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Russia in Review: Russian Offensive in Ukraine Unlikely, but Russian Disinformation Operation Pressures Kyiv To Make Concessions

The Kremlin launched a disinformation campaign against Ukraine in early March that could support renewed Russian offensive conventional operations in 2021, but Russia is unlikely to launch offensive operations in the coming weeks. Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine deployed to full combat readiness on March 16. Despite that potential indicator of a possible operation, the Russian military is not postured to support an imminent offensive. The Kremlin’s disinformation campaign may be intended to pressure Ukraine into engaging in negotiations on unfavorable terms or to set conditions for a Russian escalation in late spring 2021 or both. ISW will continue to assess indicators of a potential Russian escalation and monitor the Kremlin’s ongoing disinformation campaign.

Russian Deployments at Al-Assad Airport in Syria - September 24, 2015

More Russian work at Al-Assad Airbase in Latakia, Syria. New images of multiple aircraft – both fixed and rotary wing.  Multiples of these: SU-30SM (multi-role fighter)/SU-24 (all-weather attack/interdictor)/SU-25 (close air support)/ HIND-24 (attack helo), and an IL-76 (strategic airlift). Images: AllSource Analysis

Dr. Kimberly Kagan


Kimberly Kagan is the founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with a unique, dual mission: provide real-time intelligence to help leaders make informed decisions in conflict zones around the world, and educate the next generation of national security leaders. ISW is globally recognized and cited for its daily analysis and maps of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.