Wagner fighters have advanced closer to Bakhmuts city center, taken control of the city market, and reached the Palace of Culture. These claims are plausible considering geolocated visual evidence of Wagners advances towards the city center posted on March 28, as well as combat footage of Ukrainian infantry engaging in small arms exchanges with Russian forces near the Palace of Culture and central market area in Bakhmut citys center. Wagner is likely working to consolidate gains in northern and central Bakhmut to push towards the city center and expand its zone of control into western Bakhmut. ISW assesses that Russian forces have advanced into an additional five percent of Bakhmut in the last seven days and that they currently occupy roughly 65 percent of the city.

Russian and Ukrainian sources speculated that Lieutenant General Sergei Kuzmenko will replace Colonel General Rustam Muradov as Eastern Military District (EMD) commander. Kuzmenko previously served as the commander of the 6th Combined Arms Army from 2015 to 2019 and more recently as a department head at the Russian Armed Forces General Staff Academy. Kuzmenko has never held a command position comparable to the role of a military district commander, and his appointment as EMD commander would be an unusual step. Russian military authorities reportedly dismissed Muradov due to battlefield failures and significant losses in western Donetsk Oblast, and Kuzmenko would likely inherit expectations to reverse the total lack of progress in the EMDs zone of responsibility in Ukraine. There is no indication that Kuzmenko would be better equipped to succeed in overseeing offensive operations in western Donetsk Oblast with even further degraded forces than the more experienced Muradov. ISW has not observed any confirmation that Russian military officials have dismissed Muradov as EMD commander or that Kuzmenko has assumed the role.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin may be using his influence in Russias mainstream media landscape to present himself as a contender in Russias 2024 presidential elections. Prigozhins own Federal News Agency published an interview that Prigozhin conducted with Russian journalists from Russia Today, RIA Novosti and Federal News Agency on March 14. This interview was noteworthy for its unique format--during the interview Prigozhin seemed to mimic the way that Russian President Vladimir Putin films his choreographed public meetings, either to mock Putin quietly or to suggest subtly that Prigozhin could become Russian president like Putin. The choreography and staging of Prigozhins interview places Prigozhin in the cameras frame at Prigozhins desk across from his audience in the same way that Putins filmed meetings and photo ops usually do. This film style is unusual for Prigozhin, as Prigozhins public video statements typically do not employ such a sterile format; Prigozhin has usually opted to film himself with wide shots on battlefields or in dynamic but staged videos that strive to appear candid and gritty. Prigozhin also used this interview to reiterate his previous arguments about the need to instill hardline ideology in Russian fighters and insinuate that the Russian Ministry of Defense is deliberately depriving the Wagner Group of artillery ammunition.

Key Takeaways

Wagner Group forces have likely taken the AZOM industrial complex in northern Bakhmut and continue to make gains within the city.
Russian and Ukrainian sources speculated that Lieutenant General Sergei Kuzmenko will replace Colonel General Rustam Muradov as Eastern Military District (EMD) commander.
Wagner Group Financier Yevgeny Prigozhin may be using his influence in Russias mainstream media landscape to present himself as a potential contender in Russias 2024 presidential elections.
High-ranking Russian officials continue to set domestic conditions for a protracted war.
The cost of Russias war in Ukraine is likely continuing to consume a substantial portion of the Russian Federal Budget.
Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued offensive operations in and around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline.
Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted localized ground attacks in Zaporizhia Oblast.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree removing the upper age limit for Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) servicemen serving in occupied Ukraine until January 1, 2026.
Russian occupation officials continue efforts to expand Russias bureaucratic and administrative control of occupied areas of Ukraine.
The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on March 28 Belarus intent to host Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on March 25.


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Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on March 29 to review strategic and long-term cooperation agreements that will likely intensify Russias and Irans bilateral security relationship. Abdollahian stated that Russian and Iranian officials are in the final stage of signing a cooperation agreement. Lavrov promoted Irans Hormoz Peace Plan for security in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and stated that the Kremlin demands an immediate return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Abdollahian and Lavrov likely discussed continued Russian efforts to procure Iranian weapon systems for use in Ukraine and a finalized agreement for Russia to provide Iran with Su-35 attack aircraft. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on March 29 that Iranian Pouya Air Transport resumed regular flights between Tehran and Moscow on March 13 likely to support weapons transfers. The Ukrainian Resistance Center also reported that Iranian officials are planning to deliver Shahed-131 drones to Wagner Group personnel and that Wagner personnel have started training to operate the drones, although ISW has not observed confirmation that Wagner Group personnel have used Iranian-made drones in Ukraine. ISW previously assessed that Russia is relying on Iran for military and technological support in Ukraine and that some Iranian personnel are likely in Ukraine directly supporting Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure. Iran is likely attempting to solidify a bilateral security relationship with Russia in which the two are more equal partners and will likely increase weapons transfers to Russia in pursuit of this goal.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin seized on the recent story of the sentencing of a Tula Oblast father for his 12-year-old daughters antiwar drawing to promote the Wagner Groups reputation and ameliorate his own personal image. Prigozhins press service posted a letter on March 28 signed by Prigozhin, Wagner commander Dmitry Utkin, and Wagner-affiliated director of the Liga veteran's organization Andrey Troshev addressed to Tula Oblast prosecutor Alexander Gritsaenko stating that the signatories consider Gritsaenkos issuance of a two-year prison sentence to Aleksey Moskalev unfair. Moskalev was charged with discrediting the armed forces after his 12-year-old daughter Masha drew an antiwar picture with a Ukrainian flag in her school art class in April 2022. Masha was taken into state custody and now lives in a juvenile shelter, and Moskalev fled house arrest the night before his sentencing and was sentenced to two years in prison in absentia. Prigozhins letter suggests that Tula Oblast check the legality of Gritsaenkos sentencing and recommends that Wagner-affiliated lawyers participate in the case on Moskalevs side, noting that it is tragic that both Masha and children of dead Wagner fighters end up in orphanages. Prigozhins response to Moskalevs sentencing is particularly ironic considering that Prigozhin was initially one of the biggest and loudest supporters of the law on punishing those who discredit Russian forces. It is therefore likely that Prigozhin seized on the discourse surrounding Moskalev to further his own reputation and advocate for the Wagner Group, especially by choosing to highlight the plight of orphans of Wagner fighters who die in Ukraine. Prigozhin may seek to maintain his own domestic relevance by continuing to closely involve himself in such developing stories, especially by affiliating his newest campaign for relevance with Utkin and Troshevtwo well-established and notorious Wagner-affiliated personalities. The letter attempts to portray Wagner leadership as a united front against elements of the Russian bureaucracy.

Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrovs demonstrative response to an attack on a police station in Chechnya suggests that he may be concerned about the stability of his authoritarian rule. Kadyrov claimed that Chechen authorities killed two unidentified men attempting to conduct an attack in Gudermes, Chechnya on the night of March 28, and Russian sources amplified footage purporting to show the two men shooting at a local police department. Kadyrovs Special Forces University is in Gudermes, although it is not clear if the attack was connected to the facility. Kadyrov published footage of himself, his 15-year-old son, and an entourage of Chechen officials and security personnel visiting the scene of the attack and inspecting the mangled bodies of the assailants. Kadyrov likely meant this demonstrative inspection of the bodies to enhance his strongman image and signal to Chechens that any form of internal resistance to his rule will be eliminated. The fact that Kadyrovs response to the attack was so immediate and heavy-handed suggests that he is concerned about the potential for internal resistance within Chechnya to undermine his authoritarian rule of the autonomous republic. Kadyrov recently meet with President Vladimir Putin on March 13 to promote Chechnyas relevance in the Russian political and military sphere, and ISW assessed that Putin may seize upon Kadyrovs fears about falling out of favor with Putin to pressure Kadyrov into increasing the role of Chechen fighters in combat operations in Ukraine. Kadyrov likely sees any sign of internal instability in Chechnya as a threat to Putins continued favor.

Russian authorities arrested Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) naval department head Colonel Sergey Volkov for corruption-related charges. The 235th Garrison Military Court in Moscow arrested Volkov on March 29 for abuse of authority charges in connection with the sale of low-quality radar systems at heavily inflated prices, and an official investigation reportedly found that his actions amounted to damages of 395.5 million rubles (roughly $5 million). The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and Rosgvardia recently launched a criminal case against the Deputy Commander of the Rosgvardias Central District, Major General Vadim Dragomiretsky, on March 20 for corruption-related charges. The recent criminal proceedings against two Rosgvardia commanders may suggest that Russian authorities are conducting a sweeping corruption probe within Rosgvardia. The criminal proceedings are notable because commanders of conventional Russian forces have not been fired, let alone arrested, since the start of Russias invasion of Ukraine at the same rate or in such high-profile circumstances as the Rosgvardia cases. It is highly unlikely that corruption in the Rosgvardia is more pronounced than it is in the Russian Armed Forces. The Rosgvardia notably includes elements responsible for Russias domestic regime security. Putin likely pays very close attention to the reliability and loyalty of some Rosgvardia personnel, apart from concerns he may have about corruption in that organization.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov stated on March 27 that Ukrainian forces may be planning to launch a counteroffensive in April or May depending on weather conditions. In an interview with Estonian news outlet ERR, Reznikov stated that the Ukrainian General Staff might decide to use recently received Leopard 2 tanks in a possible spring counterattack. Leopard 2 and Challenger 2 tanks arrived in Ukraine on March 27, and US officials announced the acceleration of the deployment of Abrams tanks and Patriot missile systems to Ukraine on March 21. The arrival of equipment in Ukraine likely sets conditions for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, although a delay is likely between the arrival of new equipment Ukraines ability to use it in a counteroffensive.

Key Takeaways
Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on March 29 to review strategic and long-term cooperation agreements that will likely intensify Russias and Irans bilateral security relationship.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin seized on the recent story of the sentencing of a Tula Oblast father for his 12-year-old daughters antiwar drawing to promote the Wagner Groups reputation and ameliorate his own personal image.
Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrovs demonstrative response to an attack on a police station in Chechnya suggests that he may be concerned about the stability of his authoritarian rule.
Russian authorities arrested Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) naval department head Colonel Sergey Volkov for corruption-related charges.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov stated on March 27 that Ukrainian forces may be planning to launch a counteroffensive in April or May depending on weather conditions.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued offensive operations in and around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City front.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi visited the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) for the second time.
Russian occupation authorities continue to implement measures to integrate occupied territories into the Russian administrative and legal system.
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that planned activities are ongoing to call up those liable for military service for military training and to retrain reserve servicemen in military registration specialties.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on March 30 authorizing Russias semiannual spring conscription which will induct 147,000 Russians between April 1 and July 15. Russia conducts two conscription cycles per year with the spring conscription cycle usually conscripting 134,000 Russian men. Russia may use Belarus training capacity to support the increase of 13,000 conscripts from previous years. A Ukrainian military official reported on March 4 that Russian personnel training in Belarus do not exceed 9,000 to 10,000 at a time, and ISW previously observed Russian forces training up to 12,000 troops in Belarus. Satellite imagery indicates that Russian forces training in Belarus at the Obuz-Lesnovsky Training Ground recently redeployed to Russia in mid-March, freeing up space for new Russian trainees. The new conscripts will not increase Russian combat power in the short term, as Russian conscripts must undergo months of training and service before they see combat.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed a prominent milblogger and Russian proxy battalion commander as a regional Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) official for occupied Donetsk Oblast, advancing several Kremlin efforts. Multiple Russian milbloggers reported on March 30 that Putin signed a decree appointing former Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) Security Minister and current Vostok Battalion commander Alexander Khodakovsky as deputy head of the Main Directorate of Rosgvardia in occupied Donetsk Oblast, making him responsible for Rosgvardias special rapid response and riot police (OMON and SOBR) in the region. Khodakovsky announced on March 30 that he received this appointment in early February 2023 and posted a public recruiting ad for Rosgvardia OMON and SOBR units now under his command. Khodakovsky publicly praises Putin and has been a loyal pro-Russian Ukrainian separatist since March 2014. (Khodorkovsky was a Ukrainian SPETSNAZ commander for the Donetsk Oblast Alpha Group under the Ukrainian State Security Service before participating in Russias hybrid war against Ukraine in 2014.) Khodakovskys appointment is analytically significant for several of ISWs running assessments:

Khodakovskys appointment indicates a Russian effort to generate more forces from occupied Donetsk Oblast. Putin passed a bill on March 27 removing the upper age limit and other barriers to entry for Rosgvardia recruits from occupied Ukraine. Khodakovsky a native of Donetsk City is well connected with Donetsk Peoples Republic militia fighters, veterans, and pro-Russian patriot groups in Donbas, and can help facilitate recruitment drives.
The appointment advances a Kremlin effort to formalize legacy irregular Russian proxy forces in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and subordinate them to Kremlin-controlled structures.
Putin may use Khodakovskys appointment to ensure that Putin maintains reliable control over new Rosgvardia elements in Donetsk Oblast. ISW assessed that Russian authorities may be conducting a sweeping corruption probe within Rosgvardia, possibly to weed out actors who are perceived to be unreliable to Putin.
The appointment could help Putin divide and conquer influential communities that the Kremlin does not fully control. Mixed reactions to Khodakovskys appointment from various Russian milbloggers notably among Russian military veterans indicate a significant fracture within the Russian nationalist veteran community. ISW has previously assessed the Russian nationalist veteran community within the blogosphere to be more or less unified.

Key Takeaways

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on March 30 launching the semiannual spring conscription cycle, which will conscript 147,000 Russians between April 1 and July 15.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed a prominent milblogger and Russian proxy battalion commander as a regional Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) official for Donetsk Oblast.
Western officials reported that Wagner Group and conventional Russian forces have likely lost a substantial amount of manpower in the Bakhmut area.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich in Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast on charges of espionage.
Ukrainian National Security Defense Council Secretary Oleksii Danilov stated that Ukrainian authorities do not intend to expel the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra by force.
Russian authorities arrested Bryansk Oblast Acting Deputy Head Elena Egorova and Second Deputy Governor Tatyana Kuleshova for reportedly receiving bribes.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks north of Kupyansk and along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued offensive operations in and around Bakhmut as well as along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City front.
International Atomic Energy Agency Director (IAEA) Rafael Grossi stated that plans to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) have evolved.
Pardoned Wagner Group convicts are continuing to commit crimes in Russia following the end of their contract service with Wagner.
Russian occupation authorities continue efforts to set conditions for September 2023 elections by further integrating occupied territories into the Russian legal apparatus.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a new Russian Foreign Policy Concept on March 31 that likely aims to support the Kremlins attempts to promote a potential anti-Western coalition. The new Foreign Policy Concept paints the West as an anti-Russian and internationally destabilizing force to a far greater extent than Russias previous 2016 Foreign Policy Concept and explicitly states that the US and its satellites have unleashed a hybrid war aimed at weakening Russia. The new document also heavily stresses Russia's goal of creating a multipolar world order and subordinates under that goal Russias broad foreign policy objectives, which include ending the United States supposed dominance in world affairs. The document asserts that most of humanity is interested in constructive relations with Russia and that a desired multi-polar world will give opportunities to non-Western world powers and regional leading countries. Putin previously used meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 20 through 22 to increase attempts to rhetorically rally the rest of the world against the West, and the new document likely aims to support the Kremlins attempts to intensify proposals to non-aligned countries to form a more coherent anti-Western bloc. ISW assessed that Putins proposal to form an anti-Western bloc during Xis visit to Moscow was not positively received as Xi refused to align China with Putins envisioned geopolitical conflict with the West. Russias declining economic power and degraded military effort in Ukraine continue to offer little incentive to countries to express serious interest in the proposal. The Kremlin likely decided to release the new Foreign Policy Concept on the eve of assuming the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in order to set informational conditions for future rhetorical efforts at the UN aimed at forming an anti-Western coalition. ISW previously assessed that Russia will likely weaponize its presidency of the UNSC as a method of Russian power projection.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko continues to use high-profile public statements to portray Belarus as a sovereign state despite its current de-facto occupation by Russian forces. Lukashenko reiterated boilerplate rhetoric about how he is Russian President Vladimir Putins equal partner in defense of Russia and Belarus by explicitly painting Belarus as the target of a Western hybrid war a narrative Lukashenko has promoted since 2020. Lukashenko stated that he and Putin mutually agreed to deploy Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus to protect Belarus sovereignty and independence. Lukashenko also stated that he and Putin mutually decided to partially deploy elements of the Union States Regional Grouping of Troops (RGV) to an unspecified area. Lukashenko stated that nobody should worry that Russia captured something in Belarus and stated the Russian forces training in Belarus under Belarusian officers are subordinated to Belarusian forces. Lukashenko likely seeks to use the narrative that Belarus is a fully sovereign state and Russias equal partner in the Union State so that he can use informational leverage to request that Russian forces leave Belarus after Russias invasion of Ukraine concludes. Lukashenko also stated that he supports peace negotiations as soon as possible and offered to help mediate negotiations.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov promptly rejected Lukashenkos suggestion of a ceasefire and indicated that the Kremlin is not interested in serious negotiations. Peskov responded to a question about Lukashenko suggestion on March 31 and stated that Russian forces will continue to carry out their missions in Ukraine. Peskov emphasized that Russian military operations in Ukraine are the only means by which Russia can achieve its goals. Peskov likely aimed to leave open the possibility for launching new information operations about Russian interests in a ceasefire by stating that Putin and Lukashenko may discuss the proposal for a truce in Ukraine. The Kremlin may decide to promote ceasefire narratives in coming weeks in an attempt to freeze the frontlines in Ukraine out of fears that a Ukrainian counteroffensive could result in Ukrainian forces liberating more territory.

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev leveraged comments about sending peacekeeping forces to Ukraine to continue information operations that portray the West as escalatory. Medvedev likely responded to Viktor Orbans March 31 statements regarding alleged European discussions about sending peacekeeping forces to Ukraine and stated that Russian forces would target the hypothetical peacekeepers. Medvedev argued that a Western-led peacekeeping mission to Ukraine would end in tragedies reminiscent of Yugoslavia and other conflicts. There are no indications outside of Orbans comments that Western officials are seriously discussing such a proposal, and Medvedev likely used Orbans comments to construct a straw man proposal to paint the West as trying to escalate the war in Ukraine.

Key Takeaways

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a new Russian Foreign Policy Concept on March 31 that likely aims to support the Kremlins attempts to promote a potential anti-Western coalition.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko continues to use high-profile public statements to portray Belarus as a sovereign state despite its current de-facto occupation by Russian forces.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov promptly rejected Lukashenkos suggestion of a ceasefire and indicated that the Kremlin is not interested in serious negotiations.
Russian Security Council deputy chairman Dmitry Medvedev leveraged comments about sending peacekeeping forces to Ukraine to continue information operations that portray the West as escalatory.
Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces made gains within Bakhmut and Ukrainian forces regained positions in the Bakhmut area.
Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk frontline.
Ukrainian strikes against Russian concentration areas in southern Ukraine are likely causing the Russian grouping in the area to change tactics to avoid the risk of strikes.
Russian officials continue to state that Russian forces have no plans for a formal second wave of mobilization.
Russian officials continue to send Ukrainian children to camps in Russia.


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Russian, Ukrainian, and Western sources observed on April 1 that the Russian winter offensive has failed to achieve the Kremlins goals of seizing the Donetsk and Luhansk oblast administrative borders by March 31. Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov had announced on December 22 that Russian forces were focusing most of their efforts on seizing Donetsk Oblast, and Russian forces launched their winter offensive operation in early February along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna-Lyman line and on select frontlines in western Donetsk Oblast. The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) observed that Gerasimov has failed to extend Russian control over Donbas during his appointment as the theater commander in Ukraine and has achieved only marginal gains by expending mobilized personnel. Ukrainian intelligence representative Andriy Yusov stated that Gerasimov missed the Kremlins deadline to capture Donbas by March 31.

