Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

    Content Assessment: Institutionalized Corruption? Russo-Ukrainian War Update (January 3 - 9, 2023)

    Information - 94%
    Insight - 93%
    Relevance - 93%
    Objectivity - 94%
    Authority - 95%

    94%

    Excellent

    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

    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

    • January 9, 2023
    • By Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Madison Williams, Layne Philipson, and Mason Clark

    Key Development

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill setting conditions for further institutionalized corruption in Russia through domestic legislative manipulations. Putin submitted a bill to the Russian State Duma on January 9 denouncing the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and withdrawing Russia from the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).

    Key Takeaways

    • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin continues to use reports of Wagner Group success in Soledar to bolster the Wagner Group’s reputation as an effective fighting force.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to open the door for further institutionalized corruption in Russia through domestic legislative manipulations.
    • Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev likely gauged the willingness of the Russian information space for the censorship of figures deemed as pro-Ukrainian sympathizers, garnering some acceptance from the nationalist milblogger community.
    • Russian and Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
    • Ukrainian partisans may be targeting Russian critical ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in rear areas of Luhansk Oblast.
    • Russian forces conducted ground attacks across the Donetsk Oblast frontline and made gains around Soledar and Bakhmut.
    • Russian forces continued to reinforce positions on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast.
    • Russian forces continued to construct defensive fortifications and transport military equipment in Zaporizhia Oblast amid continued concerns over a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive in the area.
    • Russian and Ukrainian sources indicated that a second wave of mobilization may be imminent or ongoing.

    Read the complete update.


    • January 8, 2023
    • By Karolina Hird, Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, Layne Philipson, and Mason Clark

    Key Development

    • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin may be attempting to financially exploit Ukrainian natural resources around Bakhmut and is using the war in Ukraine to connect his military forces with Russian regional officials.

    Key Takeaways

    • Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov stated on January 8 that Russia plans to begin domestic production of Iranian-made drones.
    • Russian forces continued counterattacks to regain lost positions along the Svatove-Kreminna line on January 8. Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai stated on January 8 that Russian forces transferred several battalions from the Bakhmut area to the Kreminna area.
    • Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Serhiy Cherevaty stated on January 8 that Russian forces do not control Soledar, and other official Ukrainian sources reported that Ukrainian forces captured Russian positions near Bakhmut. Prominent Russian milbloggers expressed divergent opinions of the potential for the Russian encirclement of Bakhmut.
    • Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut and along the western outskirts of Donetsk City.
    • Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov claimed on January 7 that 300 Chechen Akhmat-1 OMON personnel deployed to Ukraine.
    • Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces used incendiary munitions to strike civilian infrastructure in Kherson City overnight on January 7–8.
    • Russian forces are continuing to intensify filtration measures to identify partisans in occupied territories. Russian occupation authorities claimed that likely Ukrainian partisans committed sabotage by mining a gas pipeline in Luhansk Oblast on January 8.
    • Russian occupation authorities intensified passportization efforts in occupied territories on January 8.

    Read the complete update.


    • January 7, 2023
    • By Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Layne Philipson, Madison Williams, and Frederick W. Kagan

    Key Development

    • Recent Russian gains in Soledar do not portend an imminent encirclement of Bakhmut, contrary to claims made by Russian sources. Even at the most generous interpretation of Russian milblogger narratives, which claim that Russian forces are fighting on the outskirts of Razdolivka (about 6km northwest of Soledar), Russian forces are still far from being within striking distance of an operational encirclement of Bakhmut.

    Key Takeaways

    • Recent Russian gains in Soledar do not portend an imminent Russian encirclement of Bakhmut.
    • Russia continues to weaponize religion to perpetuate long-standing information operations and discredit Ukraine.
    • Russian forces reportedly continue to deplete their missile arsenal and stock of Iranian-made drones but will likely continue to threaten Ukrainian infrastructure at scale in the near term.
    • Russian and Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Svatove and Kreminna.
    • Russian forces made marginal confirmed advances in Soledar amid continuing Russian offensive operations around Bakhmut and along the western outskirts of Donetsk City.
    • Russian forces continue efforts to establish further control over the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).
    • Ukrainian and European officials continue to warn that Russia is preparing for an imminent second wave of mobilization.
    • Russian occupation authorities continue to transport Ukrainian children to Russian territory under the guise of medical rehabilitation schemes.

