Content Assessment: No More Silence? Russo-Ukrainian War Update (June 6-12, 2023)
Information - 95%
Insight - 96%
Relevance - 94%
Objectivity - 92%
Authority - 95%
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 12, 2023
- By Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Nicole Wolkov, George Barros, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in at least three sectors of the front on June 12.
- Russian forces reportedly launched a counterattack on June 12 following Ukrainian tactical gains near the Vremivka salient in western Donetsk Oblast on June 11.
- Russian milbloggers claimed that poor weather conditions grounded Russian aircraft, impeding Russian defenses against Ukrainian attacks near the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts.
- Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin announced on June 11 that he had received an order from the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) to subordinate his forces under the Russian military command.
- The Russian MoD formalization efforts are likely intended to centralize control of Russian irregular personnel and supplies to respond to Ukraine’s counteroffensive, as well as restrict Prigozhin’s independence.
- Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov continues efforts to rhetorically align himself with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and further distancing himself from Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin.
- Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks south of Kreminna.
- Ukrainian and Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks around Bakhmut.
- Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces conducted ground attacks near the administrative border of Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts and made gains as of June 12.
- Russian sources reported that Ukrainian forces conducted limited counteroffensive operations southwest of Orikhiv.
- Social media video footage circulated on June 12 reportedly shows Russian barrier troops shooting Russian forces that abandoned their positions somewhere in Ukraine.
- Russia continues to strengthen the legal regime in occupied areas of Ukraine under martial law.
- June 11, 2023
- By Grace Mappes, Nicole Wolkov, Kateryna Stepanenko, George Barros, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations in at least three areas of the front and made territorial gains on June 10 and 11.
- Ukrainian forces made visually verified advances in western Donetsk Oblast and western Zaporizhia Oblast, which Russian sources confirmed but sought to downplay.
- Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar stated that Russian forces are transferring their most combat-capable units from the Kherson direction to the Bakhmut and Zaporizhia directions.
- Russian forces conducted a limited series of drone strikes targeting eastern Ukrainian border areas overnight on June 10 to 11.
- Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin characterized the Russian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) plan to formalize volunteer formations by July 1 as an attack on him and his forces.
- Russia and Ukraine conducted a near one-for-one prisoner of war (POW) exchange.
- Russian forces continued limited ground attacks south of Kreminna.
- Ukrainian and Russian forces continued limited ground attacks around Bakhmut and on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces made gains near the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts and in western Zaporizhia Oblast as of June 10.
- Russian milbloggers claimed that rain along the Zaporizhia Oblast front may slow Ukrainian operations in the coming days.
- The Republic of Chechnya reportedly formed two new regiments – Akhmat-Russia and Akhmat-Chechnya – equipped with commercially-available Chinese armored equipment.
- Saboteurs, reportedly including Ukrainian partisans, conducted two discrete improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against railways in occupied Kherson Oblast and Crimea.
- June 10, 2023
- By Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Karolina Hird, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations in at least four areas of the front on June 10.
- Russian forces in Zaporizhia Oblast are continuing to defend against Ukrainian attacks in accord with sound tactical defensive doctrine.
- Russian milbloggers continue to highlight reported superior Russian electronic warfare (EW) capabilities as key to disrupting Ukrainian attacks.
- Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces have tactical advantages in conducting assaults at night due to Western-provided equipment with superior night optics systems.
- Russian sources continue to highlight the role of scarce military district-level Russian TOS-1A thermobaric artillery systems in defending against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations, though Ukrainian forces destroyed at least two of these key systems in recent days.
- Ukrainian forces are currently attempting an extraordinarily difficult tactical operation – a frontal assault against prepared defensive positions, further complicated by a lack of air superiority – and these initial assaults should not be extrapolated to predict all Ukrainian operations.
- Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov established a clear rhetorical line between criticizing the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Russian forces targeted a Ukrainian operational airfield during another missile and drone strike on Ukraine on the night of June 9 to 10.
