Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 26, 2024

May 26, 2024 - ISW Press

Russian forces are reportedly concentrating forces of unspecified size in western Belgorod Oblast near the border with Ukraine, likely to fix and draw Ukrainian forces to the area and prepare for offensive operations that aim to expand the Russian foothold in the international border area in northeastern Ukraine. Western officials continue to publicly debate Ukraine's right to use Western-provided weapons to strike military targets in Russia amid Russian efforts to persuade the West to continue its self-imposed limitations and divide the NATO alliance.

Iran Update, May 26, 2024

May 26, 2024 - ISW Press

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) 98th Division continued clearing operations in “the heart of Jabalia” on May 26. Hamas falsely claimed to have captured IDF soldiers in Jabalia refugee camp on May 25. The IDF Givati Brigade withdrew from eastern Rafah on May 26, according to Israeli media.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 25, 2024

May 25, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian and Russian sources stated that Ukrainian forces are increasingly contesting the tactical initiative in northern Kharkiv Oblast and characterized Russian operations in the area as defensive, although Russian forces are likely attempting to bring the Northern Grouping of Forces up closer to its reported planned end strength before possibly intensifying offensive operations in the area. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on May 24 that Ukrainian forces are pushing Russian forces back from Ukrainian defenses in northern Kharkiv Oblast. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukrainian forces established "combat control" over an unspecified section of the border where Russian forces had initially crossed into northern Kharkiv Oblast following the start of Russian offensive operations on May 10.

Iran Update, May 25, 2024

May 25, 2024 - ISW Press

The IDF is moving “more deliberately” in Rafah, according to Israeli officers who recently left Rafah who spoke to the New York Times on May 25. The officers said that the IDF is using “less airpower and artillery, and fewer, smaller bombs,” which forces Israeli soldiers to clear urban areas on foot. An Israeli reserve soldier said that some Israeli forces are working near the border and others are moving into Rafah’s outskirts. This comment is largely consistent with CTP-ISW's current control of terrain assessment of reported Israeli clearing operations.

Iran Update, May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024 - ISW Press

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer described particularly intense fighting between the IDF and Hamas in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip in recent days.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024 - ISW Press

Western media continues to report that Russian President Vladimir Putin is interested in a negotiated ceasefire in Ukraine, although Kremlin rhetoric and Russian military actions illustrate that Putin remains uninterested in meaningful negotiations and any settlement that would prevent him from pursuing the destruction of an independent Ukrainian state.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024 - ISW Press

Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Legislative Yuan on May 21 and May 24 to protest the advancement of a controversial legislative reform bill in the Legislative Yuan.

Iran Update, May 23, 2024

May 23, 2024 - ISW Press

Iran is capitalizing on the presence of senior Axis of Resistance officials in Tehran for Ebrahim Raisi’s funeral to coordinate and cohere their approaches to the Israel–Hamas war. Iranian leaders held two meetings with senior Axis of Resistance officials in Tehran on May 23. The first meeting included senior IRGC officers and representatives from several Palestinian militias, Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Houthis.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 23, 2024

May 23, 2024 - ISW Press

The Kremlin is pursuing a concerted effort to remove senior Russian defense officials and has likely expanded this effort to senior officers commanding Russian combat operations in Ukraine. The Russian Investigative Committee announced on May 23 the arrests of Russian Deputy Chief of the General Staff and Head of its Main Communications Directorate Lieutenant General Vadim Shamarin and Head of the Russian Ministry of Defense's (MoD) Department for State Procurement, Vladimir Verteletsky.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024 - ISW Press

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) proposed on May 21 that the Russian government reassess Russia’s maritime borders in the Baltic Sea so that these borders “correspond to the modern geographical situation.” The Russian MoD produced a since-deleted document, which appeared on the Russian government’s legal portal on May 21, proposing that the Russian government should reassess the 1985 maritime borders in the Gulf of Finland because these borders were based on outdated “small-scale nautical navigation maps” developed in the mid-20th century.