    Read the complete update.


    • January 6, 2023
    • By Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Layne Philipson, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan

    Key Development

    • Russian officials and milbloggers largely did not react to the US announcement of more than $3.75 billion in new military assistance to Ukraine, further highlighting that the Kremlin and the Russian information space selectively choose when to portray Western military assistance as an escalation.

    Key Takeaways

    • Russian officials and milbloggers largely did not react to the US announcement of more than $3.75 billion in new military assistance to Ukraine.
    • Russian officials and milbloggers continued to respond negatively to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s January 5 ceasefire announcement as hostilities continued in Ukraine on January 6.
    • Certain hardline elements of the Russian information space seized on Putin’s statement to propagate the narrative that Putin is a protector of religious values.
    • Prominent Russian milbloggers continue to use their platforms to advocate for the eradication of Ukrainian cultural and ethnic identity.
    • Russian and Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Kreminna and Svatove.
    • Russian sources claimed that Russian forces made gains in Soledar as Russian offensive operations continued around Bakhmut and the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area.
    • Russian authorities and military leaders continue to face backlash for their responses to the December 31 Ukrainian strike on a Russian base in Makiivka, Donetsk Oblast.
    • Russian forces and occupation authorities are continuing to target Ukrainian children to consolidate social control in occupied territories.

    Read the complete update.


    • January 5, 2023
    • By Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Layne Philipson, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan

    Key Development

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russian forces will conduct a 36-hour ceasefire between January 6 and January 7 in observance of Orthodox Christmas celebrations is likely an information operation intended to damage Ukraine’s reputation.

    Key Takeaways

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russian forces will conduct a 36-hour ceasefire in observance of Orthodox Christmas celebrations is likely an information operation intended to damage Ukraine’s reputation.
    • Putin’s framing of the ceasefire on religious ground reinforces another Russian information operation that falsely frames Ukraine as suppressing religious groups and positions Putin as the true protector of the Christian faith.
    • Putin has not changed his fundamental maximalist objectives in Ukraine.
    • Wagner Financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that prisoners who volunteered with the Wagner Group in Ukraine received pardons, likely in a bid to inflate his influence and political power, strengthen Wagner Group’s prisoner recruitment, and reassure Wagner Group criminals in uniform.
    • Russian forces continued limited counterattacks to regain lost positions along the Svatove-Kreminna line, and Russian forces claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the area.
    • Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted a successful counterattack as Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut and west of Donetsk City.
    • Russian forces continued to operate sabotage and reconnaissance groups on the Dnipro River and reinforce positions in east (left) bank Kherson Oblast.
    • Russian milbloggers claimed recent Russian successes in Zaporizhia Oblast, likely to distract from the slow Russian offensive around Bakhmut that may be culminating.
    • Mobilized Russian servicemembers likely continue to represent an outsized portion of Russian military casualties in Ukraine.

    Read the complete update.


    • January 4, 2023
    • By Riley Bailey, Karolina Hird, Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Madison Williams, Layne Philipson, and Frederick W. Kagan

    Key Development

    • The Russian milblogger information space continues to seize on official responses to the Ukrainian HIMARS strike on a Russian base in Makiivka to criticize endemic issues in the Russian military apparatus.  