Russian milbloggers fretted that Russian forces must finish their offensive operations in Bakhmut and Avdiivka to prepare for the Ukrainian counteroffensives they expect between Orthodox Easter on April 16 and Soviet Labor Day on May 9. Milbloggers highlighted their disappointment that there have not been any decisive battles throughout the winter and observed that Russia will not be capable of continuing a large-scale offensive operation if it is unable to secure Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the coming weeks. Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) in occupied Donetsk Oblast Alexander Khodakovsky stated that he agrees with former theater commander Army General Sergey Surovikin that Russia needs to shift to defensive positions. (ISW is not aware of any publicly reported statement Surovikin has made along these lines) Khodakovsky noted that failures during the offensive cause manpower losses and spark negative sentiments among the personnel, and argued that unnamed actors may be attempting to continue the offensive for personal reasons rather than taking a rational approach to the issue. Khodakovskys comment likely implies that Gerasimov is pursuing personal interest in sustaining the offensive in order to retain favor with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Khodakovskys recent appointment on March 30 as regional Rosgvardia deputy head and the return of Surovikin (at least by proxy) to the information space may indicate that Gerasimovs unsuccessful theater-wide offensive may already be costing him favor with Putin.

Khodakovskys and milbloggers requests for Russian forces to prioritize defensive operations are not unreasonable and indicate that nationalist groups are sensible to the changing dynamics on the frontlines. ISW had long assessed that the Russian winter offensive is unlikely to be successful due to persistent failures of the Russian command to comprehend the time and space relationships involved in such a campaign. ISW also assessed that Russia would lack the combat power necessary to sustain more than one major offensive operation in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and ongoing recruitment campaigns in Russia and occupied Ukrainian territories may indicate that Russia is preparing for reserve shortages.

Growing Russian speculation about Russian military command changes likely indicates that Russia may soon reshuffle its senior military command due to the failed winter offensive. Russian milbloggers claimed on April 1 that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) recalled Russian Airborne (VDV) Forces commander Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky from leave on March 30 after the Russian MoD reportedly replaced him with Lieutenant General Oleg Makarevich on January 13. The Russian MoD never confirmed Teplinskys dismissal, and it is likely that the MoD placed him on leave so it could recall him to command the VDV whenever it deemed necessary. Russian milbloggers claimed that Teplinsky immediately flew to the Russian Joint Grouping Headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar Krai to assume command of the VDV and that he is already planning future operations. One milblogger claimed that Chief of the General Staff of the Ground Forces and former Central Military District (CMD) Commander Colonel General Alexander Lapin flew with Teplinsky to the Joint Grouping Headquarters. The Russian MoD replaced Lapin with Lieutenant General Andrey Mordvichev as CMD commander officially on February 17 following intense public criticism of Lapin for his management of the Svatove-Kreminna line in the fall of 2022. It remains to be seen if Lapin will regain a role commanding forces in Ukraine, however. Russian sources speculated starting on March 27 that the Russian MoD has also recently dismissed Eastern Military District (EMD) Commander Colonel General Rustam Muradov in response to intense criticism of his command over significant losses in offensive operations near Vuhledar in early 2023. ISW has previously observed that intensified Russian speculation about changes in military command has corresponded with real changes in Russian commanders, although not necessarily following the exact claims of Russian sources.


Key Takeaways
Russian, Ukrainian, and Western sources observed that the Russian winter offensive has failed to achieve the Kremlins goals of seizing all of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts by March 31.
Growing Russian speculation about Russian military command changes likely indicates that Russia may soon reshuffle its senior military command due to the failed winter offensive.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces did not make any confirmed gains in or around Bakhmut and continued offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline.
Russian forces continued to build defenses in occupied southern Ukraine.
Russia began its semi-annual conscription on April 1, the largest conscription call-up since 2016.
Russian occupation officials continue to deport Ukrainian children to Russia under rest and rehabilitation schemes.
Russian nationalist figures criticized Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for failing to pursue the Union State between Russia and Belarus efforts since mid-1990s.


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was man so zwischen den Zeilen in diversen Medien liest:
wenns grimmig kalt ist, saufen die Russen mehr,
mit allen unangenehmen Folgen wie Erfrieren, Unfllen im Verkehr, Unfllen mit Waffen, leichtere Aggression mit Waffe usw.

  

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Unknown actors killed Russian milblogger Maksim Fomin in a deliberate and targeted attack during an event in a St. Petersburg bar reportedly belonging to Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin on April 2. Social media footage showed Fomin receiving a statue as a gift from a female audience member who introduced herself as a sculptor moments before the explosion. Fomin was making a public presentation at the Street Food Bar #1 Caf in downtown St. Petersburg. Russian authorities reported that the explosion killed Fomin and wounded 30 audience members who had gathered to listen to Fomin discuss his experience as a frontline correspondent. The event was advertised as open to the public and had approximately 100 attendees. Prigozhin confirmed that he had offered his Street Food Bar #1 Caf to the Russian ultranationalist movement Kiber Front Z, to hold Fomins event and other nationalist gatherings. Witnesses stated that the woman who presented the statue to Fomin identified herself as Nastya and told the audience that the events security asked her if there was a bomb inside the statue during a Q&A session. Witnesses noted that there was no security when entering the event, however, and that the explosion occurred within three to five minutes after the exchange between Fomin and the woman. Russian Interior Ministry sources told Russian state media that the explosive may have remotely detonated and that the woman or other unknown individuals may have been responsible for this attack. Russian state media published unconfirmed information that Russian police detained St. Peterburg resident Daria Trepova, who had previously been arrested for anti-war protests in February 2022. Russian Interior Ministry sources also revealed that Russian special services had known about assassination plans against Fomin for a long time.

Russian officials and propagandists have accused Ukraine of staging a terrorist attack to assassinate Fomin. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova accused Kyiv of Fomins assassination and praised Russian milbloggers for their war coverageseemingly ignoring the fact that Fomin and other milbloggers routinely criticize the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA). Russian propagandist Tina Kandelaki stated that Russia needs to punish terrorists who still have power, water, working railways, restaurants, and internetlikely referring to Ukrainians who survived the Russian missile campaigns against the Ukrainian energy infrastructure during the fall of 2022 and the winter of 2023. Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan echoed Kandelakis calls for retribution against Ukraine for this assassination. Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian agents have likely been attending similar milblogger events, blaming the attack on Ukrainian special forces and the failures of Russian security.

Prigozhin oddly stated on April 2 that he would not blame the Kyiv regime for the deaths of Fomin and Russian ultranationalist figure Daria Dugina, suggesting that Ukrainian agents were not in fact responsible. Dugina was assassinated on August 20. Prigozhin noted that a group of radicals unaffiliated with the Ukrainian government may be responsible for such attacks. Advisor to Ukrainian Presidential Office Mykhailo Podolyak stated that Fomins death was a result of infighting and political competition among Russian actors.

Key inflections in ongoing military operations on April 2:
Russian forces continued limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line. Russian sources claimed that Russian forces made marginal gains northwest of Kreminna.
Russian forces continued to attack Bakhmut and its environs. Russian forces likely seized the AZOM plant in northern Bakhmut as ISW has previously assessed. Ukrainian forces conducted a missile strike on the plant on April 2.
Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line. Ukrainian Tavriisk Direction Forces Joint Press Center Spokesperson Oleksiy Dmytrashkivskyi stated that Russian forces retreated from unspecified positions in the Donetsk direction.
Ukrainian forces conducted a HIMARS strike against a rail depot in Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast, the third strike against the city in the past week.
The UK Ministry of Defense assessed that a significant minority of Russias 200,000 casualties in Ukraine are due to poor discipline and training outside of combat, including due to excessive alcohol consumption and mishandling of small arms.
Former Luhansk Peoples Republic (LNR) official Rodion Miroshnik denied ISWs April 1 report citing Miroshnik that Russian authorities are deporting Ukrainian children to Russia under rest-and-rehabilitation schemes. Miroshnik claimed that mothers and children from Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast went to Russian sanitoriums for medical treatment. Miroshnik denied being closely affiliated with the current occupation regime, claiming that he has not served as advisor to the Head of the LNR for a year. LNR Peoples Militia Press Service called Miroshnik advisor to the LNR Head as recently as January 29, 2023, however. Miroshnik claimed on his Telegram channel that he served as LNR Ambassador to Russia as recently as November 13, 2022.

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Wagner Group fighters made further advances in central Bakhmut and seized the Bakhmut City Administration Building on the night of April 2. Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin raised a Russian flag with an inscription in memory of assassinated milblogger Maksim Fomin across from the Bakhmut City Administration building the night of April 2 and claimed that Wagner legally controls Bakhmut, though Ukrainian troops remain in the western part of the city. Russian forces made further advances on April 3, with drone footage posted on April 3 depicting Wagner Group and Russian flags planted over the rubble of the destroyed administration building. Several Russian milbloggers additionally circulated an image of a Wagner fighter standing in front of the Bakhmut City Administration building before its destruction. The Wagner Group likely will continue attempts to consolidate control of central Bakhmut and attempt to push westward through dense urban areas toward Khromove.

Russian authorities are blaming Ukrainian government entities and Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny for the April 2 assassination of Russian milblogger Maksim Fomin, also known as Vladlen Tartarsky. The Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee claimed that Ukrainian special services collaborated with the Anti-Corruption Fund, which Navalny founded in 2011, to plan the attack against Fomin. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed that the Ukrainian government may be behind Fomins death and claimed that Ukraine has killed others since 2014, such as Daria Dugina, which Peskov spuriously used as justification for the special military operation. The Russian Investigative Committee reclassified the case as a terrorist attack and claimed that it was planned in Ukrainian territory. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) confirmed that the sculpture handed to Fomin prior to his death contained hidden explosives. The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed on April 3 that Russian authorities detained Daria Trepova in a St. Petersburg apartment on suspicion of the attack. Authorities released an excerpt of their interrogation of Trepova, in which Trepova stated that authorities questioned her about giving a sculpture to Fomin, but she did not answer on camera whether she knew the sculpture contained explosives. The range of various official responses is notably disjointed, with a lack of consensus among official Russian sources regarding Trepovas involvement or association with either Ukrainian special services or Navalnys Anti-Corruption Fund.

Official Russian responses to Fomins death failed to generate a single narrative in the information space and led to disjointed responses from prominent pro-war voices. Several prominent milbloggers and news aggregators fixated on the reported investigation into Daria Trepova and analyzing footage of the lead-up to and aftermath of the explosion. Other milbloggers claimed that the attack was carried out by Ukrainian special services and amplified news of the investigation without offering additional commentary into the situation. The Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) Peoples Militia posted a simple message mourning Fomin without engaging with the Kremlin's informational response. Zaporizhia Oblast occupation deputy Vladimir Rogov claimed that unspecified attackers targeted Fomin because he listened to both the Russian and Ukrainian perspectives, had over 500,000 Telegram subscribers, and effectively organized donation drives for Russian forces. Russian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill connected Fomins murder to the ongoing conflict over the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, despite no obvious connection between the two incidents.

Key Takeaways

Wagner Group fighters made further advances in central Bakhmut and seized the Bakhmut City Administration Building on the night of April 2.
Russian authorities are blaming Ukrainian government entities and Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny for the assassination of Russian milblogger Maksim Fomin (also known as Vladlen Tartarsky).
Official Russian responses to Fomins death failed to generate a single narrative in the information space and led to disjointed responses from prominent pro-war voices.
Russian security services reportedly continue to confiscate passports of senior officials and state company executives in an effort to limit flight from Russia.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian sources reported on April 3 that Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) units received TOS-1A thermobaric artillery systems for the first time.
Russian forces continued ground attacks in and around Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Donetsk City, and in western Donetsk Oblast.
Russian officials likely remain concerned about a potential Ukrainian threat to Crimea amid continued fortification and logistical efforts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree establishing a state fund to support military personnel who participate in the war in Ukraine and their families.
Likely Ukrainian partisans used an improvised explosive device (IED) to target a former Russian occupation official in Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast.

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The Kremlin will likely attempt to coerce Belarus into further Union State integration when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko meet in Moscow on April 5 and 6. The Kremlin announced on April 4 that Putin and Lukashenko will meet for private bilateral discussions on April 5 and attend a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State in Moscow on April 6. The Kremlin stated that the Union State Supreme State Council meeting will address the implementation of the Union State Treaty through 28 different Union State programs from 2021 to 2023likely the package of 28 integration roadmaps that Lukashenko ratified in November 2021. The Kremlin stated that Russian and Belarusian officials also plan to agree on other unspecified practical issues of further integration, possibly in the area of intelligence sharing, as Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin met with Lukashenko in Minsk and discussed Russian-Belarusian intelligence sharing on April 4. The Kremlin may pressure Belarus for more integration concessions under the rubric of defending the Union State from claimed Western military and/or terrorist threats.

The Kremlin continues to attempt to employ nuclear threats to deter Western military aid provisions to Ukraine ahead of Ukraines planned counteroffensive. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu justified Russias decision to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus by accusing NATO of intensifying combat training and reconnaissance activities near the Russian and Belarusian borders and accused the West of escalating the war in Ukraine by providing additional military aid to Ukraine on April 4. Shoigu reinforced existing Russian nuclear threats by stating that Belarus has nuclear-capable attack aircraft and nuclear strike-capable Iskander-M systems. Shoigu also stated that Belarusian missile forces began training in Russia to operate Iskander-M systems, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons, on April 3. Shoigus statements do not present any new information on Belarusian training and are likely part of an information operation. ISW previously reported that Belarusian servicemen were training with Iskander systems in Russia as of February 2023. Shoigus reinvigorated nuclear blackmail rhetoric coincides with Finland joining NATO and a new US aid package to Ukraine. ISW continues to assess that the risk of nuclear escalation remains extremely low and that Russian deployments of tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus are highly unlikely to affect battlefield realities in Ukraine. Russian-deployed nuclear weapons in Belarus additionally will almost certainly remain under the control of Russian personnel permanently deployed in Belarus.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhins demonstrative response to the assassination of Russian milblogger Maxim Fomin (Vladlen Tatarsky) indicates Prigozhin likely believes that the attack was in part directed at himself. Prigozhin held an event on April 4 at the remnants of the restaurant where Fomin was killed by an improvised explosive device on April 2. Prigozhin claimed that he arrived at the scene from the Bakhmut frontline as quickly as he could to commemorate Fomin. Prigozhin announced that he intends to expand Kiber Front Zthe Wagner-affiliated ultranationalist group that held Fomins fatal eventinto a social movement that fights against external threats. Prigozhin stated that the Wagner Group has been thwarting attempts by unnamed actors to eliminate the group since 2014. Prigozhin also noted that he will offer financial compensation to the events attendees. Prigozhins publicly demonstrative response and vague accusations of a campaign against Wagner suggest that Prigozhin is likely attempting to indirectly frame the incident as an attack on him. Prigozhins response also shows that he intends to continue to pursue a central position within the Russian pro-war ultranationalist community, despite the threat of violence and pushback.

The Kremlin continued efforts to (falsely) reassure the Russian public that the war in Ukraine will not have significant long-term economic consequences. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Tula Railway Engineering Plant and attempted to address workers economic concerns on April 4. Putin later held a State Council Presidium meeting to discuss developing Russian industry in the face of sanctions pressure, during which he claimed that sanctions are having positive outcomes by forcing Russian firms to embrace import substitution, an argument the Kremlin has made sporadically since the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Putin suggested in both meetings that Russian industry as a whole will be able to grow like the Russian agricultural sector did following the imposition of Western sanctions in 2014. Putin has previously relied on the example of post-2014 Russian agricultural growth to assuage Russians of their economic anxieties but has yet to offer concrete proposals for how Russian industry would increase domestic production in a similar way. ISW previously assessed that the Kremlin will likely struggle to reassure Russians about their economic concerns while also setting informational conditions for a protracted war in Ukraine and mobilizing a wider portion of Russias defense industrial base (DIB).

The Kremlin is likely trying to shift responsibility for expanding Russian industry onto regional bodies to insulate itself from possible criticism about Russias deteriorating economic situation. Putin emphasized the need for regionally based industrial development funds to assume a greater role in supporting Russian industry and stated that the Russian government should consider refinancing regional funds for these efforts, including from federal reserve funds. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov also attempted to reassure the Russian public on April 3 by stating that there will be no problems financing budget obligations and that reserves will cover falling oil and gas revenues for the federal budget. Siluanov stated that Russian officials are unlikely to replenish reserves in the National Welfare Fund in 2023. A growing Russian overreliance on funding through reserves could lead to further economic instability.

Key Takeaways
The Kremlin will likely attempt to coerce Belarus into further Union State integration when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko meet in Moscow on April 5 and 6.
The Kremlin continues to attempt to employ nuclear threats to deter Western military aid provisions to Ukraine ahead of Ukraines planned counteroffensive.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhins demonstrative response to the assassination of Russian milblogger Maxim Fomin indicates that Prigozhin likely believes that the attack was in part directed at himself.
The Kremlin continues to attempt to (falsely) reassure the Russian public that the war in Ukraine will not have significant long-term economic consequences.
The Kremlin is likely trying to shift more responsibility for growing Russian industry onto regional bodies to insulate itself from possible criticism about Russias deteriorating economic situation.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued offensive operations in and around Bakhmut, and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline.
Russian forces continue to prepare for a rumored pending Ukrainian counteroffensive in the southern direction.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed that Russias ongoing spring conscription cycle is going according to plan, progressing as quickly as planned, and has completed initial military registration.
Russian occupation officials denied Ukrainian reports that Russian occupation authorities are preparing evacuation plans from occupied regions of Ukraine.
Belarusian state media claimed that the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) reportedly arrested two men under the suspicion of attempted terrorist attacks in Grodno.


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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukrainian forces will withdraw from Bakhmut to avoid encirclement if necessary, but do not yet assess the need to do so. Zelensky stated during a press conference in Poland on April 5 that Ukrainian troops face a very challenging situation in Bakhmut, and that Kyiv will make the corresponding decisions if Ukrainian troops risk encirclement by Russian forces. Zelenskys statement is in line with other recent statements by Ukrainian officials that Ukrainian military command will order a withdrawal from Bakhmut when and if they deem a withdrawal to be the most strategically appropriate option. While it remains to be seen whether Ukraines defense of Bakhmut and its efficacy in fixing Russian forces in the area is worth Ukrainian losses (and we will likely be unable to assess this until observing the Ukrainian spring counteroffensive), Ukrainian military leadership continues to clearly signal that Ukrainian forces are still not encircled and have the option to withdraw as necessary.

Russian President Vladimir Putin framed Russias efforts to consolidate control of occupied territories of Ukraine as a matter of internal security and rule of law during a meeting with the Russian National Security Council on April 5. Putin called for the continued economic, legal, and social integration of occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia oblasts into the Russian Federation and emphasized the importance of Russian restoration efforts in occupied areas in facilitating the integration process. Putin also accused Ukraine of threatening civilians in occupied areas and highlighted recent terrorist attacks against occupation officials and law enforcement agencies, referring to Ukrainian partisan attacks against occupation organs. Putin emphasized the need for intensified law enforcement operations to guard against such attacks and called for the increased participation of local Ukrainian citizens in law enforcement processes, explicitly encouraging collaborators and informants in occupied areas. Putin has notably invoked the concept of terrorism and threats to Russian domestic security to justify domestic repressions and is likely setting conditions for further repressions and law enforcement crackdowns in occupied territories using similar framing.

