Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in 2022, not out of fear of NATO, but because he perceived NATO as weak and that installing a pro-Russian government in Kyiv would be easy.

ISW Russia Analyst Riley Bailey and Frederick Kagan examine how Russia has exploited the lack of US security aid to seize the theater-wide intiative in Ukraine.

Current US policy bans Ukraine from using US-provided weapons in Russia, severely hindering Ukraine's defense against Russia's renewed invasion in Kharkiv Oblast.

ISW Russia Fellow Nataliya Bugayova's testimony before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe from May 16, 2024.

By Dan Blumenthal, Frederick W. Kagan, Jonathan Baumel, Cindy Chen, Francis de Beixedon, Logan Rank, and Alexis Turek

Latest from ISW

Iran Update, July 15, 2024

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has not yet confirmed whether it killed Hamas’ top military commander, Mohammad Deif. The IDF conducted an airstrike in the al Mawasi humanitarian zone on July 13 targeting Deif and Hamas Khan Younis Brigade Commander Rafe Salamah. The IDF confirmed on July 14 that the strike killed Salamah. Hamas officials maintain that Deif is alive but have not provided evidence to back their assertion.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 15, 2024

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.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 14, 2024

Russian officials and milbloggers reiterated complaints about poor security around critical infrastructure in rear areas of Russia in response to a July 13 Ukrainian drone strike against an oil depot near Tsimlyansk, Rostov Oblast. The Russian military command may have committed under-equipped units initially intended to act as an operational reserve to combat operations, possibly due to constraints on the Russian defense industrial base (DIB) or efforts to reinforce ongoing Russian grinding assaults in Ukraine. Ukrainian forces recently regained lost positions near Vovchansk, and Russian forces recently advanced near Avdiivka.

Iran Update, July 13, 2024

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted an airstrike in the al Mawasi humanitarian zone targeting Hamas’ top military commander, Mohammad Deif, on July 13. The strike also targeted Hamas Khan Younis Brigade Commander Rafe Salamah. Israel is still assessing whether the strike killed Deif or Salamah. Israeli officials confirmed that they conducted the strike based on specific intelligence collected over the prior 24 hours. The IDF Air Force dropped eight 2,000-pound precision munitions targeting a building in which Deif and Salamah were assessed to be.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 13, 2024

Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) reportedly conducted successful drone strikes against an oil depot near Tsimlyansk, Rostov Oblast on the morning of July 13. Ukrainian outlet Suspilne reported that its sources stated that SBU drones struck the oil depot, which stored various grades of gas and diesel fuel. Russian sources amplified footage showing the fire at an oil depot near Tsimlyansk, Rostov Oblast (156km northeast of Rostov-on-Don), and Rostov Oblast Head Vasily Golubev confirmed that a drone strike caused the fire. A Ukrainian military observer told Ukrainian media that Ukrainian forces are targeting Russian military logistics, including oil depots, and that Rostov Oblast is one of Russia's most important military logistics hubs.