Content Assessment: An Operational Cause to Pause? Russo-Ukrainian War Update (June 13-19, 2023)
Information - 94%
Insight - 95%
Relevance - 93%
Objectivity - 92%
Authority - 93%
A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the post highlighting the recent Ukraine conflict assessments in maps from the Institute for the Study of War.
Editor’s Note: The discipline of eDiscovery, which involves the identification, preservation, and analysis of electronic data, is increasingly being used in investigations and litigation relating to war crimes. In the case of the Russo-Ukrainian War, eDiscovery tools and techniques can be used to identify and collect electronic evidence of war crimes, such as emails, social media posts, and other digital communications that may provide valuable insights into the actions of individuals and organizations involved in the conflict. This evidence can then be used in investigations and legal proceedings to hold perpetrators of war crimes accountable for their actions. Additionally, eDiscovery can help to efficiently and effectively manage the vast amount of electronic evidence that may be relevant to war crimes cases, allowing investigators and legal teams to quickly and accurately analyze the data to identify key pieces of information. This weekly update may be useful for cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery professionals as they consider investigations and litigation resulting from war crimes committed during the war.*
Background Note: One of the most accurate and detailed sources for ongoing updates on the Ukraine crisis is the Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment from the Institute for the Study of War. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a 501(c)(3) organization and produces strictly non-partisan, non-ideological, fact-based research. ISW seeks to promote an informed understanding of war and military affairs through comprehensive, independent, and accessible open-source research and analysis. ISW’s research is made available to the general public, military practitioners, policymakers, and media members. Providing a daily synthesis of key events related to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, ISW updates may benefit investigators and litigators as they follow the business, information technology, and legal trends and trajectories impacted by and stemming from the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict.
Assessment and Maps**
Russo-Ukrainian Conflict Assessments – An Overview in Maps
- Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia Team
- Critical Threats Project (CTP), American Enterprise Institute
General Assessment Background Info
- ISW systematically publishes Russian campaign assessments that include maps highlighting the assessed control of terrain in Ukraine and main Russian maneuver axes.
- These maps augment daily synthetic products that cover key events related to renewed Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The Russian Offensive Campaign Assessments
- June 19, 2023
- By Karolina Hird, Nicole Wolkov, Grace Mappes, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations in at least three sectors of the frontline and made gains on June 19.
- Russian forces conducted drone and missile strikes targeting southern Ukraine on June 19.
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reported that the Chinese government reiterated that it is not providing, and will not provide, lethal assistance to Russia for use in Ukraine.
- US defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin indicated that it is ready to help Ukraine fly and maintain Lockheed’s F-16 fighter jets if NATO states agree to send them to Ukraine.
- Kremlin-affiliated Russian tech giant Yandex claimed that international sanctions against Russia prevented the company from providing the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) with user data in compliance with a Russian security law, resulting in a significant fine.
- Russian forces made gains in the Kupyansk area and continued ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations while Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks near Bakhmut.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces conducted limited attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line and made marginal gains.
- Ukrainian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the administrative border between western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts.
- Ukrainian forces conducted limited ground attacks in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
- The Wagner Group continues efforts to expand its recruitment pool in the wake of significant losses in Ukraine.
- Russian sources claimed that a car carrying a Zaporizhia Oblast occupation official exploded in Simferopol, occupied Crimea.
- June 18, 2023
- By Grace Mappes, Kateryna Stepanenko, Nicole Wolkov, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive actions on at least four sectors of the front on June 18 and made limited territorial gains.
- Ukrainian forces may be temporarily pausing counteroffensive operations to reevaluate their tactics for future operations.
- A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) interview with Russian prisoners of war (POWs) indicates continued significant morale and command issues among frontline Russian units and the continued Russian use of “barrier forces” to shoot retreating soldiers.
- EU Internal Market Commissioner Theirry Breton announced on June 18 that the EU is accelerating arms deliveries to Ukraine.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly supported select Russian milbloggers’ proposal to create a Presidential Administration working group, likely in an effort to integrate prominent milbloggers into the pro-Kremlin information space.
- Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks north of Svatove and south of Kreminna.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces conducted limited ground attacks around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on the administrative border between western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts.
- Russian sources claimed that Russian forces continued to repel Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast
- Some Russian ultranationalist figures are concerned that the Russian Ministry of Defense’s efforts to formalize volunteer formations will trigger command changes and degrade combat effectiveness.
- Russian occupation officials are continuing to prioritize medical treatment for Russian military personnel in occupied Mariupol, reportedly significantly increasing the civilian mortality rate in the city.
- June 17, 2023
- By Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive actions on at least four sectors of the front.
- A delegation representing seven African states met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg following a meeting with Ukrainian President Zelensky on June 16 to propose a generalized peace plan focused on resuming international trade.
- The Kremlin will likely exploit this proposal to promote Russian information operations aiming to slow Western security assistance to Ukraine and has not demonstrated any intent to meaningfully engage with any peace process.
- Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin continued to signal his disinterest in formally subordinating the Wagner private military company (PMC) to the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
- The New York Times (NYT) released a report supporting ISW’s prior assessment that Russian forces most likely destroyed the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam.
- Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, and Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted localized ground attacks west and south of Kreminna.
- Russian forces and Ukrainian forces continued limited attacks in the Bakhmut area and on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Russian forces continued offensive operations near Vuhledar likely in response to Ukrainian territorial gains in the area on June 16.
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near the administrative border between western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts.
- Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces intensified attacks in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
- The Kremlin continues efforts to gradually mobilize Russia’s defense industrial base (DIB).
- Russian officials are planning several infrastructure projects connecting occupied Zaporizhia Oblast to occupied Crimea, likely to secure new ground lines of communication (GLOCs) for the Russian grouping in southern Ukraine.
- June 16, 2023
- By Riley Bailey, Nicole Wolkov, Grace Mappes, Karolina Hird, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive actions on at least three sectors of the front on June 16 and reportedly made gains.
- Russian forces targeted Kyiv and Kryvyi Rih with cruise missiles and kamikaze drones on June 15-16.
- The heads of state of seven African countries met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on June 16 in Kyiv as part of a joint peace mission.
- The Kremlin claimed Russia has begun transferring tactical nuclear warheads (under Russian control) to Belarus, in line with previously announced plans.
- Select current and former Russian municipal officials signed an open letter calling on Russian forces to return to “universally” recognized Russian borders due to the crisis caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam.
- Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces conducted ground attacks near Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces continued ground attacks in the Vuhledar area.
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near the administrative border of Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts and reportedly made gains in this area.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is attempting to monetarily incentivize the destruction of Ukrainian military equipment, likely to bolster ongoing recruitment efforts.
- Russian and occupation authorities are attempting to strengthen Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) between Russia and occupied Ukraine.
- June 15, 2023
- By Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in at least three directions and reportedly made gains on June 15.
- Russian milbloggers continue to credit alleged superior Russian electronic warfare (EW) capabilities and defensive doctrine for Russian forces’ successful defenses against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine.
- Russian forces conducted another series of drone and missile strikes across Ukraine early in the morning of June 15.
- The Russian military is advancing initial efforts to stand up new corps- and army-level formations to implement Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s announced intent to conduct large-scale force restructuring by 2026, though these new formations are not yet staffed and operational.
- Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov deployed Chechen “Akhmat” special forces to border areas in Belgorod Oblast, likely as part of a continued effort to align himself with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
- Western states may provide F-16 fighter aircraft and additional Leopard tanks to Ukraine in the coming months.
- Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
- Ukrainian and Russian forces conducted ground attacks near Bakhmut, and Russian forces have gained territory as of June 15.
- Ukrainian and Russian forces reportedly continued limited ground attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in western Donetsk Oblast.
- Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
- Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian forces are beginning to decommission specialized company-size assault units and transferring their personnel to volunteer formations.