Putin also attempted to portray Russia as a respected world power against the backdrop of Chinese officials downplaying close relations with Russia. Putin held a televised meeting presenting ambassador credentials to the heads of 17 diplomatic missions on April 5, during which he highlighted Russias close relationship with Syria and cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), likely as part of ongoing Russian efforts to appeal to non-Western states. Putin stated that Syria is a reliable partner with whom Russia reached several unspecified agreements during Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's recent trip to Russia on March 14. Putin berated ambassadors from the United States and European Union (EU) states and claimed that the West is responsible for the war in Ukraine and geopolitical confrontation with Russia.

Key Takeaways

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukrainian forces will withdraw from Bakhmut to avoid encirclement if necessary, but do not yet assess the need to do so.
Russian President Vladimir Putin framed Russias efforts to consolidate control of occupied territories of Ukraine as a matter of internal security and rule of law during a meeting with the Russian National Security Council.
Putin also attempted to portray Russia as a respected world power against the backdrop of Chinese officials downplaying close relations with Russia.
Putin dismissed Colonel-General Nikolai Grechushkin from his post as Deputy Head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations on April 5.
Russian and Ukrainian forces continued to engage in positional battles along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces likely made gains in and around Bakhmut and continued offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline.
Russian businessmen may be assuming a larger role in supporting the Russian MoDs efforts to form irregular volunteer formations.
Russian Commissioner for Childrens Rights Maria Lvova-Belova continues to deny international allegations that Russia is forcibly deporting Ukrainian children to Russia.

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow on April 5 and 6 to discuss further Union State integration, with Putin likely focused on strengthening Russian economic control over Belarus. Putin and Lukashenko held a one-on-one meeting on April 5 and attended a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State on April 6 to address Union State integration efforts on security, economic, defense, cultural, and humanitarian topics. Putin claimed that Russian and Belarusian officials have fulfilled 74 percent of 28 Union State programs and highlighted the creation of a joint system for indirect taxes, measures to form general standards for Russian and Belarusian industrial enterprises, and efforts to unify Belarusian and Russian trade legislation. Putin and Lukashenko both noted that Russian and Belarusian officials are focused on import substitution measures (likely to mitigate Western sanctions) and supporting microelectronic industries. Putin stated that Russian and Belarusian officials are continuing the process of creating a joint oil and gas market and are working on drafting an agreement for the formation of a single electricity market. The Kremlin is likely advancing longstanding efforts to subsume elements of Belarus defense industrial base (DIB), and both states are likely using Union State economic integration efforts to augment their ongoing sanctions evasion measures. Putin and Lukashenko also likely highlighted strengthening economic cooperation to support their ongoing efforts to falsely reassure the Russian and Belarusian publics that Western sanctions regimes will not have long-term consequences.

Putin and Lukashenko also discussed bilateral security issues during their one-on-one meeting and at the Supreme State Council meeting, but official Kremlin and Belarusian readouts offered little concrete details on these discussions. Putin and Lukashenko stated that Russian and Belarusian officials began work on a Security Concept for the Union State, but offered no details for what the joint security document would include. Lukashenko stated that a single joint RussianBelarusian regional air defense system is already operating, likely referring to the recent deployment of Russian S-400 air defense systems to Belarus. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated on April 6 that Lukashenko and Putin did not discuss the placement of Russian strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus following Putins March 25 announcement that Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus.

Lukashenko delivered boilerplate rhetoric that continues to indicate that he has no intention of involving Belarus further in Russias war effort. Lukashenko stated that NATO is conducting a purposeful buildup of forces along the borders of the Union State and that the West has unleashed an informational, political, and economic war against Belarus and Russia. Lukashenko has previously employed such rhetoric in an attempt to justify resisting Kremlin pressure to further support the Russian war effort in Ukraine by arguing that Belarus needs to protect the western flank of the Union State. ISW has written at length about why Lukashenko is extraordinarily unlikely to further involve Belarus in the war in Ukraine. ISW has previously assessed that Lukashenko is increasingly losing maneuvering room with the Kremlin amid the Kremlins steady pressure campaign to formalize the Russian-Belarusian Union State, and Lukashenko may be acquiescing to further integration measures while rejecting Putins likely larger demand for the direct participation of Belarusian forces in Russias war against Ukraine.

Russian commanders are reportedly constructing specialized company-size units within key frontline formations engaged in urban combat to reinforce the diminished combat effectiveness of most Russian units. A reliable Ukrainian reserve officer released a reportedly captured document on April 6 detailing the recruitment of personnel (who receive the status of BARS reservists) to form new Storm Z companies within elements of the 8th Combined Arms Army (Southern Military District) and the 1st Army Corps, the armed forces of the Donetsk Peoples Republic. Each Storm Z company is created outside of conventional army unit structure and apparently is formed of newly recruited reservists and attached in some manner to existing Russian regiments and brigades, rather than adding additional assets or providing specialized training to existing frontline companies. It is unclear at this time how these Storm Z units fit into Russian command structures at the battalion level and above and why Russian units are forming new companies, continuing a standing Russian tendency throughout the war in Ukraine to break down doctrinal unit structures. Each company is comprised of 100 personnel, broken into four capture squads (10 personnel each), four fire support squads (10 personnel each), a 2-person company command element, a 5-person combat engineering group, an 8-person reconnaissance group, a three-person medevac group, and a 2-person UAV crew. "Storm Z companies are intended to conduct urban combat operations or operations in complicated geographic areas to capture important and strategic objects such as strongholds, command posts, and communication centers. The Ukrainian reserve officer noted that the personnel that staff these companies receive 10 to 15 days of refresher training, a remarkably short amount of time to adequately train personnel (even reservists with some experience) to perform complex combat tasks and create unit cohesion.

Key Takeaways

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow on April 5 and 6 to discuss further Union State integration, with Putin likely focused on strengthening Russian economic control over Belarus.
Lukashenko delivered boilerplate rhetoric that continues to indicate that he has no intention of involving Belarus further in Russias war effort.
Russian commanders are reportedly constructing specialized company-size units within key frontline formations engaged in urban combat to reinforce the diminished combat effectiveness of most Russian units.
Russian forces will likely deploy these Storm Z units along the AvdiivkaDonetsk City frontline.
China continues to rhetorically downplay its support for Russia and demonstrate that there are limits to the declared no limits RussianChinese partnership, but it will not be a true neutral arbiter in the war.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued ground attacks in and around Bakhmut and along the AvdiivkaDonetsk City line.
Ukrainian officials indicated that Russian forces are able to maintain a suitable rate of artillery fire in prioritized areas of the front at the expense of other sectors.
Russian forces may have withdrawn equipment from occupied Crimea for redeployment elsewhere in southern Ukraine out of fear of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu visited Russian Defense Industrial Base (DIB) enterprises in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast to monitor the implementation of state defense orders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held one-on-one meetings with Russian occupation authorities.


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Russian milbloggers responded with speculative anxiety to reportedly leaked (and possibly altered) classified US military documents about the war in Ukraine, indicating continued fear over the prospect of future Ukrainian counteroffensives in the Russian information space. The New York Times reported on April 6 that a slate of five-week-old, classified US military documents are circulating on various social media platforms, reportedly depicting operational reports and assessments of the capabilities of the Ukrainian military. Bellingcat analyst Aric Toler noted that the documents circulated online as early as March 4, and it remains unclear why these documents reached mainstream Western media over a month later. Clearly doctored versions of the documents which reduce reported Russian losses and inflate Ukrainian casualty numbers are additionally circulating on Russian Telegram channels.

Regardless of the veracity of the reportedly leaked documents, which ISW will not speculate on, the response of Russian milbloggers to the New York Times story highlights the fear of prospective Ukrainian counteroffensives pervading the Russian pro-war information space. While several prominent Russian milbloggers immediately rejected the validity of the documents and suggested that they are fakes, they fixated on the possibility that the released documents are disinformation intended to confuse and mislead Russian military command. One milblogger stated that the document leak could be part of a larger Ukrainian campaign to mislead Russian forces before a counteroffensive. Another Russian milblogger noted that there is historical precedent for militaries disseminating false planning information prior to starting surprise offensives. The milblogger urged their audience to be cautious in discussing where Ukrainian counteroffensives may take place due to document leak. The New York Times story has therefore exposed a significant point of neuralgia in the Russian information space, and responses to the documents suggest that Russian milbloggers may be increasingly reconsidering the validity of their own assessments and speculations regarding any potential Ukrainian counteroffensives and their ability to forecast Ukrainian operations.

The Kremlin continues to indicate that it is not interested in legitimate negotiations and places the onus for any negotiations on the West. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on April 7 that Russia does not refuse to negotiate but that negotiations can only be based on Russias claimed legitimate interests and concerns. Lavrov claimed the West has arrogantly ignored Russias interests with disdain. The Kremlin retains Putins original maximalist goals for the war in Ukraine and maintains that Russias legitimate interests include international recognition of Russias illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, regime change in Kyiv under Russias calls for denazification, and the demilitarization of Ukraine. Concerns about losing more occupied territory in Ukraine during an expected upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive may be prompting the Kremlin to intensify an ongoing information operation intended to pressure the West to offer preemptive concessions and coerce Ukraine into negotiations on conditions more favorable to Russia.

A Ukrainian official reported that Russian aviation units are changing tactics, possibly due to aviation losses and depleted stocks of high-precision weapons. Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Yuri Ihnat reported on April 7 that Russian aviation units are reducing their operations in the immediate vicinity of Ukrainian positions and are increasingly relying on more remote aviation strikes with guided aerial bombs. Ihnat stated that Russian Su-35 aircraft can use these munitions from more than 50km away from the line of contact and that Ukrainian forces are unable to drive Russian aviation units away from Ukraines borders at this range. These modified aerial bombs are likely less precise than other munitions that Russian aviation units have previously used in Ukraine. Russian forces may be changing aviation tactics to mitigate the risk of further aviation losses by operating out of the range of most Ukrainian anti-aircraft and air defense systems, at the cost of the ability to conduct close air support.

Former Russian proxy commander and prominent critical milblogger Igor Girkin revealed on April 7 that a volunteer battalion that he previously actively promoted is essentially a sham. Girkin posted an angry rant to Telegram on April 7 claiming that the Nevsky volunteer battalion that he advertised throughout 2022 has deployed as a brigade consisting of three battalions and 1,186 total personnel. A single Russian battalion typically consists of around 800-900 personnel, so Girkins remark suggests that Nevskys leadership sought to erroneously portray the volunteer battalion as a larger formation by designating it as a brigade. Girkin noted that Nevsky deployed to the frontline near Avdiivka with the forces of a reinforced company without promised equipment or training and quickly found itself conducting costly assaults. Girkin accused Nevskys commander of being more interested in political and commercial machinations and suggested that Nevsky was created for the sole purpose of generating profit. Girkins tirade against a formation that he once ardently supported suggests that even volunteer formations held in high regard face corruption and training issues that are endemic to the Russian force generation apparatus.

High-ranking Russian officials including ministers and department heads can reportedly only leave Russia with permission from Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Independent Russian news outlet The Bell reported on April 7 that Mishustin restricted international travel by his subordinates to official business and with his permission. The Bell reported that employees of the presidential administration are not subject to the same travel restrictions. ISW previously reported that Russian security services are reportedly confiscating the passports of Russian officials, ex-officials, and state company executives to prevent flight from Russia.

Key Takeaways

Russian milbloggers responded with speculative anxiety to reportedly leaked (and possibly altered) classified US military documents about the war in Ukraine, indicating continued fear over the prospect of future Ukrainian counteroffensives in the Russian information space.
The Kremlin continues to indicate that it is not interested in legitimate negotiations while placing the onus for negotiations on the West.
A Ukrainian official reported that Russian aviation units are changing tactics, possibly as a result of aviation losses and depleted stocks of high-precision weapons.
High-ranking Russian officials reportedly can only leave Russia with permission from Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
Former Russian officer and prominent critical milblogger Igor Girkin revealed on April 7 that a volunteer battalion that he previously promoted is essentially a sham.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued advancing in and around Bakhmut and continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline.
Russian forces continue to build defenses in occupied Zaporizhia and Kherson oblasts.
Russian officials continue measures to support Russias ongoing spring conscription cycle amid continued crypto-mobilization efforts.
Russian occupation officials are accelerating passportization efforts in occupied Ukraine.


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Ukrainian and Russian sources discussed the decreased rate of Russian offensive operations along the entire frontline on April 8, supporting ISWs assessment that the overall Russian offensive is approaching culmination. Council of Reservists of the Ukrainian Ground Forces Head Ivan Tymochko reported on April 8 that Russian forces are fighting along the entire frontline, but that Russian offensive potential continues to decline and that current Russian attacks are focused on distracting and dispersing Ukrainian troops in anticipation of counteroffensive operations. Tymochko stated that Russian forces are not making serious advances anywhere on the frontline, noting that the pace of attacks in and around Bakhmut has slightly decreased in some areas and stagnated entirely in others. Tymochko also assessed that the Russian offensive on Avdiivka has choked and reported that Russian forces still do not control Marinka despite having reduced the city to rubble. A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that the pace of Russian offensive operations along the entire Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline has decreased over the past day and emphasized that Russian forces are struggling to advance anywhere in Ukraine. Several Russian commentators are emphasizing Russian preparations for an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive, suggesting that the overall focus of the Russian information space is shifting away from discussing Russian offensive capabilities and towards assessing Ukraines potential to regain significant ground.

The dynamics of battlefield artillery usage in Ukraine reflect the fact that Russian forces are using artillery to offset their degraded offensive capabilities. Former Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) Security Minister and current Vostok Battalion commander Alexander Khodakovsky reported that the Russian command has decided to stop the daily issue of ammunition to areas of the front where there are no active offensive operations almost entirely. Khodakovsky noted that the artillery shortage on the frontline results in part from preparations for a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Khodakovskys statement indicates that the Russian command must prioritize artillery ammunition supplies rigorously due to shortages. High demand for shells indicates that Russian forces are still heavily relying on artillery to offset key shortcomings in combat capability, including poor Russian targeting skills, insufficient ground assault capabilities, and inadequate availability of airpower in Ukraine. Russian forces use heavy artillery barrages to flatten settlements before seizing them with ground attacks, offsetting the need to conduct effective infantry attacks or to conduct an airstrike using scarce precision munitions and putting airframes and pilots at risk of Ukrainian air defenses. Continuing Russian shortages in artillery ammunition will undermine the Russian militarys ability to continue offsetting its other weaknesses and limitations. The Washington Post reported on April 8 that by contrast, Ukrainian forces are using one-third as many shells as Russian forces and that Ukrainian forces are conserving shells by carefully prioritizing targets. Ukrainian forces are more accurate in their targeting, but also likely benefit from being on the defensive in most areas--offensive operations normally generate increased artillery requirements.

Former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin launched a new effort likely aimed at protecting the influence of the Russian pro-war faction within the Kremlin. Girkin formed the Club of Angry Patriots social movement along with seven prominent proxy and ultranationalist figures on April 1 seeking to help Russia to win the war and avoid an internal conflict within Russia. Members of the club stated that Russia will imminently face defeat in Ukraine and may experience a pro-Western coup or civil war if Moscow does not drastically improve the situation on the frontlines. The members claimed that Russian officials are unable to improve the war effort and its effects on Russian society because most Kremlin officials belong to an anti-war faction. The anti-war faction reportedly advocates for a peace settlement with the West to regain access to its oversees wealth and is not actively attempting to improve the war effort not out of a fundamental disagreement with war aims or genuine desire for peace. The club claimed that it seeks to help Russian authorities likely implying the pro-war grouping within the Kremlin complete the special military operation in a timely manner, claiming that a protracted war in Ukraine could prompt the anti-war officials to revolt. The group also stated that it is attempting to build a defense network to resist a coup in Russia in such an event. The members declared that the group is functioning within the framework of Russian law and will not engage in armed conflict, but will instead focus on raising public awareness in Russia so that Russian executive officials realize the danger to the Russian regime. Members of this club had previously warned Russian President Vladimir Putin in May and September 2022 about the negative repercussions on the battlefield if Russia did not immediately declare mobilization.

Girkins movement is already reportedly facing resistance from Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) Head Denis Pushilin. A Russian milblogger claimed Pushilin ordered DNR officials to spread rumors about the Club of Angry Patriots, claiming bizarrely that the movement is preparing a pro-Western coup. A member of the movement also accused Pushilins administration of discrediting the movement.

The Club of Angry Patriots creation may offer several important insights into Kremlin dynamics and the danger to Putins regime elements within his inner circle fear. ISW previously reported that successful Ukrainian counteroffensives in Kharkiv Oblast and Lyman in September-October 2022 exposed a rift between the Kremlins anti-war and pro-war factions. Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin also made similar remarks about the schisms among Kremlin officials. The clubs preoccupation with the anti-war faction may indicate that the rift within the Kremlin deepened during the failed Russian winter offensive campaign or ahead of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The concern over the expansion of the anti-war faction may also indicate that there is concern that Putin may be driven to accept a peace settlement by the threat of replacement. The group may be attempting to preempt the anti-war factions efforts to reduce the urgency of full-scale war in Ukraine.

Girkin may be advancing political goals of unnamed figures within Russian power structures, possibly within the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Girkin has been ruthlessly criticizing Putin throughout the war, and it is likely that he is receiving some protection from a silovik. Russian independent outlet The Insider and Bellingcat have previously reported that Girkin had been consistently using passports under fictitious names that he received from the FSB. While it is unclear which silovik is protecting Girkin and what his motivations might be, Girkins protector may be attempting to gain Putins attention and shape his decisions via public discourse. Prigozhin and Wagner had previously showed that the Kremlin monitors and reacts to the publics attitudes, which prompted notable changes within the Russian military command in the fall of 2022. Prigozhin similarly announced plans for a Wagner-affiliated social movement on April 4.

Russian nationalists seized on assassinated Russian milblogger Maxim Fomins (also known as Vladlen Tatarsky) funeral to promote pro-war narratives. Footage from Fomins funeral at Troekurovsky Cemetery in Moscow shows hundreds to thousands of people in attendance including Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian Liberal Democratic Party Leader Leonid Slutsky. Images showing the Order of Courage medal, Wagner awards, and an engraved sledgehammer at Fomins coffin circulated in Russian nationalist media. Prigozhin commended the difficult work of war reporters and claimed that he would do everything to ensure that Fomins work continues to resonate. Former Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) Spokesperson Eduard Basurin used Fomins funeral to reiterate the narrative that Russia must reject negotiations and pursue the unconditional surrender of Ukraine. Footage from the funeral service and burial show Russian forces giving Fomin military honors. Fomins funeral could be the first instance of a Wagner-affiliated funeral receiving official Russian military honors.

Russias missile campaign to degrade Ukraines unified energy infrastructure has failed definitively, and Russia appears to have abandoned the effort. Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko announced on April 8 that Ukraine is resuming energy exports for the first time since October 11, 2022. Russian authorities began efforts in October to degrade Ukrainian energy infrastructure to a significant extent by the end of winter, which Russians consider March 1; however, the series of large-scale Russian missile strikes on energy infrastructure failed to achieve the assessed Russian aims of causing a humanitarian disaster, weakening Ukrainian military capabilities, and forcing Ukraine to negotiate. State-run Russian media acknowledged this failure on March 1. Russia likely abandoned the effort soon after. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) noted on April 8 that the frequency of Russian large-scale, long-range attacks on energy infrastructure has decreased since March 2023. The UK MoD assessed that Russia continues small-scale strikes (strikes using fewer than 25 munitions) with predictably less effect. Russia maintains the capability to renew such strikes though, if it so desired. Halushchenko stated that Ukraine has the flexibility to adjust Ukrainian energy exports if the situation changes.

