Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 23, 2024

July 23, 2024 - ISW Press

The Russian State Duma proposed an amendment that would allow commanders to punish subordinates for using personal communications and navigation devices at the frontline, prompting significant milblogger backlash and highlighting how Russian forces continue to struggle with command and control (C2) issues and overreliance on insecure technologies to conduct combat operations in Ukraine. The Russian State Duma Defense Committee announced its support on July 23 for an amendment that will make wearing "gadgets" (personal phones and electronic devices) in the combat zone a "gross disciplinary offense" and will allow Russian commanders to arrest servicemembers in violation of such offenses without a court order and detain violating servicemembers for up to 10 days.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 22, 2024

July 22, 2024 - ISW Press

Russia and North Korea are pursuing increased cooperation in the judicial sphere. Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea and met with his North Korean counterpart Kim Chol Won on July 22, marking the first time that a Russian Prosecutor General has visited North Korea.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 21, 2024

July 21, 2024 - ISW Press

Russian State Duma Chairperson Vyacheslav Volodin recently visited Nicaragua and Cuba, likely as part of ongoing Kremlin efforts to project its influence in the Western hemisphere and rally states against the US and the West. Volodin's visits to Nicaragua and Cuba immediately followed Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko's visits to Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, during which Golovchenko signed multiple bilateral economic and trade agreements, possibly as part of Russian schemes that use Belarus to help Russia evade Western sanctions.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 20, 2024

July 20, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with former US President and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on July 19 and discussed an end-state to the war in Ukraine. Zelensky stated that he agreed to talk with Trump about steps that will produce a fair and truly lasting peace at a future personal meeting. Trump stated that both Russia and Ukraine will be able to come together and negotiate a deal that ends the war. The Kremlin continues to indicate that it is only interested in a negotiated settlement that results in Ukrainian capitulation and paves the way for Russia to destroy Ukrainian statehood, however.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated the importance of developing an international consensus for pursuing peace negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. 

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian forces reportedly struck a Russian coast guard base in occupied Crimea on the night of July 17 to 18. Ukrainian outlet Suspilne reported on July 18 that sources in Ukrainian law enforcement stated that Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) conducted a naval and aerial drone strike during a Russian military exercise at a Russian coast guard base near occupied Lake Donuzlav, Crimea on the night of July 17 to 18 and damaged and disabled a headquarters with a control point, a warehouse with ammunition and equipment, an electric substation, technical facilities, and Russian firing positions.

Africa File, July 18, 2024: Sudan Spillover Threatens Ethiopia

July 18, 2024 - ISW Press

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) leader Abdel Fattah al Burhan in Sudan in early July as Sudan’s civil war has moved closer to Ethiopia’s border, which risks destabilizing already turbulent areas of Ethiopia. The timing of the visit highlights Ethiopia’s concern that the Rapid Support Forces’ ongoing offensive against the SAF near Sudan’s border with Ethiopia could stoke ethnic tensions in Ethiopia’s Amhara and Tigray regions and benefit ethno-nationalist militants that are hostile to the Ethiopian government. Ethiopia is also well-connected to the other stakeholders in Sudan’s civil war and is trying to advance multilateral, African-led peace initiatives to stabilize the situation.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024 - ISW Press

Russian state news outlets editorialized comments by Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev and claimed that he said that the Ukrainian state will no longer exist by 2034, likely to support the Kremlin's efforts to prepare the Russian public for a long war in Ukraine while promising that Russia will complete its objective to destroy Ukrainian statehood within a decade.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian drone strikes deep within Russia continue to pressure Russia's air defense umbrella and force the Russian military command to prioritize allocating limited air defense assets to cover what it deems to be high-value targets. Satellite imagery collected on May 6 indicates that Russian forces have concentrated at least seven Pantsir-1 medium-range air defense systems around Russian President Vladimir Putin's residence in Valdai, Leningrad Oblast. Ruslan Pukhov, the head of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies and a member of a Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) civilian advisory board, stated on July 16 that such "focal" air defense coverage (static coverage of a singular target) is meaningless at scale because it allows Ukrainian drones to bypass Russian air defense coverage and strike from uncovered directions.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024 - ISW Press

A recent Ukrainian poll indicates that Ukrainians widely reject Russia's demands for total Ukrainian capitulation, emphasizing that the Kremlin's conditions for the end of the war are entirely unreasonable and widely unpopular within Ukraine. The poll found that 83 percent of respondents rejected Putin's statement that Ukraine must withdraw from all of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia oblasts — including territory in these oblasts currently under Ukrainian control. The poll also reported that 58 percent of respondents stated that Ukraine should not agree to enshrine a neutral, non-aligned, and non-nuclear status in its constitution.