- Russian forces made marginal advances northeast of Kupyansk and continued ground attacks near Kreminna.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces both continued ground attacks in the Bakhmut area.
- Russian forces continued limited ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces continued limited ground attacks near the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts and have made marginal gains in the area as of June 10.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on June 10 that it plans to formalize the organization of volunteer formations.
- Russia is further consolidating a centralized media apparatus in occupied areas.
- June 9, 2023
- By Riley Bailey, Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Nicole Wolkov, Annika Ganzeveld, and Mason Clark
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in at least four areas of the front on June 9, making further gains around Bakhmut and in Western Donetsk.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged on June 9 that the Ukrainian counteroffensive recently began and noted that Ukrainian forces still have offensive potential, a departure from previous Kremlin efforts to downplay Ukrainian counteroffensives.
- Contrarily, much of the Russian information space prematurely claimed that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed after Russian forces damaged more Western-provided Ukrainian military equipment on June 9.
- Ukrainian officials directly acknowledged that Ukrainian forces expect to suffer equipment losses during counteroffensive operations.
- The Russian command structure responsible for areas of southern Ukraine is unclear and likely overlapping.
- Russian forces carried out missile and drone strikes across Ukraine on the night of June 8 to 9.
- Several independent sources reported additional evidence that an internal explosion likely destroyed the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam on June 6.
- The White House revealed on June 9 that Iran is helping Russia build a drone manufacturing factory in Yelabuga, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, underscoring the growing military cooperation between Tehran and Moscow despite Western sanctions.
- Chief of the Russian General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov discussed increasing Russian-Chinese military cooperation with Chinese Central Military Commission (CMC) Joint Staff Department Chief of Staff Liu Zhenli on June 9.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces conducted limited and localized ground attacks south of Kreminna.
- Russian forces continued ground attacks near Bakhmut and on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces continued limited ground attacks on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts and in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
- Russia continues to evade international sanctions and has reportedly restored access to key Western microchips and electronics that Russia needs to produce military equipment.
- A Ukrainian report states that Russian authorities may be preparing evacuations from northern Crimea.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on June 9 that Russia will begin deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus in July 2023, and this is not an escalation from Putin’s prior nuclear weapons rhetoric.
- June 8, 2023
- By Karolina Hird, George Barros, Grace Mappes, Nicole Wolkov,
Mason Clark, and Fredrick W. Kagan
- Ukraine has conducted counteroffensive operations with differential outcomes in at least three sectors of the front as part of wider counteroffensive efforts that have been unfolding since Sunday, June 4.
- Ukrainian forces conducted a limited but still significant attack in western Zaporizhia Oblast on the night of June 7 to 8. Russian forces apparently defended against this attack in a doctrinally sound manner and had reportedly regained their initial positions as of June 8.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) responded to the Ukrainian attack with an uncharacteristic degree of coherency and praised Southern Military District elements for repelling the attack and regaining lost positions.
- Russian sources provided explanations for claimed Russian successes during the June 8 attacks, praising Russian forces’ effective use of electronic warfare (EW) systems, air support, and landmines against Ukrainian forces.
- Russian forces appear to have executed their formal tactical defensive doctrine in response to the Ukrainian attacks southwest of Orikhiv.
- Ukrainian attacks in western Zaporizhia on June 8 do not represent the full extent of Ukrainian capabilities in the current counteroffensive.
- It is additionally noteworthy that the Russian Southern Military District Forces deployed in this particular area are likely to be a higher quality force grouping than Russia has elsewhere in theater, and their defensive performance is unlikely to be reflective of defensive capabilities of Russian groupings elsewhere on the front.
- Russian forces and occupation authorities continue to exacerbate the humanitarian ramifications of the flooding resulting from the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam break.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly postponed his annual press conference from June 2023 until November or December 2023.
- Russian forces continued to conduct limited ground attacks on the Kupyansk-Svatove line and around Kreminna.