The Kremlin is likely intensifying legal punishments for terrorism-related crimes as part of a larger effort to promote self-censorship and establish legal conditions for intensified domestic repressions. Duma Chairman of the Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption Vasily Piskarev stated on April 7 that the State Duma has introduced amendments to increase prison terms for committing acts of terrorism, assistance to terrorist activities or organizations or participation in a terrorist community, sabotage, and acts of international terrorism. Russian President Vladimir Putin also recently signed two bills expanding legal punishment for the discreditation of all Russian personnel fighting in Ukraine and for the misappropriation of Russian military assets, likely to promote sell-censorship and facilitate crackdowns on anti-war dissent. Russian sources have previously reported that the Federal Security Service (FSB) is increasingly detaining Russian civilians under suspicions of financially assisting Ukrainian forces and that Russian authorities appear to be cracking down against bars in urban areas that host Russian civil society groups. The Kremlin has introduced indefinite terrorism warning regimes in occupied territories and maximum, medium, and elevated levels of martial law in many western Russian oblasts, and Russian authorities in these areas may more readily apply the expanded terrorism terms to further stifle resistance to occupation authorities as well as dissent in Russia itself.

Russian authorities are likely planning to further expand what they deem to be terroristic and extremist affiliations to encourage self-censorship. Duma Deputy Head of the Committee on Information Policy Oleg Matveichev stated on April 4 that he has prepared a bill to recognize feminism as an extremist ideology and argued that feminists overwhelmingly oppose the military operation in Ukraine. Matveichev argued that Ukrainian feminism consists of women serving together with men fighting against Russians and alleged that the woman accused of killing of Russian milblogger Maxim Fomin (Vladlen Tartarsky) was motivated by feminist ideology. Matveichev has not specified how the bill would define feminism, and the bill may use a vague overarching definition in order to further promote widespread self-censorship. Russian authorities may increasingly portray other ideologies and groups not explicitly aligned with the Kremlin as being against the war in Ukraine in order to set conditions for increased crackdowns and self-censorship. Ukrainian feminism would appear to be giving Ukraine an advantage in this war since, as Matveichev notes, it has brought many talented and determined Ukrainian women into the fight.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) may be setting conditions for a false flag attack in Sumy Oblast. The Russian MoD claimed on April 8 that Ukrainian forces have been delivering dead bodies from morgues to Okhtyrka, Sumy Oblast and applying toxic chemicals to the remains and the area in order to allege that Russian forces used chemical weapons. Russian forces may be attempting to set informational conditions for future chemical weapons attacks in Sumy Oblast or to justify previous chemical weapons use, although ISW has not observed Russian forces recently using chemical weapons in the area. It is unclear what overarching effect the Kremlin intends to achieve with increasingly outlandish and ineffective Russian information operations alleging Ukrainian false flag attacks.

Key Takeaways
Ukrainian and Russian sources discussed the decreased rate of Russian offensive operations along the entire frontline on April 8, supporting ISWs assessment that the overall Russian offensive is approaching culmination.
The dynamics of battlefield artillery usage in Ukraine reflect the fact that Russian forces are using artillery to offset their degraded offensive capabilities.
Former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin launched a new effort likely aimed at protecting the influence the Russian pro-war faction within the Kremlin.
The Club of Angry Patriots reveals several key implications about the Kremlin dynamics and the perceived danger to Putins regime.
Girkin may be advancing the political goals of unnamed figures within Russian power structures possibly within the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
Russian nationalists seized on assassinated Russian milblogger Maxim Fomins funeral to promote pro-war narratives.
Russias missile campaign to degrade Ukraines unified energy infrastructure has failed definitively, and Russia appears to have abandoned the effort.
The Kremlin is likely intensifying legal punishments for terrorism-related crimes as part of a larger effort to promote self-censorship and establish legal conditions for intensified domestic repressions.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) may be setting conditions for a false flag attack in Sumy Oblast.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces have continued to make gains around Bakhmut, and tensions between the Wagner Group and conventional Russian forces over responsibility for tactical gains in Bakhmut appear to be intensifying.
Russian sources continued to speculate about the planned Ukrainian counteroffensive in southern Ukraine, including hypothesizing about the possibility of a Ukrainian amphibious landing across the Kakhovka Reservoir.
The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) on April 6 proposed a defense industrial base (DIB) deregulation reform that could expedite defense production but will more likely facilitate corruption and embezzlement.
Ukrainian officials reported that 31 children returned to Ukraine after having been deported to Russia as Russian officials continue to discuss the adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families.



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Russian occupation authorities are likely conducting a campaign of systematic religious persecution in occupied Ukraine. Since Russias full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 Russian soldiers or occupations authorities have reportedly committed at least 76 acts of religious persecution in Ukraine. Russian authorities have closed, nationalized, or forcefully converted at least 26 places of worship to the Kremlin-controlled Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, killed or seized at least 29 clergy or religious leaders, and looted, desecrated, or deliberately destroyed at least 13 places of worship in occupied Ukraine. These cases of religious repression are not likely isolated incidents but rather part of a deliberate campaign to systematically eradicate undesirable religious organizations in Ukraine and promote the Moscow Patriarchate.

This study contains only a small subset of all reported Russian religious persecution events against religious groups in Ukraine. ISW did not include events where indirect fire may have unintentionally killed religious leaders or destroyed places of worship. (This report specifically does not include all 494 religious buildings that the Russian military reportedly wholly destroyed, damaged, or looted, according to the independent Kyiv-based Institute for Religious Freedom as of February 2023 because ISW cannot assess intentionality in all those cases, for example.) The events included in this study are drawn from reports of Russian forces usually infantry, security personnel, or occupation officials deliberately coercing religious groups. This report also excludes many instances of Russian religious repressions in areas Russian forces have occupied from spring 2014 to February 24, 2022, to focus on more recent persecutions in newly-occupied areas.

Russian authorities systematically repress religious liberty in Russia as a matter of state policy. Russian President Vladimir Putin ratified the Yarovaya Law in 2016 requiring all religious organizations and churches in Russia to be registered with the Russian government. The law bans missionary activities, broadly defined as preaching, praying, disseminating religious materials, and even answering questions about religion outside of officially state-approved sites under the pretense of precautions against extremism and terrorism. The Russian government refuses to register undesirable religious organizations it seeks to suppress. Since 2016 Russian authorities have used the Yarovaya Laws sweeping provisions to prosecute American Baptist and Pentecostal missionaries operating in Russia, outlaw most Mormon missionary work, and burn foreign-distributed Bibles not properly registered with the state. Russian authorities have persecuted several other Russian religious minorities, including members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Falun Gong members, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovahs Witnesses, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Old Believers (Pomorian Old Orthodox), Lutherans, the Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church, and the branch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). Russian authorities jailed at least 48 Russian Jehovahs Witnesses in 2022, arrested and deported two American Mormon missionaries in 2019, and fined a Sochi-based Buddhist leader for organizing "collective meditation" for "about a dozen" people in 2019. Russian authorities have also targeted Russian Muslims for illegal missionary activities despite the fact that Islam is legally recognized as one of Russias traditional religions (along with Russian Orthodoxy, Judaism and Buddhism).

Russia is exporting its state policies of systematic religious persecution to Russian-occupied Ukraine. The Kremlin annexed Russian-controlled portions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia oblasts on September 30, 2022, recognizing them as Russian federal subjects. Russian authorities enforce Russian federal laws including the Yarovaya and other anti-extremist laws in Russian-occupied Ukraine. Russias Prosecutor Generals Office declared four evangelical Christian groups from Latvia and Ukraine "undesirable" organizations in 2021, effectively banning the organizations in Russia. Russian authorities in occupied Melitopol raided a Ukrainian evangelical pastors home in August 2022 and accused the pastor of being associated with the same undesirable organizations that Russian authorities banned in Russia 2021. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in occupied Kherson Oblast reported that it eliminated an underground Jehovahs Witnesses congregation in Novosofivka, Kherson Oblast, in January 2023. The officials reported that Russian authorities found over 4,000 pieces of forbidden literature in the Jehovahs Witnesses' possession and emphasized that Russian law designates Jehovahs Witnesses as an extremist organization banned in Russia. A Ukrainian Baptist congregation in Chernihivka regained permission to use its seized building after the congregants sent deed documents to Russian occupation authorities - possibly as part of the churchs reregistration under the Yarovaya. Law.

Russian occupation officials have been repressing Ukrainian religious communities in proxy republics in eastern Ukraine and in illegally occupied Crimea since 2014. Former Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) Head Oleksandr Zakharchenko declared in May 2015 that Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU) members, Greek Catholics, and Evangelical Christians were sectarians within the DNR. Zakharchenko announced that occupation authorities would only recognize the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate, Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism. Occupation authorities forced many religious groups to reregister under the Russian Yarovaya law, bureaucratically eradicating religions such as Jehovahs Witnesses and the Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahir. A Russian court ordered the only remaining Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Russia to be demolished at the expense of the Ukrainian diocese in 2019.

Moscows religious persecution campaign seeks to eradicate the Autocephalous (independent) Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which Moscow views as schismatic despite the decision by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in 2019 granting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church its independence from the Moscow Patriarchate. Russian occupation authorities are likely systematically eliminating OCU churches in occupied Ukraine. ISWs research found that 34 percent of the reported persecution events targeted the OCU, making it the single most targeted religious group. The high percentage of persecution events aimed at the OCU is not surprising on the one hand because it is the most popular confession in Ukraine. It is surprising on the other hand because the Kremlin has been posturing as the defender of Christianity in general and Eastern Orthodoxy in particular.bWitness reports indicate that Russian authorities are seemingly targeting the OCU for its Ukrainianess. The Russians pursued such targeted attacks on the OCU even during the short-lived Russian partial occupation of Kyiv Oblast early in the war, suggesting that this targeting was an intentional component of the Russian invasion from the outset.

Russian occupation officials are systematically seizing UOC property to transfer to the Moscow Patriarchate and are eliminating worship in the Ukrainian language. The synod of the Russian Orthodox Church issued a decision to officially annex the OCUs dioceses in Dzhankoi, Simferopol, and Feodosia in Crimea on June 7, 2022, out of the need to maintain an effective canonical and administrative connection with the central church authorities. Six Russian FSB agents raided an OCU church in Melitopol, detained and deported its priest for conducting the liturgy in the Ukrainian language, and then closed the church in November 2022. Russian authorities have converted several OCU churches in occupied Ukraine to the Moscow Patriarchate. The full extent of Russian efforts to forcibly convert Ukrainians in occupied territories to Russian Orthodoxy is unclear. Russian occupation authorities have made no explicit statement allowing the OCU to coexist with the Russian Orthodox Church in occupied Ukraine, which is alarming given the documented instances of repression and forced conversion of OCU churches.

Russian occupation forces have also targeted other denominations that are distinctly culturally Ukrainian. Russian forces captured two Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests in Berdyansk in November 2022, deporting them and effectively closing the main Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Melitopol in December 2022. Russian soldiers arrested a Protestant pastor and closed his congregation in Melitopol, reportedly because of his pro-Ukrainian views.

Russias campaign also represses Ukraine's Protestant minority. Available open-source reporting indicates that the most common victims of Russian religious persecution after Ukrainian Orthodox are Protestants, particularly evangelical Baptists. Protestants of all denominations were the victims of 34 percent of the reported persecution events that ISW observed. Baptists made up 13 percent of victims the largest single group after Ukrainian Orthodox. ISW observed reports of persecutions of Baptists near the occupied cities of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Mariupol, and Melitopol. Russian forces persecution of Protestants is most intense in southern Ukraine. Protestants were the victims of 35 percent and 48 percent of the reported persecution events in occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts respectively. Protestants suffered two-thirds of the reported repression events in occupied Mariupol City.

Witness reports indicate that Russian soldiers conduct towards Protestants in occupied Ukraine is brutal. Russian troops commandeered a Kherson-based Ukrainian evangelical Baptist educational institute from March - November 2022 and established a garrison and crematorium there to cremate killed Russian soldiers. The institutes rector stated that Russian soldiers repeatedly harassed the Baptists, calling them American spies, sectarians, and enemies of the Russian Orthodox people. One Russian officer reportedly told workers at the institute, Evangelical believers like you should be completely destroyeda simple shooting will be too easy for you. You need to be buried alive, and another Russian solider reportedly said, We will bury sectarians like you. Russian soldiers raided and closed another Baptist Church in Chkalove, Zaporizhia Oblast, in September 2022. Congregants reported that armed Russian soldiers interrupted their worship service and stated, "Your feet will not be here after the referendum. We have only one faith, Orthodoxy." Russias Yarovaya Law does not recognize Protestantism as a traditional religion and imposes regulations on its practice.

Russias systematic religious persecution supports a larger Russian campaign of cultural genocide against Ukraine. ISW has previously assessed that Russia is conducting mass deportations of Ukrainian children and depopulating Ukrainian territory in what likely amounts to a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign. ISW has assessed that this ethnic cleansing campaign is part of a larger Kremlin campaign of cultural genocide that seeks to eradicate the notion of a unique Ukrainian cultural identity. Ethnic cleansing has not been specified as a crime under international law, but a United Nations Commission of Experts has described ethnic cleansing as a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide declares that genocide includes acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. This definition aligns with current Russian efforts to eliminate undesirable Ukrainian religious groups in occupied Ukrainian territories. Russian deliberate attacks and vandalism against places of worship in occupied Ukraine may also constitute war crimes.

The Kremlin continues an information operation aimed at falsely portraying Russia as a religiously tolerant state while deliberately repressing religious freedoms in Ukraine. Putin consistently presents Russia as the defender of traditional Christian values that also supports Orthodox, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism religions. The Kremlin uses this information operation to accuse Ukraine of religious intolerance towards the Moscow Patriarchate and gain favor with religious communities worldwide. This information operation is at odds with Russian religious repressions on the ground. The Ukrainian Ministry of Reintegrations indicated that Russians have reduced religious diversity by over 50 percent in Crimea, for example. The Kremlin continues to use long-standing false narratives that the Ukrainian government is oppressing religious liberties as a moral justification for its refusal to negotiate with Ukraine, likely in the hopes of turning international public opinion against Ukraine. The Kremlin is especially keen on accusing the Ukrainian government of persecuting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP).

The UOC MP is not an independent religious organization but rather an extension of the Russian state and an instrument of Russian hybrid warfare. The UOC MP is the Kremlin-controlled Russian Orthodox Churchs subordinate element in Ukraine. The UOC MP provided material support for Russias initial invasion of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine in 2014. Russian soldiers used UOC MP churches as military storage depots, garrisons, field hospitals, and even fighting positions during Russias full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. One UOC MP priest in Lysychansk, Luhansk Oblast, collected information on his OCU clergy rivals and gave instructions to Russian soldiers to murder a Ukrainian priest. Russian forces have reportedly gone out of their way to punish individual UOC MP priests in Ukraine who were not fully cooperative with Russian forces. Russian troops reportedly searched the UOC MP Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Melitopol in February 2023 to register UOC MP priests who refused to pray for the Russian militarys success in Ukraine or for Russian Orthodox Church Head Patriarch Kirills health. Russian soldiers reportedly abducted a UOC MP priest who actively distributed humanitarian aid to Ukrainian civilians in Kherson City in April 2022. Russia will continue to weaponize the UOC MP and religion to incite social tensions in Ukraine and influence battlefield realities.

The Kremlin may call for a ceasefire around Orthodox Easter on April 16 as it did for Orthodox Christmas in January 2023. The Kremlin has selectively called for ceasefires around religious holidays to influence the situation on the frontlines. The Kremlin, for example, refused a ceasefire during Orthodox Easter of 2022 "in order not to give the Kyiv nationalists a break" during the Battle of Mariupol. The Kremlin likely refused a ceasefire because Russian forces still held the initiative on the frontlines at the time, but sought a ceasefire months later over Orthodox Christmas to obtain additional time to prepare Russian forces for the winter offensive. The Kremlin may call for an Easter ceasefire because such a pause would disproportionately benefit Russian troops and allow them to secure their gains in urban Bakhmut and to prepare defenses against Ukraines spring 2023 counteroffensive.

Putin may call for a ceasefire to frame Ukraine as unaccommodating and unwilling to take the necessary steps towards negotiations. A ceasefire on religious grounds additionally reinforces the two-fold Russian information operation that frames Ukraine as suppressing religious groups and positions Putin as the true protector of the Christian faith. The invocation of a ceasefire on distinctly religious grounds in line with Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition is a subcomponent of this information operation. No combatant is obligated to accept a ceasefire on religious or any other grounds, however. Should Russia offer and Ukraine refuse a ceasefire over Orthodox Easter the Kremlin will not thereby have demonstrated any greater devotion to the defense of Christianity or Christian values nor shown that Kyiv rejects those values. Putin will merely have demonstrated, once again, his cynicism.

Supporters of international religious liberty should support Ukraines efforts to liberate its territories. Religious freedom in Ukraine especially the freedom of religious minorities are far better defended in Ukrainian-controlled territories than in Russia or Russian-occupied Ukrainian lands. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) found that Russia is one of the worst violators of religious freedoms due to its restrictive state policies and prosecution of peaceful religious activities that are legal under Ukrainian law. Ukraines Evangelical Baptist community, for example, expanded to encompass 2,272 churches and over 113,000 believers between 1991 and 2017. Conversely, the Russian government has effectively outlawed foreign missionary work in Russia and persecuted Baptists along with many other Protestant sects since 2016. Russias campaign of religious repression relentlessly targets Ukrainian churches and undesirable Russian minorities in occupied Ukraine on a systematic basis. Russian forces will likely intensify this campaign and seek to eradicate religious organizations independent of Kremlin control, as Russian forces have done with Crimeas Muslim Crimean Tatar population since occupying the peninsula in 2014.

Key inflections in ongoing military operations on April 9:
Russian sources reacted with outrage to Russian authorities charging Union of Donbas Volunteers member Yuri Yevich with discrediting Russian forces. Russian sources claimed that Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs officials accused Yevich of delivering a tactical medicine class to Rosgvardia employees that negatively portrayed Russian forces in Ukraine.
Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin directly criticized the Russian Foreign Ministrys approach to Russias presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and offered his own list of agenda items for the UNSC, likely a demonstrative act aimed at supporting his standing in the Russian ultranationalist community and furthering his oblique efforts to portray himself as a suitable president of Russia at some point in the future.
Ukrainian Joint Press Center of the Tavriisk Direction Head Colonel Oleksiy Dmytrashkivskyi stated that Russian forces have concentrated 113 battalion tactical groups (BTGs) in the Zaporizhia direction and 205 BTGs in the Donetsk direction.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line. Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Serhiy Cherevaty stated that seven engagements occurred in these directions.
Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks in and around Bakhmut, and on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line. Cherevaty stated that Russian Airborne (VDV) forces have appeared in Bakhmut. Russian forces likely made marginal gains in southern Bakhmut on April 9.
A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted a reconnaissance-in-force operation in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
Head of the independent Russian human rights organization Rus Sidyashchaya (Russia Behind Bars) Olga Romanova claimed on April 8 that convict recruits have begun signing 18-month contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
Russian occupation officials are likely continuing to use medical relocation schemes to deport Ukrainian children to Russia. Luhansk Peoples Republic (LNR) Head Leonid Pasechnik claimed that Russian medical specialists have examined more than 94,000 children in Luhansk Oblast and that occupation officials have sent thousands of children from Luhansk Oblast to Russian federal clinics, the majority of which are likely in Russia.


