Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 29, 2024

May 29, 2024 - ISW Press

Western officials are increasingly suggesting that they support Ukraine's right to use Western-provided weapons to strike military targets in Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron stated on May 28 at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that France supports Ukraine's use of French-provided weapons to strike Russian "military sites from which missiles are fired" and other Russian "military sites from which Ukraine is attacked" in Russian territory.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 28, 2024

May 28, 2024 - ISW Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin grossly misrepresented the Ukrainian Constitution and Ukrainian domestic law on May 28 in order to further promote the Kremlin information operation claiming that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is no longer the legitimate president of Ukraine.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 27, 2024

May 27, 2024 - ISW Press

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly called on member states to lift their prohibitions against Ukraine using Western-provided weapons to strike within Russian territory. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly adopted a declaration on May 27 calling for NATO states to support Ukraine's "international right" to defend itself by lifting "some restrictions" on Ukraine's use of Western weapons to strike Russian territory. The declaration also calls for member states to accelerate their deliveries of critical weapons to Ukraine, and more than 200 representatives of NATO member states supported the declaration.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Iran Update, May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024 - ISW Press

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei presided over the funeral for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and others in Tehran on May 22.

How Delays in Western Aid Gave Russia the Initiative: From the Ukrainian Counteroffensive to Kharkiv

May 22, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukraine and the West have defeated a months-long Russian effort to persuade the West to abandon Ukraine and set conditions to collapse Ukrainian defenses. Russian forces have conducted offensive operations since Fall 2023 that aimed to convince the West to abandon its commitment to Ukraine, and prolonged US debates about security assistance likely convinced the Kremlin that its efforts had partially succeeded. The effects of continued delays in US and Western security assistance set conditions for Russian forces to make more significant gains on the battlefield than they had previously been able to make, and the Russian military command likely concluded that Russian forces would be able to collapse the Ukrainian frontline at some point in the near to medium term.