- Ukrainian partisans reportedly sabotaged a railway in occupied Melitopol, though ISW has observed no visual confirmation or Russian corroboration of the attack.
- June 14, 2023
- By Riley Bailey, Karolina Hird, Nicole Wolkov, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in at least three directions and made gains on June 14.
- Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces struck a division of the 20th Combined Arms Army (Western Military District) near Kreminna, Luhansk Oblast while they were waiting for the commander of the 20th CAA to give a speech, prompting typical discontent among milbloggers about Russian commanders.
- Russian sources disseminated conflicting reports about the condition of Russian Duma Deputy and Commander of the Chechen Rosgvardia branch, Adam Delimkhanov, on June 14. ISW has not observed any visual evidence to confirm or deny the contradictory claims about Delimkhanov’s condition.
- Russian forces conducted missile and drone strikes across Ukraine on June 14.
- Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks in the Kupyansk direction and south of Kreminna.
- Ukrainian and Russian forces continued ground attacks in the Bakhmut area.
- Russian forces continued limited ground attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near the administrative border of Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts and reportedly made gains in this area as of June 14.
- Ukrainian forces continued limited ground attacks in western Zaporizhia Oblast on June 14.
- Satellite imagery suggests that Russian helicopters defending against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine are likely deployed to an airfield in Berdyansk, Zaporizhia Oblast.
- A Russian State Duma bill aimed at raising the conscription age suggests that the Kremlin may be aiming to shield specific generations from the demographic and social impacts of the war in Ukraine.
- Russian occupation authorities continue efforts to consolidate economic control of occupied territories.
- June 13, 2023
- By Kateryna Stepanenko, Riley Bailey, Nicole Wolkov, George Barros, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in at least three directions and made further limited territorial gains on June 13.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with 18 prominent Russian milbloggers and war correspondents to discuss the progress of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on June 13.
- Putin discussed the progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive and signaled that he believes Russia can outlast Western military support for Ukraine.
- Putin indicated that he is unwilling to announce a second wave of mobilization or declare martial law, despite maintaining his maximalist objectives in Ukraine.
- Putin aimed to assuage widespread discontent in the Russian information space about limited cross-border raids by pro-Ukraine forces into Belgorod Oblast, drone strikes across Russia, and border security in general.
- Putin discussed the importance of formalizing volunteer formations, supporting the Russian MoD’s measures to centralize its control over operations in Ukraine.
- Putin is likely continuing to publicly engage with, and platform select pro-Kremlin milbloggers to further leverage the community to expand his support among Russian ultranationalists.
- Russian sources claimed that a Ukrainian missile strike killed Chief of Staff of the 35th Combined Arms Army (Eastern Military District) Major General Sergei Goryachev in Zaporizhia Oblast.
- Russian forces conducted missile and drone strikes across Ukraine on June 13.
- Russian authorities continue to express increasing concern over information related to Russia’s defense industrial base (DIB).
- Russian forces continued ground attacks on the Kreminna frontline but did not conduct offensive operations on the Kupyansk-Svatove line.
- Ukrainian forces continued to advance on Bakhmut’s northern and southern flanks, while Russian forces launched counterattacks in the vicinity of Bakhmut.
- Russian forces continued offensive operations on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line and are transferring additional forces from east (left) bank Kherson Oblast to reinforce the direction.
- Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks near the administrative border of Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Russian military has recruited 150,000 contract servicemembers as well as over 6,000 volunteers since January 2023.
- Russian occupation officials in east (left) bank Kherson Oblast are reportedly continuing evacuation efforts, although are likely continuing to deny services to some residents in flooded areas.
We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.
Chronology of Maps from June 13 – 19, 2023 – Mouseover to ScrollUkraine Conflict Maps – 061323 – 061923
* Shared with direct express permission from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
About the Institute for the Study of War Research Methodology
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The Institute for the Study of War advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives. ISW is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.
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