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Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is reportedly advancing his political aspirations by seeking to gain control of a Russian political party. Russian opposition outlet Meduza reported that Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhins growing cooperation with members of the A Just Russia For Truth party likely indicates that Prigozhin seeks to gain control over the party. Meduza noted that four members of the party left to form a new movement, with some members citing the rapprochement between party leader Sergey Mironov and Prigozhin as the reason for their exit. ISW has consistently reported on the growing relationship between Mironov and Prigozhin and assessed that Mironovs advocacy for recognition of Wagner in Russia could trigger further fractionalization within the Kremlin. Two Kremlin sources and one St. Petersburg government insider claimed that Prigozhin is pursuing a leadership position within A Just Russia For Truths St. Petersburg branch to compete with St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov for influence in the city. Meduzas sources claimed that Prigozhin previously was interested in investing in the Motherland political party and may be interested in pursuing a position on the federal level. Mironov, in turn, is likely attempting to revive his political influence and use Prigozhin as a patron for his political ambitions. Meduzas interlocutors indicated that the Russian Presidential Administration is unlikely to allow Prigozhin to gain control of the A Just Russia For Truth party due to Prigozhins conflict with administration officials and with Beglov.

The Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) directly responded to Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhins criticisms of its agenda for Russias presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), marking the first time that a Russian government institution has formally responded Prigozhins criticism. Prigozhin criticized the MFAs work in Africa on April 7, claiming that the Russian MFA does absolutely nothing and that Wagner forces face enormous difficulties when interacting with the MFA and other government institutions in the region. The MFA responded to Prigozhins criticism on April 9 and said that it is ready to cooperate with Russian businesses and entrepreneurs to promote Russian businesses abroad and that a number of upcoming events under Russias UNSC chairmanship are dedicated to African issues. Prigozhin then responded to the MFA, questioning its ability to solve problems through the UNSC, and published a list of 15 issues that Prigozhin believes require urgent discussion at the UNSC, most of which relate to support for Russias actions in Ukraine and Africa.

The Russian MFAs attack on Prigozhin is a continuation of the Kremlins efforts to discredit and undermine Prigozhin. The MFA, other Russian government institutions, and Kremlin affiliates likely seek to shut down any attempts by Prigozhin to garner public or political support. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) refused to name Wagner forces as participants in the battle of Bakhmut, referring instead to assault detachments. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov indirectly accused Prigozhin of deliberately exposing conflicts between the MoD and Wagner. Russian political scientist Aleksey Mukhin who contributes to the Kremlin-affiliated Valdai Discussion Club and Russian state media criticized Prigozhin for pursuing political objectives that endanger Wagner forces in Bakhmut. Prigozhin likely criticized the Russian MFA agenda in the UNSC in an effort to portray himself as a capable statesman able to influence foreign affairs and to garner support from the Russian ultranationalist community. Prigozhin continues to attempt to aggrandize himself by exaggerating Wagner forces role in Russian successes in Ukraine and using his prominence in the Russian nationalist information space to criticize the Russian government.

Key Takeaways

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is reportedly advancing his political aspirations by seeking to gain control of a Russian political party.
Putin may be unable to satisfy the role of a patron to loyalist figures to the same extent as he had been able to before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) directly responded to Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhins criticisms of its agenda at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), marking the first time that a Russian government institution has formally responded to Prigozhins criticism.
The Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) attack on Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is a continuation of the Kremlins efforts to discredit and undermine Prigozhin.
Russian milbloggers adamantly decried the charging of Russian military doctor and Union of Donbas Volunteers member Yuri Yevich for discrediting the Russian armed forces, suggesting that the broad applications of this new law will likely be a growing source of discontent in the pro-war information space.
The Russian State Duma will consider an amendment to the Russian Criminal Code increasing criminal penalties for high treason and terrorist activities on April 13.
Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, on April 10.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued to make territorial gains in and around Bakhmut, and continued ground attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
Russian forces continued defensive preparations in Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin criticized Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) prisoner recruitment efforts, likely in an effort to advertise ongoing Wagner volunteer recruitment campaigns.
Wagner forces are reportedly continuing to commit war crimes by beheading Ukrainian servicemen in Bakhmut.
Russian officials and occupation authorities continue to deport children to Russia under the guise of medical, rehabilitation, and voluntary evacuation schemes.


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The Kremlin passed legislation to use tools of digital authoritarianism to digitize and improve the effectiveness of issuing summonses and crack down on Russian draft dodgers. The Russian State Duma adopted a bill in its third reading on April 11 to create a digital unified register of Russian citizens eligible for military service. Russian military recruitment offices will use the digital register to issue summonses to military service. The unified register harvests Russian citizens personal identification informationincluding medical, educational, and residence history, foreign citizenship status, and insurance and tax datafrom multiple Russian legal entities, including Russias Federal Tax Service, investigative bodies, courts, medical institutions, the Russian Pension and Social Insurance Fund, the Central Election Commission, and federal and local authorities. Summoned individuals may not leave Russia and must appear at a military recruitment office within 20 days of being summoned. The law bans summoned individuals who are 20 days delinquent for reporting from driving vehicles, buying or selling real estate, and taking out loans. A senior Russian legislator stated that the law will correct some of the bureaucratic shortcomings that appeared during Russias partial mobilization in September 2022. Some Russian milbloggers who have long agitated for more aggressive force generation policies praised the law and stated that it exemplifies healthy interactions between Russian civil society and government. ISW previously forecasted that the Kremlin would marry Soviet-style societal control measures with big data and 21st-century information technology to intensify control over the Russian population after Russia used facial recognition, QR codes, and mobile device geo-tracking technology to enforce a draconian COVID-19 quarantine in 2020.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin acknowledged each other's roles in the Bakhmut effort on April 11. The Russian MoD and Prigozhin claimed that Wagner fighters comprise the main effort to take territory and push Ukrainian forces in central Bakhmut, whereas unspecified Russian Airborne (VDV) elements comprise the supporting effort on Wagners flanks north and south of Bakhmut, including near Zalizhnyanske, Sakko i Vantsetti, and Mykolaivka. The Russian VDV forces on the flanks likely aim only to hold the flanks rather than make any significant advances. This array of forces suggests that the Russian MoD intends to use the Wagner Group to capture Bakhmut while minimizing casualties among conventional Russian forcessupporting ISWs prior assessments that the MoD seeks to use Wagner forces to capture Bakhmut then supplant them and take credit for the victory. Prigozhin reiterated that Wagner forces are making gains within Bakhmut, however, claiming that Russian forces control 80 percent of Bakhmut due to Wagner advances. Russian forces occupy at least 30.68 square kilometers (about the size of the Chicago OHare airport) or 76.5 percent of Bakhmut based on ISW's control of terrain assessment. However, this area increases to 34.5 square kilometers or 86.1 percent of Bakhmut when factoring in all Russian-claimed territory in Bakhmut, including contradictory claims.

A small, fringe group of pro-war Russian milbloggers called for the Russian government to repeal the censorship laws against discrediting the Russian military. A group of at least 20 Russian milbloggers amplified a blanket statement expressing solidarity with "angry patriots and others enraged at and weary of the poor application of the Russian censorship laws. These milbloggers, many of whom have limited social media followings, represent a small fraction of the Russian information space and their statement does not indicate broader anger over the mere existence of these laws. However, this faction of milbloggers is the most likely to face prosecution under these laws because they lack Kremlin affiliation, are among the most critical of the Russian war effort, and would likely be among the first targets of an expanded application of the law. The pro-war information space has expressed continued outrage over Russian authorities prosecuting a Russian medic under these censorship laws, which ISW has assessed will likely be a growing source of discontent in the pro-war information space.

Key Takeaways
The Kremlin passed legislation to use tools of digital authoritarianism to digitize and improve the effectiveness of issuing summonses and to crack down on Russian draft dodgers.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin acknowledged each other's roles in the Bakhmut effort.
A small, fringe group of pro-war Russian milbloggers called for the Russian government to repeal the censorship laws against discrediting the Russian military.
Russian forces appear to hold positions northeast of Kupyansk and have made gains in the forest area south of Kreminna.
Russian forces conducted ground attacks in and around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
Russian forces conducted defensive operations in southern Ukraine.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu visited defense industrial enterprises in Tula Oblast as part of the ongoing effort to portray the resilience of Russia's defense industrial base (DIB).
Russian Commissioner for Childrens Rights Maria Lvova-Belova continues to confirm that Russian authorities are taking a number of actions vis-a-vis Ukrainian children in an attempt to exculpate herself from the International Criminal Court (ICC)s warrant for her arrest.

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The Kremlins campaign of Russification in Ukraine is burning back into Russia itself as it continues to empower and amplify overtly nationalist voices and ideologies. Russia is engaged in a campaign of deliberate Russification within Ukraine aimed at the destruction of Ukrainian identity through a multitude of military, social, economic, legal, bureaucratic, and administrative lines of efforts. The ideologies that underpin the basis of this Russification also form the rhetorical backbone of the pro-war information space, which frequently mirrors its militarism with staunch Russian nationalism and intense xenophobia that is directed both at Ukraine and Ukrainian identity as well as at domestic minorities within Russia itself.

The domestic ramifications of the acceptance of the ideology of Russification are manifested in the responses by Russian authorities and prominent Russian milbloggers to ethnic minorities in Russia. Several Russian milbloggers and commentators published their reactions to a recent news story about the murder of a 17-year-old Russian student by a group of Tajik migrants in Chelyabinsk and used the story to criticize Central Asian migrants and ethnic minority communities for failing to integrate into Russian society. Head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin accused migrants of destabilizing Russia by importing terrorism and extremist ideologies and emphasized the role of migration policy in ensuring public order. Former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin amplified a criticism that authorities of the Tuvan Republic are returning the indigenous Tuvan names to 104 administrative-territorial units, which one milblogger decried as pushing boundaries unnecessarily during wartime. Social media footage circulated on April 12 shows a group of Russian men reportedly giving the Nazi salute and walking past administrative buildings in Ufa, Bashkortostan while shouting Russia is for Russians. These instances of xenophobia and racism exemplify the crux of domestic Russification. The war in Ukraine has empowered the most virulent voices in the information space to consolidate their ideology and project it both towards the Ukrainian people and towards non-Slavic minorities in Russia itself. This dynamic will likely escalate as the war continues and will outlive Russias invasion of Ukraine, pervading the Russian domestic space for years to come.


Key Takeaways
The Kremlins campaign of Russification in Ukraine is burning back into Russia itself as it continues to empower and amplify overtly nationalist voices and ideologies.
The domestic ramifications of the acceptance of the ideology of Russification are manifested in the responses by Russian authorities and prominent Russian milbloggers to ethnic minorities in Russia.
These domestic-facing ramifications of Russification ironically continue to place the onus of the war effort on the exact communities that it marginalizes.
Russian milbloggers offered a muted response to a Kaluga Oblast courts refusal to hear a case against Russian military doctor and Union of Donbas Volunteers member Yuri Yevich for discrediting the Russian armed forces.
The Russian nationalist community continues to glorify atrocities and advocate for the expansion of brutality.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks near Kreminna.
Russian forces continued ground attacks in and around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk line.
Russian forces continue to construct defenses in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast and Crimea.
Russian officials continue to advance a law aimed at improving the effectiveness of issuing summonses and cracking down on Russian draft dodgers.
The Ukrainian Resistance Center released a report detailing the extent of illegal deportations of Ukrainian children from Donbas to the Russian Federation.

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A senior Ukrainian official warned that Russia can reconstitute itself as a serious threat to Ukraine in the long run despite facing severe force generation problems at this time. Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov stated on April 13 that Russian crypto-mobilization efforts are stagnating due to Russians growing awareness that causality rates for Russian soldiers in Ukraine are high. Hromov stated that Volgograd and Saratov oblasts have only met seven percent (134 of the 7,800 recruits) and 14 percent (270 of the 7,600 recruits) of their regional recruitment quotas for the first quarter of 2023 respectively. Hromov also stated that Moscow is creating alternative private military companies (PMCs) to fill these gaps, but that these PMCs will not be as powerful as the Wagner Group in the near future, partially supporting previous ISW forecasts. Hromov noted that Ukraine and its allies must not underestimate Russian force generation capabilities in the long run for a protracted war of attrition. ISW has previously warned that the US and NATO should not underestimate Russian capabilities in the long run, as Russia can regenerate by leveraging its population and defense industrial base (DIB) to threaten Ukraine and NATO if Russian President Vladimir Putin decides to fundamentally change Russias strategic resource allocation over the long run. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced plans on January 17 to form 12 new maneuver divisions over the course of several years, for example.

The Kremlin has not yet undertaken the necessary reorganization of its war effort to effectively leverage economies of scale to support large-scale Russian force generation, however. Current Russian half-measures and decentralized recruitment efforts to regenerate forces such as crypto-mobilization, leaning on Russias regions to generate volunteers, relying on new small PMCs, and pressuring various Russian state-owned enterprises to sponsor and pay for recruitment campaigns seek to shift the resource burden to generate forces among different siloviki and elements of the Russian state. The Kremlin is reportedly billing the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom for its volunteer recruitment efforts in occupied Donetsk Oblast, offering volunteers 400,000 rubles (approximately $4,900) salary per month. A Russian State Duma official proposed the institution of a new 23% military tax on Russian citizens income a provision that would allow Putin to reduce the burden on existing federal funds but would likely anger more Russians. These various Russian groups resources are finite. The Kremlins currently unsustainable effort to commandeer them will exhaust itself without fundamental resource generation and resource allocation reform. These current efforts will generate some additional combat power in the short term, to be sure, but will do so with diminishing marginal returns at increasing cost. The Russian states current model of resource allocations and economies of scale do not synergize disjointed efforts to tap discrete resource pools. The Kremlins decision to continue relying on financially incentivizing voluntary recruits with both one-time payments and accrued lifetime benefits will create large long-term structural costs and will not be sustainable indefinitely.

Ukrainian assessments confirm ISWs longstanding assessment that Russia cannot conduct multiple offensive operations simultaneously at this time. Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov stated on April 13 that Russian forces deployed unspecified Russian forces from the Avdiivka area of operations to reinforce offensive operations around Bakhmut and that Russia has lost about 4,000 Wagner and conventional personnel in Bakhmut since around March 30. Hromovs statement supports ISWs longstanding assessment that the Russian military in its current form is unable to conduct large-scale, simultaneous offensive campaigns on multiple axes.

Key Takeaways

A senior Ukrainian official warned that Russia can reconstitute itself as a serious threat to Ukraine in the long run despite facing severe force generation problems at this time.
The Kremlin has not yet undertaken the necessary reorganization of its war effort to effectively leverage economies of scale to support large Russian force generation.
Ukrainian assessments confirm ISWs longstanding assessment that Russia cannot conduct multiple offensive operations simultaneously at this time.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly personally approved the arrest of Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich.
The Russian Federal State Security Service (FSB) on April 13 identified the individuals allegedly responsible for assassinating milblogger Maxim Fomin (alias Vladlen Tatarsky).
Russian forces continued limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
Russian forces continued to make gains in Bakhmut, and continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
Russian forces continue to reinforce and strengthen their positions in southern Ukraine in preparation for a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin and his supporters continue to feud with St. Petersburg authorities and advertising companies allegedly obstructing Wagner Group recruitment efforts.
Wagner Group are reportedly training Ukrainian children to use weapons as part of the Russian Young Army Cadets National Movement (Yunarmiya) in occupied Ukraine.

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The Kremlin is likely attempting to portray Russia as an equal defense partner with China ahead of Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfus visit to Moscow from April 16 to 18. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on April 14 that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu will meet with Li to discuss bilateral defense cooperation as well as issues of regional and global security. Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Qin Gang stated on April 14 that China will not sell weapons to Russia and will regulate the export of items to Russia that have dual civilian and military uses. Qins comments represent a continuation of Chinas efforts to rhetorically downplay its support for Russia and demonstrate that there are limits to the no limits partnership that Russia and China declared before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. ISW assessed that Putin was unable to secure the no-limits bilateral partnership with China that he likely hoped for when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Moscow from March 20 to 22.

The Kremlin is likely hoping to make itself more attractive to China by launching Russian Pacific Fleet exercises to project Russias naval power in the Pacific. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on April 14 that the Russian military raised the Pacific Fleet of the Eastern Military District (EMD) to the highest level of combat readiness for combat readiness checks. Russian Chief of the General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, also stated that elements of the Pacific Fleet will conduct combat exercises. The Russian Pacific Fleets combat readiness checks are likely meant to signal to China that Russia supports Chinese security objectives in the Pacific and that Russia remains an equal military partner that can operate as a Pacific power despite the degradation of Russian military power in Ukraine.

The Kremlin also likely intends to use the Pacific Fleets combat readiness checks to attempt to deter further Japanese support for Ukraine ahead of the G7 meeting from May 19 to 21. Shoigu stated on April 14 that Russian forces declared that combat readiness checks are intended to work out methods to prevent enemy forces from deploying in the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk and to repel a landing on the southern Kuril and Sakhalin islands, both signals to Japan (which claims part of the archipelago that the Soviet Union seized at the end of World War II). Russias Eastern Military District (EMD) recently deployed a battery of Bastion coastal defense missile systems to Paramushir Island in the northern portion of the Russian-occupied Japanese Kuril Islands, which ISW assessed was likely a warning to Japan about further supporting Ukraine. Russia likely intends to use military posturing in the north Pacific to raise fears about military escalation with Japan in an increased effort to prevent Japan from further supporting Ukraine when it hosts the G7 meeting in Hiroshima. Russia has employed similar information operations and demonstrative actions against the West aimed at preventing further Western security assistance to Ukraine by stoking concerns about escalation, although these efforts have never presaged any real escalation.

The Russian military is in no position to threaten Japan at this time. ISW previously reported that elements of the 40th and 155th Naval Infantry Brigades of the Pacific Fleet suffered heavy losses near Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast in early 2023 and in late 2022, with the 155th being reconstituted as many as eight times in the past year. The Pacific Fleet likely lacks the available combat power in the Pacific region to posture in a way that would be truly threatening to Japan or suitable for Russia power projection attempts that would be able to convince China that it is an equal military power. It is noteworthy that Prigozhin one of most extreme thought leaders among Russias pro-war faction considers that Russia can incur a defeat in Ukraine and that such a defeat in the short run would actually benefit Russia.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is setting information conditions to exploit a Russian military failure if the planned Ukrainian counteroffensive is successful. Prigozhin published an essay on April 14 in which he argues that Ukraines coming counteroffensive is more likely to succeed than fail. Prigozhin warned that a selfish Russian deep state (which he defines as a community of near-state elites that operate independently of the political leadership of the state and have close ties and their own agenda) is currently in crisis due to the Russian militarys failures to secure a victory quickly. Prigozhin accused members of this deep state embedded in the Russian bureaucracy of deliberately sabotaging Russian success in the war because they seek to resume their privileged lives of comfort. Prigozhin stated that these Russian deep state "internal enemies will push the Kremlin to make serious concessions tantamount to betraying Russian interests, including even possibly returning occupied Ukrainian territory to Ukraine over the course of a few years.

Prigozhin explicitly rejected the notion of any negotiations to end the war and urged Russians to continue fighting, even if it results in Russias temporary defeat. Prigozhin stated that Russia must ignore the Russian deep states temptations to cut Russian losses and settle. Prigozhin stated the Russian military cannot stop fighting now despite current Russian territorial gains because the Ukrainian state has transformed, and unoccupied Ukraine is now politically opposed the Kremlin. Prigozhin stated that Russia must continue to fight relentlessly in Ukraine regardless of how adverse conditions become. He stated that any scenario in which Russia faces defeat will result in a groundswell of radical national feelings in Russia that will serve as the catalyst for a reinvigorated Russian patriotism and enable the Russian nation to undergo the baptism by fire necessary to emerge victorious and defeat Ukraine. Prigozhins essay is thematically and logistical consistent with his previous stated effort to transform Wagner Group into a hardline ideological elite parallel military organization to advance Russian interests.