    Key Takeaways

    • The Russian milblogger information space continues to seize on official responses to the Ukrainian HIMARS strike on a Russian base in Makiivka to criticize endemic issues in the Russian military apparatus and its unwillingness to address systemic failures.
    • The continued construction of Russian units using solely mobilized recruits will not generate combat power commensurate with the number of mobilized personnel deployed.
    • The Russian MoD has again shifted the rhetoric and format of its daily situational reports (SITREPs) likely to flood the information space with insignificant claimed successes and distract from its significant military failures.
    • Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Chief Kyrylo Budanov stated that Ukrainian forces intend to launch a major counteroffensive throughout Ukraine in the spring of 2023.
    • Russian forces are increasingly reliant upon Iranian-made drones to strike Ukrainian critical infrastructure, and Russia will likely seek further bilateral cooperation with Iran in order to secure a greater number of high-precision weapons systems for use in Ukraine.
    • Russian forces continued limited counterattacks to regain lost positions along the Svatove-Kreminna line as Ukrainian strikes reportedly damaged Russian military logistics in Luhansk Oblast.
    • Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut amid continued indicators that the broader offensive may be culminating.
    • Russian forces continued offensive operations on the western outskirts of Donetsk City.
    • Russian forces continued to rebuild force capability and conduct defensive operations in Kherson Oblast on January 4.
    • Select Russian private armament manufacturers are continuing to criticize the Russian military campaign.
    • Russian occupation authorities continued to take measures to resolve administrative issues associated with consolidating Russian control of occupied territories on January 4.

    Read the complete update.


    • January 3, 2023
    • By Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Karolina Hird, George Barros, Madison Williams, and Frederick W. Kagan

    Key Development

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a series of instructions for Russian agencies and high-level officials on January 2 likely to address criticisms of the Kremlin’s treatment of military personnel and portray the Kremlin as an involved war-time apparatus.  

    Key Takeaways

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a series of instructions for Russian agencies and high-level officials likely aimed at appeasing widespread criticisms of the provisioning and payment of benefits to Russian military personnel and propagandizing the war.
    • Putin confirmed that Russia is using a variety of social schemes to justify the transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia.
    • Systemic failures in Russia’s force generation efforts continue to plague Russian personnel capabilities to the detriment of Russian operational capacity in Ukraine.
    • Degraded Russian military personnel capabilities will likely further exacerbate Russian milblogger criticism of Russian force generation efforts and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
    • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin attempted to justify the Wagner Group’s lack of progress in Bakhmut, partially supporting ISW’s assessment that Russian forces in Bakhmut are culminating.
    • Russian forces continued limited counterattacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line as Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian military logistics in Luhansk Oblast.
    • Russian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and Avdiivka and may be reinforcing their grouping in western Donetsk Oblast.
    • Ukrainian forces have reportedly established positions on the Velikiy Potemkinsky Island in the Dnipro River delta as of January 2.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that promises additional benefits to Russian forces personnel and Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) who defend the Russian-Ukrainian border.

    Read the complete update.


    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 January 3 – 9, 2023 – Mouseover to Scroll

    Ukraine Conflict Maps - 010323 - 010923

    See the Institute for the Study of War Interactive Map of the Russian Invasion
    Read the latest Ukraine Conflict updates from the Institute for the Study of War 

    * Shared with direct express permission from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).


    About the Institute for the Study of War Research Methodology

    ISW’s research methodology relies on both primary and secondary sources, enabling researchers to develop a comprehensive understanding of the situation on the ground. In order to analyze military and political developments in any given area, ISW’s research analysts must wholly understand the systems of enemy and friendly forces. They must also understand the population demographics, physical terrain, politics, and history of that area. This lays the analytical foundation for understanding the reasons for particular developments and fulfilling their assigned research objectives. ISW analysts also spend time in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in order to gain a better understanding of the security and political situation and to evaluate the implementation of current strategies and policies. Our researchers compile data and analyze trends, producing a granular analysis of developments in areas of research, producing an accurate, high-resolution, timely, and thorough picture of the situation. ISW’s research methodology guarantees its success and commitment to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations, achieve strategic objectives, and respond to emerging problems that may require the use of American military power.

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    Additional Reading

    Source: ComplexDiscovery

     

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