- Ukrainian forces made limited gains around Bakhmut, and Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces continued to conduct limited ground attacks on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts.
- The Russian MoD continues to posture itself as a firm authority over the defense industrial base (DIB) through emphasizing its ability to transport new equipment to the front.
- Russian occupation authorities are reportedly resorting to punitive measures against civilian populations in occupied Ukraine due to Russian occupation authorities’ decreasing influence over civilians.
- June 7, 2023
- By Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Nicole Wolkov, George Barros, and Fredrick W. Kagan
- The destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam is significantly changing the geography and topography of the Kherson frontline sector in southern Ukraine.
- Ukrainian officials continued to accuse Russian forces of destroying the KHPP dam out of fear that Ukrainian forces would land on the east (left) bank Kherson Oblast.
- The New York Times (NYT) reported that engineering and munitions experts believe that a deliberate explosion was the likely cause of KHPP dam’s collapse on June 6.
- Russian forces and occupation authorities are responding to the flooding in Kherson Oblast with a great degree of disorganization and thereby exacerbating harm to the civilian population of occupied areas.
- Select Wagner Group-affiliated Russian senior military officers continue to posture as effective commanders to appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin by capitalizing on high-profile military events.
- The pro-Teplinsky interview is likely part of an information operation aimed at undermining the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
- Wagner-affiliated commanders’ reactive public relations campaigns may not be sufficient to deflect from battlefield realities.
- Russian and Ukrainian officials each accused the other state of damaging an ammonia pipeline that runs through Kharkiv Oblast and causing an ammonia leak.
- Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks around Kreminna.
- Ukrainian officials indicated that Ukrainian forces are conducting offensive operations in the Bakhmut direction as of June 7.
- Russian forces continued limited ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian forces conducted ground attacks on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts on June 7.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces reportedly engaged in skirmishes in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
- Russian authorities continue to restrict international travel for those eligible for military service.
- Russian officials and occupation authorities continue to establish patronage programs between Russian regions and occupied territories in order to integrate occupied territories into Russia.
- June 6, 2023
- By Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Kateryna Stepanenko, Nicole Wolkov, George Barros, and Fredrick W. Kagan
- Damage to the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam in the early hours of June 6 caused massive flooding of the Dnipro River delta, river wetlands, estuaries, and shoreline settlements in Kherson Oblast.
- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Ukrainian officials stated that the drop in the water level at the Kakhovka Reservoir should not affect the safety of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).
- Ukrainian officials stated that Russian forces intentionally destroyed the KHPP dam and suggested that the Russian military did not prepare for subsequent flooding.
- Russian officials accused Ukrainian forces of destroying the KHPP dam and used the allegations to bolster ongoing efforts to portray Ukrainian assaults elsewhere in Ukraine as immediate failures.
- ISW has not yet observed clear evidence of what transpired at the KHPP on June 6 and is therefore unable to offer an independent assessment of responsibility at the time of this publication.
- Russian forces conducted another large-scale missile strike across Ukraine on the night of June 5-6.
- Russian sources claimed that the pro-Ukrainian all-Russian Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) and the Freedom of Russian Legion (LSR) are gone from a border settlement in Belgorod Oblast as of June 6.
- Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin continued to directly threaten the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Russian military command if they do not fulfill his demands for a larger independent army and political influence in Russia.
- Ukrainian officials offered assurances that the damage to the dam and subsequent flooding will not impede Ukrainian counteroffensive preparations.
- Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
- Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued ground attacks north and southwest of Bakhmut, and Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk line.
- Ukrainian forces continued ground attacks in southwestern Donetsk and in eastern Zaporizhia oblasts.
- Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that the Russian 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade is part of the irregular 6th Division.
- Russian officials and occupation authorities continue efforts to use infrastructure projects to integrate occupied territories into Russia.
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 6 – 12, 2023 – Mouseover to ScrollUkraine Conflict Maps – 060623 – 061223
* 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.
About the Institute for the Study of War
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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