The Russian nationalist discourse about the acceptability of Russia suffering defeat in Ukraine deviates from some Western assertions of the need to preserve Russia from humiliation and allow Russia to save face. Prigozhins argument that the Kremlin must resist the temptation to settle and instead remain committed to winning in Ukraine is not compatible with the idea that the Kremlin must be given a way to save face lest it conduct a massive, possibly nuclear, escalation. It is noteworthy that Prigozhin one of most extreme thought leaders among Russias pro-war faction considers that Russia can incur a defeat in Ukraine and that such a defeat in the short run would actually benefit Russia. Prigozhins comments, together with those of other radical pro-war voices, highlight the priority that the pro-war community places on galvanizing Russian society and energizing it for a long fight against the West. That agenda is not advanced by courting thermonuclear destruction.

Former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin denied speculations that he is facing charges in St. Petersburg for the discreditation of the Russian Armed Forces a denial that likely further indicates his protection by unknown siloviki patrons. A Russian news aggregator claimed on April 14 that a Novosibirsk resident asked the St. Petersburg Investigative Committee to investigate Girkins social media content for discreditation of Russian forces a crime punishable by a fine of up to five million rubles ($65,530), up to five years of correctional or forced labor, or up to seven years in prison. Girkin denied receiving a criminal charge notice, claiming that he will not alter his behavior and is not intimidated by authorities. Girkin denied receiving any charges from the Russian Ministry of Interior (MVD) and hypothesized that the MVD could theoretically investigate him for discreditation. Girkin added that if someone has the political will then he could be framed for humanitarian aid fraud. Girkin noted that everyone will soon find out if the authorities are ready to stop . Girkins response is consistent with his ruthless criticisms of the Kremlin and may indicate that he likely continues to benefit from some protection from within the Russian force structures the siloviki. Girkin has every reason to believe that he would be convicted without such protection, as his vitriolic assaults on the Russian militarys performance in Ukraine almost self-evidently violate the discreditation law.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin may be attempting to apply pressure on Girkins patronage networks by responding to accusations against Girkin. Prigozhin stated that Girkin would not be recruited into Wagner as Wagner is no longer recruiting prisoners likely implying that Girkin would remain in prison for his behavior. While it is unclear if Prigozhin or Wagner-affiliated figures are involved in sparking an investigation against Girkin, it is notable that the complaint was filed in St. Petersburg - a city where Prigozhin has connections and a city where Prigozhin is attempting to push his political aspirations. Girkin is reportedly based out of Moscow, which makes the St. Petersburg venue of the complaint more unusual. Prigozhin and Girkin have a history of personal attacks and feuds, and Prigozhin may want to expose or strain Girkins patronage networks, which are allowing him to be unscathed despite ongoing censorship measures in Russia. ISW also previously assessed that Prigozhin and Girkin are likely competing for influence and patronage within the pro-war faction, and a public investigation into Girkin might burden Girkins patrons as they attempt to deflect or quash these accusations.

Russian elite forces are diluting their combat effectiveness with poorly trained mobilized personnel and volunteers due to high causalities sustained in Ukraine. The Washington Post reported that leaked classified US intelligence documents revealed that Russias 22nd Separate Guards Special Purpose (SPETSNAZ) Brigade (Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff) and two other unspecified SPETSNAZ brigades suffered an estimated 90-95% attrition rate in Ukraine. The Washington Post also reported that the 346th SPETSNAZ Brigade lost almost its entire complement, with only 125 servicemen remaining active out of 900 initially deployed. These high casualty rates suggest that Russias most elite forces - Airborne and SPETSNAZ forces - are likely no longer elite. Russian forces have recently deployed elements of airborne brigades and SPETSNAZ formations to frontline areas in Ukraine that operate as volunteer battalions or that are almost entirely comprised of mobilized personnel. It is highly unlikely that mobilized personnel or volunteers received training on how to conduct aerial landing operations and special forces operations, which would suggest that these Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) and SPETSNAZ elements do not differ markedly from other combat ineffective Russian formations staffed by mobilized personnel or volunteers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely host his annual June press conference in early June 2023. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced on April 14 that the Kremlin expects to hold the Direct Line with Vladimir Putin, a live forum at which Putin addresses questions from the Russian public, on an unspecified date likely in June 2023. Putin cancelled his Direct Line in 2022 due to Russias invasion of Ukraine, as well as in 2020 due to COVID-19. Putin notably cancelled his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly in December 2022 and regurgitated boilerplate rhetoric at his annual New Years speech, indicating that Putin was uncertain of his ability to shape the Russian information space amidst criticism of the Russian militarys performance in the war. This years event will likely be highly filtered to support Putins current rhetorical lines and avoid exposing any challenges to the Kremlin or to Russias conduct of the war in Ukraine.

The Russian State Duma is intensifying its efforts to censor Russian cultural figures who fled Russia and criticize the war, likely aimed at encouraging domestic self-censorship. Russian State Duma Vice Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy announced on April 14 that the State Duma has created a working group to find a fair solution to prevent these cultural figures as well as designated foreign agents from receiving income from creative endeavors in Russia. Tolstoy claimed that some deputies are making radical proposals...because its not worth making money in a country that you hate. Prior Duma proposals included withholding state funding, royalty payments, advertising revenue and copyrights, and confiscating the property of Russians who fled. State Duma Vice Speaker Irina Yarovaya chairs the committee, and other members include Tolstoy and the chairs of the State Duma committees for Security and Anti-Corruption, State Building and Legislation, Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, and Culture. Measures that punish Russians abroad or foreign agents for criticizing the war in Ukraine also demonstrate to domestic audiences the range of punishments they may also suffer for airing their own criticisms.


Key Takeaways
The Kremlin is likely attempting to portray Russia as an equal defense partner with China ahead of Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfus visit to Moscow from April 16 to 18.
The Kremlin is likely hoping to make itself more attractive to China by launching Russian Pacific Fleet exercises to project Russias naval power in the Pacific.
The Kremlin also likely intends to use the Pacific Fleets combat readiness checks to attempt to deter further Japanese support for Ukraine ahead of the G7 meeting from May 19 to 21.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is setting information conditions to exploit a Russian military failure if the planned Ukrainian counteroffensive is successful.
Former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin denied speculations that he is facing charges in St. Petersburg for the discreditation of the Russian Armed Forces a denial that likely further indicates his protection by unknown siloviki patrons.
Russian elite forces are diluting their combat effectiveness with poorly trained mobilized personnel and volunteers due to high causalities sustained in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely host his annual June press conference in early June 2023.
The Russian State Duma is intensifying its efforts to censor of Russian cultural figures who fled Russia and criticize the war, likely aimed at encouraging domestic self-censorship.
Russian forces continued limited offensive operations in the Kreminna area as Ukrainian forces targeted rear areas in Luhansk Oblast.
Russian forces continued to advance in Bakhmut and conduct ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
Russian forces continue to endanger the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) amidst continued Russian efforts to establish control over the ZNPP.
The Kremlin reportedly continues to use private military companies (PMCs) and nationalist networks to support its force generation campaigns.
Russian security personnel continue to arrest Ukrainian citizens under allegations that they associate with claimed illegal formations.

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Ukrainische Offensive als Minenfeld

In den nchsten Wochen wird der Start einer ukrainischen Gegenoffensive erwartet, um von Russland besetztes Gebiet zurckzuerobern. Um einen raschen Vormarsch wie im letzten Herbst zu verhindern, hat die russische Armee riesige Gebiete vermint.

  

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Reporting from some Western sources that Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin called for Russia to end its war against Ukraine is inaccurate. Some Western reports covering Prigozhins April 14 essay on a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive and the future of the war miscontextualized a rhetorical statement in which Prigozhin established a strawman argument he attributed to Russias internal enemies who seek to rationalize Russia ending the war in Ukraine now. The point of his essay was to attack this strawman, not to advance it. Prigozhin actually called on Russia to commit to a decisive fight that will either defeat Ukraine or result in a temporary Russian defeat that will catalyze Russias nationalist rebirth and set conditions for future victory. A full reading of Prigozhins essay, titled, Only an Honest Fight: No Negotiations, does not lend itself to any reasonable interpretation that Prigozhin advocated for an end to Russias invasion of Ukraine.

Reading Prigozhins public communications is not a straightforward undertaking. Much of the nuance included in Prigozhins speech is lost when translating Russian to English. Prigozhin has an idiosyncratic rhetorical and writing style that relies heavily on deadpan sarcasm, selective ambiguity, aphorisms, vulgarity, and ironic slang. Prigozhins isolated quotes separated from the full context of his messages often lose their initial meaning.

Certain Russian players in the information space have also misinterpreted Prigozhins essay, further exposing fissures between some Russian milbloggers. Pro-Kremlin news aggregator Readovka noted on April 15 that some unspecified Russian-language Telegram channels like some Western media simply repeated Prigozhins strawman argument about the seduction of settling for negotiations without reading any further into Prigozhins call for a protracted struggle. Readovka endorsed Prigozhins actual argument that the uncomfortable truth is that Russia must continue to fight, concurring that negotiations to end the war would do more harm than good. Former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin an enemy of Prigozhin leaned into the misinterpretation of Prigozhins essay (possibly on purpose) as part of their ongoing blogging feud. Girkin sarcastically asked, Do I understand correctly that the Black Clown called for the Russian Federation to reject half of the Donetsk Peoples Republic and a third of Zaporizhia Oblast...? Girkin also implied that that Russian prosecutors should investigate Prigozhin for his essay, likely for discrediting the Russian special military operation, given that the strawman argument advocates that Russia should simply retain only territory it currently occupies in Ukraine. Prigozhins essay may continue to fuel debate along existing cleavages in the Russian information space where Prigozhins supporters and competitors may use selective readings of the essay to either praise or malign Prigozhin while advancing their own arguments.

Key Takeaways

Reporting from some Western sources that Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin called for Russia to end its war against Ukraine is inaccurate.
Certain Russian players in the information space have also misinterpreted Prigozhins essay, further exposing fissures between some Russian milbloggers.
The Russian information space is reckoning with demographic transitions within Russia in a way that indicates that the nationalist ideologies underpinning the war in Ukraine will continue to have reverberating domestic impacts.
Russian President Vladimir Putins United Russia party announced its intention to recruit Russian military personnel who have served in Ukraine as candidates for elections in 2023 and 2024, likely in an effort to establish itself as the definitive pro-war party in Russia.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks near Kreminna and may be preparing to defend territory in the Kupyansk direction.
Russian forces continued offensive operations in and around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City front.
Russian forces continued defensive operations in southern Ukraine.
A Russian opposition news source reported that Luhansk Peoples Republic (LNR) head Leonid Pasechnik signed a decree on April 14 authorizing spring and fall conscription in occupied Luhansk Oblast.
The Russian State Security Service (FSB) is likely involved in efforts to target Ukrainian youth in occupied territories for law enforcement and counter-partisan purposes.

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Ruland greift Ukraine an [Alle anzeigen] , Rang: Warren Buffett(3292), 14.1.24 00:51
 
