Ukraine Project

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 30, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin's theory of victory that Russia will be able to make creeping advances in Ukraine indefinitely will incentivize Putin to protract the war and harden Putin's commitment to destroying Ukrainian statehood. The West must hasten to provide Ukraine the support it needs to conduct counteroffensive operations to invalidate Putin's theory of victory and avoid protracting the war more than necessary to secure a peace acceptable to Ukraine and its partners.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 29, 2024

Two prominent Russian officials appear to be spearheading divergent paths for addressing religious extremism in Russia as ethnic and religious tension in Russia continues to rise. Russian Investigative Committee Head Alexander Bastrykin commented on the June 23 terrorist attacks in the Republic of Dagestan and claimed on June 29 that Islamic terrorists were "able to carry their banner of Islamic terror" into Russia and that the State Duma must respond to the threat of Islamic terrorists in Russia.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 28, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin directed on June 28 the production and deployment of nuclear-capable short- and intermediate-range missiles following the American withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in 2019, likely as part of the Kremlin's ongoing reflexive control campaign to influence Western decision making in Russia's favor.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 27, 2024

Russian forces have sustained the tempo of their offensive operations in the Toretsk direction since activating in the area on June 18 and likely aim to reduce a Ukrainian salient in the area, but there is little current likelihood of rapid Russian gains near Toretsk. Russian forces have committed only limited forces to this operation so far, which suggests that Russian forces continue to prioritize gradual advances through consistent grinding assaults over operationally significant gains through rapid maneuver.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 25, 2024

Two major international bodies—the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) — announced decisions on June 25 confirming Russia's long-term perpetration of war crimes and human rights violations in Ukraine. The ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber II (the chamber in charge of the ICC's Ukraine-related investigations and prosecutions) announced on June 25 that it had issued arrest warrants for former Russian Defense Minister and current Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the Russian General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov for "the war crime of directing attacks at civilian objects" in Ukraine.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 23, 2024

The Islamic State (IS) Northern Caucasus branch, Wilayat Kavkaz, likely conducted a complex and coordinated attack against churches, synagogues, and law enforcement structures in the Republic of Dagestan on June 23. Dagestan's Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that unknown actors opened fire on a Russian Orthodox church and a synagogue in Derbent at approximately 1800 local time and then reported within the same hour that another group of unknown actors opened fire on a traffic police post in Makhachkala (120 kilometers north of Derbent). There are also reports of a fire at a synagogue in Makhachkala, although Russian official sources have not confirmed a second synagogue attack. Dagestan announced a counter-terrorism regime following the start of the attacks, and Russian law enforcement killed five of the assailants and wounded six.