Subject Auszeichnungen Author Message Date ID
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 07:52
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 08:46
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      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 09:06
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Bundeskanzler: Ukraine nher als Bregenz
24.2.22 08:43
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RE: Bundeskanzler: Ukraine nher als Bregenz
24.2.22 08:47
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      RE: Bundeskanzler: Ukraine nher als Bregenz
24.2.22 09:00
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Moscow has confirmed its targeting military facilities...
24.2.22 08:52
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 09:21
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine angut analysiert
24.2.22 09:48
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 10:24
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 17:26
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 18:14
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 18:22
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 11:20
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 11:15
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Nasdaq dreht ins Plus
24.2.22 17:17
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Kern, Schrder, Schssel
24.2.22 17:34
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RE: Kern, Schrder, Schssel
24.2.22 17:48
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RE: Kern, Schrder, Schssel
25.2.22 05:29
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Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlu
24.2.22 18:47
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RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlugut analysiert
24.2.22 20:11
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      RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlu
24.2.22 20:50
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      RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlu
24.2.22 21:03
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      RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlu
25.2.22 01:13
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      RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlu
25.2.22 06:31
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      RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschluinteressant
25.2.22 07:02
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      RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlu
25.2.22 06:58
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      RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlu
25.2.22 06:33
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      RE: Angeblich noch kein Swift-Ausschlu
25.2.22 10:23
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      The topic of the hour is SWIFT
25.2.22 11:48
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      RE: The topic of the hour is SWIFT
25.2.22 12:08
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
24.2.22 21:35
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EU einigt sich auf neue Russland-Sanktionen
25.2.22 06:50
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RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
25.2.22 12:26
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Go f*** yourself
25.2.22 12:41
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Ukraine bietet Neutralitt an
25.2.22 12:44
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Schweiz enttuschend
25.2.22 12:48
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Britain will cut off Russian banks from sterling market...
25.2.22 14:34
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RE: Britain will cut off Russian banks from sterling ma...
25.2.22 15:08
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Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 10:25
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RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 10:38
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 12:02
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 13:24
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 14:52
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 15:15
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 15:18
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 15:44
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 16:03
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 17:09
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 20:38
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 20:03
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 17:11
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 21:21
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      RE: Niederlande liefern 200 Stinger-Raketen an Ukraine
26.2.22 23:09
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Geheimdienste rtseln ber Taktik der russischen Armee
26.2.22 10:31
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RE: Geheimdienste rtseln ber Taktik der russischen Ar...
26.2.22 11:56
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Moskau befiehlt Armee Ausweitung der Ukraine-Offensive
26.2.22 17:11
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RE: Moskau befiehlt Armee Ausweitung der Ukraine-Offens...gut analysiert
26.2.22 18:32
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      USA: Militrischer Fortschritt der Russen langsamer als...
26.2.22 19:35
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Sobotka: Daheim bleiben und Land aufbauen
26.2.22 19:17
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Deutschland hat seine Eier gefundeninteressant
26.2.22 19:33
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RE: Deutschland hat seine Eier gefunden
26.2.22 20:12
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      RE: Deutschland hat seine Eier gefundengut analysiert
26.2.22 20:13
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      RE: Deutschland hat seine Eier gefunden
26.2.22 20:14
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USA und EU erwgen Ausschluss russischer Banken aus Swi...
26.2.22 20:28
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Youtube zahlt nix mehr fr die Russenkanle
26.2.22 23:11
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Chronologie eines Kampfes
27.2.22 11:12
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      RE: Chronologie eines Kampfes
27.2.22 11:38
68
Russische Banken aus SWIFT ausgeschlossen
27.2.22 09:57
69
Musk aktiviert Satelliten-Internetdienst
27.2.22 10:07
70
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 11:28
71
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 11:42
72
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 11:50
73
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 14:29
74
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 15:32
75
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 18:44
76
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 18:49
77
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 20:21
78
100 Mrd. Euro fr deutsche Bundeswehr
27.2.22 11:52
79
RE: 100 Mrd. Euro fr deutsche Bundeswehr
27.2.22 11:54
80
      RE: 100 Mrd. Euro fr deutsche Bundeswehr
27.2.22 11:55
81
      RE: 100 Mrd. Euro fr deutsche Bundeswehr
27.2.22 17:09
82
      RE: 100 Mrd. Euro fr deutsche Bundeswehr
27.2.22 20:03
83
      RE: 100 Mrd. Euro fr deutsche Bundeswehr
27.2.22 20:12
84
      RE: 100 Mrd. Euro ... Rheinmetall
28.2.22 13:03
85
      RE: Sanktionen seitens RUS
28.2.22 14:36
86
      RE: Sanktionen seitens RUS
28.2.22 14:39
87
      RE: 100 Mrd. Euro fr deutsche Bundeswehr
27.2.22 11:56
88
Karte
27.2.22 15:02
89
RE: Karte
27.2.22 17:15
90
Ukraine stimmt Verhandlungen mit Russland zu
27.2.22 15:08
91
wann wirft Putin die Atombombe?
27.2.22 18:26
92
RE: wann wirft Putin die Atombombe?
27.2.22 18:40
93
      RE: wann wirft Putin die Atombombe?
27.2.22 20:15
94
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
27.2.22 18:53
95
Russland: Ukraine kmpft unfair
27.2.22 20:30
96
Weltgrte Antonow zerstrt
27.2.22 20:50
97
RE: Weltgrte Antonow zerstrt
28.2.22 05:47
98
West Still Reluctant to Target Russia Energy on Economy...
28.2.22 06:42
99
EU setzt Sanktionen gegen russische Zentralbank in Kraf...
28.2.22 08:15
100
Russischer Vormarsch verlangsamt
28.2.22 10:08
101
Ukrainische Delegation zu Gesprchen mit Russland einge...
28.2.22 10:08
102
Russia Hikes Rates to Highest Since 2003 from 9,5 to 20...
28.2.22 10:52
103
Balten hngen am russischen Stromnetz?
28.2.22 12:20
104
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
28.2.22 15:25
105
Litauen wendet sich an Weltstrafgericht
28.2.22 15:39
106
Lettland erlaubt Brgern freiwilligen Kampfeinsatz
28.2.22 15:53
107
Dimitri Firtasch will die Ukraine verteidigen
28.2.22 16:19
108
Telefongesprch zwischen Macron und Putin
28.2.22 16:56
109
RE: Telefongesprch zwischen Macron und Putin
28.2.22 17:35
110
      RE: Telefongesprch zwischen Macron und Putin
01.3.22 12:19
111
Jodtabletten
28.2.22 17:37
112
RE: Jodtabletten
28.2.22 18:10
113
RE: Jodtabletten
28.2.22 18:12
114
RE: Jodtabletten
28.2.22 18:18
115
      RE: Jodtabletten
28.2.22 21:16
116
Gesprche vorbei werden fortgesetzt
28.2.22 17:50
117
RE: Gesprche vorbei werden fortgesetzt
28.2.22 18:15
118
      RE: Gesprche vorbei werden fortgesetzt
01.3.22 12:20
119
PUTIN'S COMMITTED ALMOST 75% OF PRESTAGED COMBAT FORCES...
28.2.22 18:44
120
GB: Logistikprobleme bei Vormarsch auf Kiew
01.3.22 09:05
121
Russische Wirtschaft bricht um ein Fnftel ein
01.3.22 09:17
122
Russische Notenbank bietet Banken interne Alternative z...
01.3.22 10:14
123
Aerosolbombe
01.3.22 12:22
124
Incentives fr Russen im Ukraine-Einsatz
01.3.22 14:27
125
Banks: Not so SWIFT in Russia
01.3.22 14:53
126
NEXT RUSSIA-UKRAINE MEETING TO TAKE PLACE MARCH 2: TASS
01.3.22 15:07
127
Ruland kauft Aktien
01.3.22 16:36
128
RE: Ruland kauft Aktien
01.3.22 16:37
129
      RE: Ruland kauft Aktien
01.3.22 16:38
130
      RE: Ruland kauft Aktien
01.3.22 16:58
131
      RE: Ruland kauft Aktien
01.3.22 22:37
132
l und Gold
01.3.22 17:11
133
RE: l und Gold
01.3.22 17:15
134
      RE: l und Gold
01.3.22 17:25
135
Putin nennt Bedingungen fr Beendigung des Konflikts
01.3.22 18:22
136
RE: Putin nennt Bedingungen fr Beendigung des Konflikt...
01.3.22 23:20
137
Warum Russland die ukrainischen Antonovs zerstrt hat
01.3.22 18:47
138
RE: Warum Russland die ukrainischen Antonovs zerstrt h...
01.3.22 19:08
139
      RE: Warum Russland die ukrainischen Antonovs zerstrt h...
01.3.22 19:41
140
Cyberwar auf die russische Art
01.3.22 20:38
141
EU Agrees to Ban Seven Russian Banks From SWIFT, Spare ...
01.3.22 21:22
142
russische truppen vor allem aus sibirien/fernost
02.3.22 00:11
143
Hndler meiden auch ohne Sanktionen russisches l
02.3.22 07:55
144
Russland kndigt neue Gesprche mit Ukraine an
02.3.22 12:01
145
Bundesheer: 18.000 Kampfhelme fr Soldaten, 10.000 fr ...
02.3.22 16:23
146
RE: Bundesheer: 18.000 Kampfhelme fr Soldaten, 10.000 ...
02.3.22 18:00
147
Immigranten als Fahrer usw. in russischen Versorgungstr...
02.3.22 18:03
148
Moskau: Bisher 498 russische Soldaten gettet
02.3.22 18:52
149
Kiew und Moskau verhandeln morgen weiter
02.3.22 18:53
150
China war informiert
02.3.22 22:31
151
Chinas Kohleimporte aus Russland stocken wegen Swift-Sa...
03.3.22 07:35
152
Polen prescht vor und will EU-Importstopp fr l, Gas, ...
03.3.22 08:24
153
30 Prozent Aufschlag auf Fremdwhrungen in Russland
03.3.22 08:43
154
DDR-Raketen fr die Ukraine
03.3.22 08:44
155
      RE: DDR-Raketen fr die Ukraine
05.3.22 16:49
156
      RE: DDR-Raketen fr die Ukraine
05.3.22 18:30
157
      RE: DDR-Raketen fr die Ukraine
10.3.22 12:46
158
Zweite Verhandlungsrunde am Nachmittaginteressant
03.3.22 15:42
159
Putin telefoniert mit Macron
03.3.22 15:43
160
      RE: Putin telefoniert mit Macron
03.3.22 18:16
161
      RE: Putin telefoniert mit Macron
04.3.22 07:38
162
Einigung auf humanitre Korridore
03.3.22 22:38
163
Wie Putins Oligarchen die Launen des Kreml-Chefs finanz...
04.3.22 08:52
164
Prognose: Russische Wirtschaft schrumpft um 35 Prozent
04.3.22 10:23
165
RE: Prognose: Russische Wirtschaft schrumpft um 35 Proz...
04.3.22 10:34
166
Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehungen au...
04.3.22 12:35
167
RE: Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehunge...
04.3.22 12:39
168
RE: Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehunge...
04.3.22 12:48
169
RE: Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehunge...
04.3.22 23:07
170
RE: Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehunge...
05.3.22 10:50
171
RE: Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehunge...
05.3.22 10:53
172
RE: Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehunge...
05.3.22 10:59
173
RE: Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehunge...
04.3.22 13:58
174
      RE: Putin ruft Ausland zu Normalisierung der Beziehunge...gut analysiert
04.3.22 14:10
175
k.u.k. Ukraine
04.3.22 15:38
176
RE: k.u.k. Ukraine
04.3.22 20:06
177
Scholz - Putin
04.3.22 16:29
178
Moskau: Feuerpause fr zwei Stdte
05.3.22 10:54
179
GB: Russischer Beschuss weniger geworden
05.3.22 10:56
180
Mariupol: Russen brechen Waffenruhe
05.3.22 12:23
181
Moskau bt scharfe Kritik an sterreich
05.3.22 19:22
182
RE: Moskau bt scharfe Kritik an sterreich
05.3.22 20:25
183
      RE: Moskau bt scharfe Kritik an sterreich
06.3.22 08:57
184
      RE: Moskau bt scharfe Kritik an sterreich
06.3.22 10:29
185
      RE: Moskau bt scharfe Kritik an sterreich
06.3.22 10:32
186
Neue Verhandlungen fr Montag geplant
05.3.22 19:31
187
Tooze: "Wir fhren einen Wirtschaftskrieg gegen Russlan...
05.3.22 19:52
188
RE: Tooze:
05.3.22 19:58
189
      Cheap Chinese tires blamed for Russian convoy unable to...
06.3.22 10:48
190
      RE: Cheap Chinese tires blamed for Russian convoy unabl...
06.3.22 11:22
191
Bedingungen wiederholt
05.3.22 21:18
192
Selenskyj dankt Elon Musk fr Untersttzung
06.3.22 10:53
193
Macron Asks French Companies to Remain in Russia
06.3.22 11:03
194
Nordkorea mobilisiert seine Armee
06.3.22 12:30
195
Putin-Erdogan
06.3.22 13:46
196
RE: Putin-Erdogan
06.3.22 15:08
197
      Psyche von Wladimir Putin
06.3.22 15:07
198
      RE: Psyche von Wladimir Putin
06.3.22 15:31
199
      RE: Psyche von Wladimir Putin
06.3.22 15:40
200
      RE: Psyche von Wladimir Putin
06.3.22 16:16
201
      RE: Psyche von Wladimir Putin
06.3.22 17:03
202
      RE: Psyche von Wladimir Putin
06.3.22 16:25
203
Wie zwei Mnner zu Todfeinden wurden
06.3.22 17:58
204
RE: Wie zwei Mnner zu Todfeinden wurden
06.3.22 18:49
205
Macron: Putin will Ziele um jeden Preis erreichen
06.3.22 22:10
206
RE: Macron: Putin will Ziele um jeden Preis erreichen
07.3.22 12:10
207
      RE: Macron: Putin will Ziele um jeden Preis erreichen
07.3.22 12:11
208
      RE: Macron: Putin will Ziele um jeden Preis erreichen
07.3.22 12:24
209
      RE: Macron: Putin will Ziele um jeden Preis erreichen
07.3.22 12:57
210
Treffen Lawrow Kuleba geplant
07.3.22 14:20
211
Moskau macht Bndnisfreiheit der Ukraine zu Bedingung
07.3.22 14:23
212
Gazprom Is Said to Make $1.3 Billion Debt Payment in Do...
07.3.22 18:46
213
RE: Gazprom Is Said to Make $1.3 Billion Debt Payment i...
07.3.22 20:09
214
      sterreicher haben fast 1 MRD Euro in Russischen Aktien...
07.3.22 23:07
215
USA: Fast alle mobilisierten Soldaten Russlands im Eins...
08.3.22 06:56
216
Bericht: Internationale Legion bei Kiew im Einsatz
08.3.22 08:49
217
RE: Bericht: Internationale Legion bei Kiew im Einsat...
08.3.22 12:41
218
Geheimer FSB-Bericht zu Putins Krieg? "Bis zum Hals in ...
08.3.22 09:40
219
Selenski zu Dialog ber Donbass und Krim bereit
08.3.22 12:33
220
China denkt daran sich bei russischen Rohstoffunternehm...
08.3.22 12:43
221
RE: China denkt daran sich bei russischen Rohstoffunter...witzig
08.3.22 12:45
222
Biden Set to Ban U.S. Imports of Russian Oil as Soon as...
08.3.22 14:28
223
+++ USA verhngen Energieembargo +++
08.3.22 14:47
224
RE: Biden Set to Ban U.S. Imports of Russian Oil as Soo...
08.3.22 14:50
225
EU-Plan zu Unabhngigkeit von russischem Gas prsentier...
08.3.22 16:24
226
RE: EU-Plan zu Unabhngigkeit von russischem Gas prsen...
08.3.22 17:47
227
Selenski-Partei: Sicherheitsgarantien statt NATO-Beitri...
08.3.22 19:06
228
US estimates Russian military has lost 8% to 10% of mil...
09.3.22 07:09
229
Zweifel an militrischer Strke Russlands
09.3.22 11:39
230
RE: Zweifel an militrischer Strke Russlands
09.3.22 12:22
231
RE: Zweifel an militrischer Strke Russlands
09.3.22 13:18
232
RE: Zweifel an militrischer Strke Russlands
09.3.22 14:06
233
RE: Zweifel an militrischer Strke Russlands
09.3.22 17:34
234
RE: Zweifel an militrischer Strke Russlands
09.3.22 17:37
235
RE: Zweifel an militrischer Strke Russlands
09.3.22 19:46
236
RE: Zweifel an militrischer Strke Russlands
09.3.22 16:35
237
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine aninteressant
09.3.22 12:18
238
Russia says 'some progress' being made in talks with U...
09.3.22 12:50
239
Kein Strom in Tschernobyl
09.3.22 13:11
240
IAEA: Stromausfall in Tschernobyl kein kritisches Probl...
09.3.22 15:18
241
      RE: IAEA: Stromausfall in Tschernobyl kein kritisches P...
09.3.22 17:29
242
"Wenn die Ukraine bei dir ist, fhlst du dich sicher"
09.3.22 19:17
243
RE:
09.3.22 19:35
244
Zelenskiyrepeated hes willing to consider some compr...
09.3.22 20:53
245
USA erteilen polnischem Kampfjet-Vorschlag Absage
10.3.22 08:17
246
Germany Is Stalling EU Efforts to Broaden Russias SWIF...
09.3.22 21:22
247
KREMLIN: TURKEY MEETING MAY OPEN WAY TO PUTIN-ZELENSKIY...
10.3.22 10:15
248
RE: KREMLIN: TURKEY MEETING MAY OPEN WAY TO PUTIN-ZELEN...
10.3.22 10:25
249
      RE: KREMLIN: TURKEY MEETING MAY OPEN WAY TO PUTIN-ZELEN...
10.3.22 10:58
250
      RE: KREMLIN: TURKEY MEETING MAY OPEN WAY TO PUTIN-ZELEN...
10.3.22 11:06
251
Kuleba: Kein Fortschritt bei Gesprchen zu Waffenruhe
10.3.22 11:09
252
Z-Fanuniform
10.3.22 12:41
253
Russland stoppt Ausfuhr zahlreicher Gter
10.3.22 14:04
254
Lawrow: Putin nicht gegen Treffen mit Selenski
10.3.22 14:05
255
Gerhard Schrder ist in Moskau um Putin zu treffen
10.3.22 15:10
256
Enteignung
10.3.22 15:35
257
PUTIN: CERTAIN POSITIVE SHIFTS IN TALKS WITH UKRAINE: I...
11.3.22 12:25
258
RE: PUTIN: CERTAIN POSITIVE SHIFTS IN TALKS WITH UKRAIN...
11.3.22 13:26
259
      Vergleich Militrhilfe EU: Ukraine/Russland
11.3.22 14:06
260
      RE: Vergleich Militrhilfe EU: Ukraine/Russland
11.3.22 14:58
261
      RE: Vergleich Militrhilfe EU: Ukraine/Russland
11.3.22 16:33
262
Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
11.3.22 15:12
263
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
11.3.22 16:51
264
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
12.3.22 07:02
265
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
12.3.22 09:37
266
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
12.3.22 21:13
267
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
12.3.22 10:22
268
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlangegut analysiert
12.3.22 11:18
269
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
12.3.22 21:10
270
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
13.3.22 22:01
271
RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
12.3.22 19:06
272
      RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
13.3.22 08:18
273
      RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
13.3.22 10:28
274
      RE: Mnze sterreich - Leute stehen Schlange
13.3.22 10:42
275
USA: Ukrainische Luftabwehr effektiv
11.3.22 20:38
276
Continuous Video Talks Under Way With Russia
12.3.22 19:50
277
Selenski berichtet von Fortschritten bei Verhandlungen
12.3.22 19:51
278
In Ruland investieren - aber wie?
13.3.22 08:24
279
RE: In Ruland investieren - aber wie?
13.3.22 10:26
280
Kiew: 1.300 ukrainische Soldaten gestorben
13.3.22 10:29
281
Quislinge gibts immer
13.3.22 10:32
282
China?
13.3.22 22:03
283
RE: China?
13.3.22 22:09
284
      Chinesisches Dementi in zweitem Anlauf
14.3.22 06:18
285
Deutschland will 35 F-35 kaufen
14.3.22 07:40
286
Russland und Ukraine setzen Gesprche fort
14.3.22 11:32
287
EU MULLS RUSSIA EXPORT BAN ON CARS VALUED OVER EU50,000
14.3.22 15:39
288
Gesprche Kiew Moskau bis morgen unterbrochen
14.3.22 16:01
289
Gesprche mit Russland: Ukraine will Sicherheitsgaranti...
15.3.22 06:33
290
Prsidentenberater: Krieg noch bis Mai
15.3.22 07:00
291
Gesprche gestern ziemlich gut?
15.3.22 08:38
292
Die tiefste U-Bahnstation der Welt ist in Kiew
15.3.22 09:32
293
Mehrere Regierungschefs reisen nach Kiew
15.3.22 09:44
294
Niinist: Putin geht es nicht um Regierungswechsel
15.3.22 12:00
295
Selenski verzichtet vorerst auf NATO-Mitgliedschaft
15.3.22 15:04
296
Gesprche mit Moskau: Kiew ortet realistischere Posit...
16.3.22 06:22
297
Lavrov - hope is there for compromise
16.3.22 09:30
298
RE: Lavrov - hope is there for compromise
16.3.22 09:38
299
      Russia calling in reinforcements, UK says
16.3.22 10:14
300
      RE: Russia calling in reinforcements, UK says
16.3.22 10:28
301
      RE: Russia calling in reinforcements, UK says
16.3.22 11:13
302
      RE: Russia calling in reinforcements, UK says
16.3.22 11:47
303
reml: Neutralitt der Ukraine als Kompromiss
16.3.22 11:32
304
Ukraine rejects proposals of Austria, Sweden neutraliy ...
16.3.22 13:42
305
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
16.3.22 15:31
306
Vorbereitungen fr Selenski-Putin-Treffen
16.3.22 17:06
307
Autsch, USundA ......
16.3.22 18:35
308
RE: Autsch, USundA ......
16.3.22 19:57
309
London: Russische Offensive ins Stocken geraten
17.3.22 08:58
310
Schwarzeneggerinteressant
17.3.22 15:33
311
S&P 500 hher als vor Angriff
18.3.22 12:18
312
Moskau: Fortschritte bei Verhandlungen
18.3.22 17:28
313
RE: Moskau: Fortschritte bei Verhandlungen
19.3.22 11:45
314
Moskau gibt Einsatz von Hyperschallraketen bekannt
19.3.22 10:06
315
RE: Moskau gibt Einsatz von Hyperschallraketen bekannt
19.3.22 10:10
316
Ifo-Chef Fuest warnt vor "Nordkoreanisierung" Russlands
19.3.22 10:30
317
Bahnverbindung Ukraine Belarus unterbrochen
20.3.22 09:33
318
Otto Habsburg warnte 2005:
20.3.22 11:58
319
Trkei berichtet von Annherung und hofft auf Waffenruh...
20.3.22 12:26
320
Trkei: Verhandlungen Moskau Kiew kurz vor Einigung
20.3.22 18:32
321
Keine Fortschritte bei Gesprchen Kiew Moskau
21.3.22 11:29
322
Selenski: Referendum ber jeden Kompromiss
21.3.22 21:12
323
Russische Zeitung nennt hohe Opferzahl
22.3.22 07:06
324
RE: Russische Zeitung nennt hohe Opferzahl
22.3.22 08:40
325
Ukraine meldet Rckeroberung Makariws
22.3.22 09:29
326
Kiew: Kmpfe knnten in zwei, drei Wochen enden
22.3.22 10:25
327
Ruland zahlt wieder Zinsen
23.3.22 06:20
328
Schritt fr Schritt: Selenkski ber Verhandlungen
23.3.22 08:03
329
Emmanuel Macron's government hasbacked the French carm...
23.3.22 08:16
330
Gas muss in Rubel bezahlt werden
23.3.22 15:34
331
Russia Exploits Two Big Holes in Financial Sanctions
24.3.22 06:20
332
Moskauer Brse nimmt Handel wieder auf
24.3.22 07:15
333
Ukraine: Russische Einheiten nahe Kiew zurckgedrngt
24.3.22 16:12
334
London berichtet ber ukrainische Gegenangriffe
25.3.22 06:35
335
Gesprche zwischen Kiew und Moskau weiter schwierig
26.3.22 10:21
336
Moskauer Brse lsst Handel mit allen russischen Aktien...
26.3.22 16:31
337
Energieembargo voraus?
27.3.22 17:26
338
      RE: Energieembargo voraus?
27.3.22 21:50
339
      RE: Energieembargo voraus?
28.3.22 09:04
340
      RE: Energieembargo voraus?
28.3.22 09:08
341
      RE: Energieembargo voraus?
28.3.22 09:14
342
      RE: Energieembargo voraus?interessantinteressant
28.3.22 15:06
343
      RE: Energieembargo voraus?
28.3.22 15:44
344
      RE: Energieembargo voraus?
28.3.22 18:19
345
      Scholz erteilt Forderung nach Gasimportstopp Absage
29.3.22 06:27
346
Donbass: Selenski fr Kompromiss mit Russland
27.3.22 21:40
347
Ukraine kauft 5.100 Panzerabwehrwaffen in Deutschland
27.3.22 21:56
348
RE: Ukraine kauft 5.100 Panzerabwehrwaffen in Deutschla...
27.3.22 21:56
349
Brgermeister: Ukrainische Truppen erobern Irpin zurck
28.3.22 20:56
350
Russland will Erdl nach Asien statt nach Europa liefer...
29.3.22 07:28
351
Indonesien erwgt Kauf russischen ls
29.3.22 09:06
352
UKRAINE'S PODOLYAK SAYS DISCUSSING CEASE-FIRE
29.3.22 11:18
353
Durchbruch?
29.3.22 14:01
354
Erstmals Details zu ukrainischen Vorschlgen
29.3.22 15:18
355
Hong Kong Style Lease
29.3.22 17:32
356
Russischer Rubel erholt sich weiter
30.3.22 07:51
357
Rasputiza steht bevor
30.3.22 08:22
358
RE: Rasputiza steht bevor
30.3.22 08:25
359
Gasstreit: Deutschland ruft Frhwarnstufe aus
30.3.22 09:03
360
Moskau: Gas muss nicht sofort in Rubel bezahlt werden
30.3.22 13:06
361
      RE: Moskau: Gas muss nicht sofort in Rubel bezahlt werd...
30.3.22 16:09
362
Russland: Ukraine knnte auf Kernforderungen eingehen
30.3.22 16:09
363
Putin wird von Beratern in die Irre gefhrt
30.3.22 17:07
364
Deutschland wird gegen Russland in den Krieg ziehen
30.3.22 17:40
365
RE: Deutschland wird gegen Russland in den Krieg ziehen
30.3.22 18:49
366
RE: Deutschland wird gegen Russland in den Krieg ziehen
30.3.22 20:21
367
      RE: Deutschland wird gegen Russland in den Krieg ziehengut analysiert
30.3.22 20:37
368
      RE: Deutschland wird gegen Russland in den Krieg ziehen
30.3.22 21:00
369
      RE: Deutschland wird gegen Russland in den Krieg ziehen
30.3.22 21:05
370
Putin sichert Scholz Euro-Zahlungen fr russisches Gas ...
31.3.22 07:43
371
RE: Putin sichert Scholz Euro-Zahlungen fr russisches ...
31.3.22 13:06
372
      Draghi: Putin sieht Zeit fr Waffenruhe noch nicht geko...
31.3.22 13:17
373
      Ukraine: Rstungsindustrie fast vollstndig zerstrt
31.3.22 13:29
374
      Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 15:41
375
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 15:49
376
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 17:05
377
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 17:17
378
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 17:38
379
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 19:02
380
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 19:43
381
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
01.4.22 11:46
382
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
01.4.22 15:07
383
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
02.4.22 08:48
384
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
02.4.22 10:51
385
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
02.4.22 11:26
386
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
02.4.22 11:31
387
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
02.4.22 11:50
388
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 19:43
389
      RE: Putin: Gas muss ab morgen in Rubel bezahlt werden
31.3.22 19:48
390
Russians Embrace Putins Ukraine War as Kremlin Muzzles...
01.4.22 08:13
391
Indien kauft Erdl in Russland mit hohem Rabatt
01.4.22 08:36
392
Ukraine knnte wegen Krieg die Hlfte ihrer Ernte einb...
01.4.22 08:50
393
Kiew: Schneller Rckzug der russischen Truppen im Nor...
02.4.22 14:45
394
Realsatire
02.4.22 19:07
395
RE: Realsatire
02.4.22 23:27
396
RE: Realsatire
03.4.22 07:38
397
      RE: Realsatire
03.4.22 10:25
398
      RE: Realsatire
03.4.22 11:51
399
Ukraine: Region Kiew vom Feind befreit
03.4.22 10:42
400
Rubel zurck auf Vorkriegsniveau
03.4.22 14:42
401
Bucha / Butscha
03.4.22 18:33
402
RE: Bucha / Butscha
03.4.22 18:34
403
Deutsche Verteidigungsministerin bringt Gasstopp ins Sp...
03.4.22 18:35
404
      persnlicher Gasstopp
03.4.22 18:59
405
      RE: persnlicher Gasstopp
03.4.22 23:33
406
      RE: persnlicher Gasstopp
04.4.22 09:44
407
      RE: Deutsche Verteidigungsministerin bringt Gasstopp in...
03.4.22 22:04
408
      RE: Deutsche Verteidigungsministerin bringt Gasstopp in...
03.4.22 22:13
409
Sanktionen schaden Russlands Wirtschaft bisher weniger ...
03.4.22 18:56
410
RE: Sanktionen schaden Russlands Wirtschaft bisher weni...
03.4.22 23:36
411
Abhngigkeit von Russland ist hoch, nicht nur bei Erdga...
04.4.22 08:19
412
64. motorisierte Schtzenbrigade
05.4.22 11:55
413
Warten auf schlimmere Kriegsverbrechen
05.4.22 11:58
414
Moskau verhandelt mit Kiew in Videoformat weiter
05.4.22 13:12
415
Putin droht Europern wegen "Druck auf Gazprom" mit Ver...
06.4.22 06:30
416
Russische Kohle hat geringen Anteil am Kohlebedarf der ...
06.4.22 07:09
417
Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 15:14
418
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 16:22
419
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 16:25
420
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 17:07
421
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 17:10
422
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 19:15
423
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
07.4.22 07:41
424
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 20:13
425
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
07.4.22 10:57
426
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 16:46
427
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 16:54
428
      RE: Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
06.4.22 16:29
429
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
06.4.22 21:41
430
Kohle, Erdl, Uran, Kaviar und Wodka: Lange Liste an EU...
07.4.22 08:56
431
Russian Coal and Oil Paid for in Yuan to Start Flowing ...
07.4.22 10:11
432
Russia Sidesteps Sanctions to Supply Energy to Willing ...
07.4.22 15:46
433
Russland rumt bedeutende Verluste ein
08.4.22 06:25
434
EU billigt neue Russland-Sanktionen samt Kohleembargo
08.4.22 06:31
435
Auch russisches Erdl steht wohl vor dem Aus
08.4.22 11:54
436
Nehammer reist am Montag zu Putin
10.4.22 18:38
437
RE: Nehammer reist am Montag zu Putin
10.4.22 18:45
438
RE: Nehammer zu Putin @byronwien
10.4.22 19:11
439
      RE: Nehammer zu Putin @byronwien
11.4.22 06:49
440
      RE: Nehammer zu Putin @byronwien
11.4.22 07:01
441
      RE: Nehammer zu Putin @byronwien
11.4.22 07:18
442
      RE: Nehammer zu Putin @byronwien
11.4.22 11:19
443
      RE: Nehammer zu Putin @byronwien
13.4.22 07:21
444
The Central Bank of Russia cut its key policy rate by -...
11.4.22 09:29
445
RE: The Central Bank of Russia cut its key policy rate ...
11.4.22 09:33
446
Preisanstieg bei Grundnahrungsmitteln in Russland
12.4.22 19:24
447
RE: Preisanstieg bei Grundnahrungsmitteln in Russland
12.4.22 22:27
448
Ukraine sucht Sponsoren fr Kampfflugzeuge
13.4.22 23:20
449
Russisches Flaggschiff schwer beschdigt
14.4.22 06:56
450
Obi verschenkt russische Filialen
14.4.22 09:49
451
Neptun
14.4.22 11:01
452
Zentralbank: Russische Auslandsschulden um 26,5 Mrd. Do...
14.4.22 11:57
453
Moskwa gesunken
15.4.22 07:10
454
RE: Moskwa gesunken
15.4.22 21:16
455
      RE: Moskwa gesunken
15.4.22 23:23
456
kommt 2022 Hungersnot?
15.4.22 23:28
457
Am Pranger: Welche sterreichischen Unternehmen Russlan...
18.4.22 10:56
458
RE: Am Pranger: Welche sterreichischen Unternehmen Rus...interessantinteressant
18.4.22 11:52
459
Kiew: Russische Offensive im Osten begonnen
18.4.22 19:29
460
Putin zeichnet in Butscha stationierte Brigade aus
18.4.22 19:50
461
Ukraine: 30 Prozent von Inkrastruktur des Landes zerst...
19.4.22 06:53
462
Die Regeln des Krieges
19.4.22 14:52
463
Continental is back
19.4.22 19:56
464
Russia Defies Most Dire Economic Forecasts Despite Loom...
19.4.22 21:09
465
RE: Russia Defies Most Dire Economic Forecasts Despite ...
19.4.22 22:25
466
Kremlin Insiders Alarmed Over Growing Toll of Putins W...
20.4.22 09:13
467
Kreml: Angebot fr Verhandlungen an Ukraine bergeben
20.4.22 14:04
468
Selenskyj: Wei nichts von russischem Dokument
20.4.22 20:16
469
Russian Inflation Is Back to Pre-War Level as Worst App...
20.4.22 20:21
470
RE:Kiew: Grooffensive steht noch bevor
21.4.22 07:35
471
Moskau schlgt UNO-Vetomchte als Kiews Garanten vor
21.4.22 08:06
472
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
22.4.22 19:38
473
Wie sterreicher ihre Unternehmen in der Ukraine am Leb...
23.4.22 07:55
474
UK Intelligence Update
23.4.22 15:04
475
Kiew: Kmpfe knnten Gasfluss in EU stark einschrnken
23.4.22 18:39
476
Schwere Waffen: Erste Erfolge fr Selenskyj
24.4.22 09:22
477
A bad army was ordered to do something stupid.
24.4.22 10:22
478
London: Ukraine wehrt zahlreiche russische Angriffe ab
24.4.22 10:55
479
GB: 15.000 russische Militrangehrige gefallen
25.4.22 18:00
480
Swedish and Finnish policy makers have agreed to seek e...
25.4.22 19:23
481
UK Intelligence Update
26.4.22 08:53
482
Russland dreht Polen und Bulgarien Gashahn zu
27.4.22 06:46
483
RE: Russland dreht Polen Gashahn zu - Verwirrung
27.4.22 07:50
484
      RE: Russland dreht Polen Gashahn zu - Verwirrung
27.4.22 07:52
485
Blatt knnte sich fr Ukraine wenden
27.4.22 06:58
486
WIIW: Teilweiser Gas-Lieferstopp ist
28.4.22 07:15
487
Ukraines Forces Get Boost From Arsenal of Old-Fashione...
28.4.22 21:47
488
Die Ukraine wre bereit, im Austausch gegen echte Garan...
29.4.22 06:57
489
IAEA: Strahlung bei Tschernobyl keine Gefahr
29.4.22 07:04
490
Putin erwgt Kopplung des Rubel an Gold
30.4.22 15:49
491
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
01.5.22 15:44
492
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
01.5.22 15:46
493
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
01.5.22 16:24
494
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
01.5.22 17:20
495
Putins Raubzug in der Ukraine
01.5.22 20:11
496
London sieht erhebliche russische Verluste
02.5.22 10:40
497
EU berarbeitet Russlands lsanktionsplan
06.5.22 09:46
498
Ach Deutschland
06.5.22 09:56
499
UK Intelligence Update
07.5.22 11:18
500
UK Intelligence Update
09.5.22 11:57
501
Leoni liefert wieder Kabelbume aus der Ukraine
13.5.22 06:18
502
Kiew: Russland bei Charkiw auf Rckzug
14.5.22 14:03
503
London: Russen haben ein Drittel verloren
15.5.22 13:42
504
Ukraines Allies Are Blundering Their Handling of Putin
15.5.22 17:58
505
USA: Neue Haubitzen an Front
15.5.22 21:05
506
RE: USA: Neue Haubitzen an Front
15.5.22 21:08
507
sia Current Account Surplus Jumps to Record Despite San...
16.5.22 19:19
508
Borrell: Russland mit beeindruckenden Verlusten
17.5.22 21:48
509
Der Rubel wird immer strker: Wie Putin die Whrung man...
18.5.22 07:04
510
Putins neue Laserwaffe soll Ziel in Sekunden verbrennen
19.5.22 16:06
511
      RE: Putins neue Laserwaffe soll Ziel in Sekunden verbre...
19.5.22 16:54
512
      RE: Putins neue Laserwaffe soll Ziel in Sekunden verbre...
19.5.22 19:15
513
      RE: Putins neue Laserwaffe soll Ziel in Sekunden verbre...
19.5.22 21:52
514
Ruland soll zahlen
21.5.22 19:08
515
UK Intelligence Update
23.5.22 10:29
516
Selenskyj rumt hohe Verluste im Osten ein
23.5.22 10:52
517
Ukraine Urges Musks Starlink to Keep Helping Alongside...
24.5.22 06:36
518
UK Intelligence Update
26.5.22 11:31
519
Westen wird Russland mit Sanktionen nicht stoppen
27.5.22 07:32
520
UK Intelligence Update
28.5.22 14:40
521
Verheerende russische Verluste bei Offizieren
30.5.22 10:06
522
Vormarsch um hohen Preis
03.6.22 09:16
523
Entwicklung seit Februar
03.6.22 15:18
524
Russland erwartet hhere Einnahmen aus lexport
03.6.22 17:13
525
Gleiche Verluste
04.6.22 12:10
526
UK Intelligence Update
05.6.22 10:42
527
Moskaus praller Staatsfonds
07.6.22 11:30
528
Verluste 1 zu 10?
10.6.22 10:25
529
UK Intelligence Update
13.6.22 15:22
530
UK Intelligence Update
15.6.22 11:46
531
Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger - Wir haben Blut an de...
15.6.22 16:36
532
      Gazprom liefert 40 Prozent weniger Gas ber Nord Stream
15.6.22 16:35
533
      Russian gas flows to Europe fall further amid diplomati...
16.6.22 10:22
534
      RE: Russian gas flows to Europe fall further amid diplo...
16.6.22 10:40
535
      RE: Russian gas flows to Europe fall further amid diplo...
16.6.22 11:07
536
London: Kiew konnte Truppen aus Sjewjerodonzek wohl abz...
16.6.22 10:31
537
Kiew: Hohe materielle Verluste der Armee
18.6.22 09:36
538
Kiew: Neue Verhandlungen mit Russland erst im August
18.6.22 16:09
539
UK Intelligence Update
22.6.22 10:39
540
Ukraine bietet Deutschland Lieferung von Atomstrom an
25.6.22 17:55
541
RE: Ukraine bietet Deutschland Lieferung von Atomstrom ...
02.2.23 21:59
542
Russland macht Schritt in Richtung Kriegswirtschaft
05.7.22 14:12
543
Wem schaden die Sanktionen mehr: Uns oder Russland?
18.7.22 07:41
544
London: Russland geht bald die Luft aus
22.7.22 06:51
545
Russen eingekesselt?
23.7.22 11:35
546
Die Sanktionen wirken besser als man glaubt interessantinteressantinteressant
28.7.22 10:26
547
RE: Die Sanktionen wirken besser als man glaubt
28.7.22 13:17
548
RE: Ukraine 2.0?
30.7.22 18:54
549
RE: Ukraine 2.0?
01.8.22 18:56
550
      RE: Ukraine 2.0?
01.8.22 19:55
551
      Taiwan
02.8.22 12:11
552
      RE: Taiwan
02.8.22 13:40
553
      RE: Taiwan
02.8.22 13:46
554
      RE: Taiwan
02.8.22 14:05
555
      RE: Taiwan
02.8.22 14:45
556
      RE: Taiwan
02.8.22 15:59
557
      RE: Taiwan
02.8.22 16:06
558
Durchschlagende Wirkung
11.8.22 10:44
559
RE: Durchschlagende Wirkung
11.8.22 11:12
560
      RE: Durchschlagende Wirkung
11.8.22 11:17
561
Russia Industry Surprises With Small Drop as Economy Ad...
24.8.22 20:32
562
Kiew meldet Frontdurchbruch in Sdukraine
29.8.22 14:26
563
Erfolg mit improvisierten Waffensystemen
03.9.22 08:16
564
Studie: Moskaus Energieeinnahmen hher als Kriegskosten
06.9.22 07:27
565
RE: Studie: Moskaus Energieeinnahmen hher als Kriegsko...
06.9.22 08:00
566
Ukraine bekennt sich zu Angriffen auf Krim
07.9.22 20:05
567
RE: Ukraine bekennt sich zu Angriffen auf Krimgut analysiert
07.9.22 20:47
568
Ukraine meldet Rckeroberung von Stadt Balaklija
09.9.22 07:32
569
Ukraine meldet Rckeroberung von Kupjansk
10.9.22 17:37
570
Der Sieger heit
13.9.22 08:31
571
RE: Der Sieger heit
13.9.22 08:41
572
      RE: Der Sieger heit
13.9.22 08:59
573
      RE: Der Sieger heit
13.9.22 09:32
574
      RE: Der Sieger heit
13.9.22 09:36
575
Ukrainische Soldaten werfen Granaten mit Flugblttern
13.9.22 15:33
576
RE: Ukrainische Soldaten werfen Granaten mit Flugbltte...
13.9.22 15:30
577
Ruland CDS mit 56,125% Recovery gesettled
16.9.22 20:18
578
Angeblich Brckenkopf
19.9.22 08:33
579
London: Russische Luftwaffe zunehmend unter Druck
19.9.22 11:46
580
Ukraine meldet weiteren Vormarsch in Luhansk
20.9.22 10:25
581
Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
20.9.22 17:04
582
RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
20.9.22 18:25
583
RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
20.9.22 17:36
584
      RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
20.9.22 20:07
585
      RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
20.9.22 20:27
586
      RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
20.9.22 21:15
587
      RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
21.9.22 08:42
588
      RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
21.9.22 09:48
589
      RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
21.9.22 10:24
590
      RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
21.9.22 12:35
591
      RE: Russland plant Annexionsreferenden
21.9.22 12:45
592
Putin kndigt Teilmobilmachung an
21.9.22 08:56
593
Mobilmachung schrnkt Reisefreiheit der Russen ein
21.9.22 16:03
594
China genervt?
21.9.22 16:03
595
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
23.9.22 20:05
596
RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
23.9.22 22:42
597
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine aninteressant
25.9.22 16:32
598
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
25.9.22 19:36
599
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
25.9.22 19:48
600
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
25.9.22 21:29
601
      RE: Ruland greift Ukraine an
26.9.22 19:32
602
Russischen Truppen droht Einkesselung bei Lyman in Ostu...
28.9.22 19:06
603
Putins Ansprache
30.9.22 15:09
604
RE: Putins Ansprache
30.9.22 15:15
605
      RE: Putins Ansprache
30.9.22 15:17
606
      RE: Putins Ansprache
30.9.22 23:18
607
      RE: Putins Ansprache: zu Nordstream
01.10.22 10:56
608
Kessel fast geschlossen
01.10.22 08:19
609
RE: Kessel fast geschlossen
01.10.22 10:52
610
      Tausende Russen bei Lyman eingekesselt
01.10.22 16:23
611
      RE: Tausende Russen bei Lyman eingekesselt
01.10.22 18:40
612
      Putin ordnete Lyman-Rckzug selbst an
02.10.22 13:20
613
      RE: Putin ordnete Lyman-Rckzug selbst an
02.10.22 14:20
614
      RE: Putin ordnete Lyman-Rckzug selbst an
02.10.22 17:08
615
      RE: Tausende Russen bei Lyman entkommen
03.10.22 00:38
616
Ukraine an zwei Fronten auf dem Vormarsch
04.10.22 17:37
617
How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end?
07.10.22 18:10
618
RE: How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end?
07.10.22 18:24
619
      RE: How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end?
07.10.22 19:06
620
      RE: How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end?
07.10.22 19:31
621
      RE: How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end?
09.10.22 01:02
622
      RE: How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end?
09.10.22 11:12
623
      RE: How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end?
09.10.22 19:16
624
      RE: How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end?
09.10.22 19:26
625
Autobombe beschdigt Krim-Brcke schwer
08.10.22 09:59
626
RE: Autobombe beschdigt Krim-Brcke schwer
08.10.22 10:27
627
RE: Autobombe beschdigt Krim-Brcke schwer
08.10.22 11:01
628
RE: Autobombe beschdigt Krim-Brcke schwer
08.10.22 15:10
629
RE: Autobombe beschdigt Krim-Brcke schwerinteressant
08.10.22 15:19
630
RE: Autobombe beschdigt Krim-Brcke schwer
08.10.22 20:29
631
Krim-Brcke fr Verkehr teils wieder offen
09.10.22 08:01
632
      RE: Krim-Brcke fr Verkehr teils wieder offen
09.10.22 13:05
633
      RE: Krim-Brcke fr Verkehr teils wieder offen
13.10.22 09:55
634
      RE: Krim-Brcke fr Verkehr teils wieder offen
13.10.22 11:56
635
      RE: Krim-Brcke fr Verkehr teils wieder offen
13.10.22 14:27
636
      RE: Krim-Brcke fr Verkehr teils wieder offen
13.10.22 19:16
637
      RE: Krim-Brcke fr Verkehr teils wieder offen
13.10.22 22:32
638
Lukaschenko: Belarus stellt Truppen auf
10.10.22 12:04
639
Berlin: Russen nicht psychisch belasten!
11.10.22 18:02
640
Putin geht Munition aus
11.10.22 21:43
641
RE: Putin geht Munition aus
11.10.22 22:19
642
      RE: Putin geht Munition aus
13.10.22 00:31
643
      RE: Putin geht Munition aus
13.10.22 00:39
644
      Kampf der Drohnen
13.10.22 14:28
645
      RE: Kampf der Drohnen
13.10.22 14:44
646
Deutsches Flugabwehrsystem bereits im Einsatz
15.10.22 08:30
647
Zustand der russischen Armee
15.10.22 21:34
648
RE: Zustand der russischen Armee
16.10.22 09:19
649
RE: Zustand der russischen Armee
16.10.22 09:51
650
      RE: Zustand der russischen Armee
16.10.22 20:49
651
      RE: Zustand der russischen Armee
16.10.22 21:02
652
      RE: Zustand der russischen Armeegut analysiert
16.10.22 21:21
653
Putin berlsst Armenien den Aseris
16.10.22 00:32
654
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