Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 18, 2024

May 18, 2024 - ISW Press

Russian forces have recently intensified their effort to seize the operationally significant town of Chasiv Yar, seeking to exploit how Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast and ongoing offensive operations throughout eastern Ukraine have generated greater theater-wide pressure on Ukrainian forces. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful roughly reinforced company-sized mechanized assault with two tanks and 21 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in the direction of the Novyi Microraion in eastern Chasiv Yar on May 17.

Iran Update, May 18, 2024

May 18, 2024 - ISW Press

Israeli forces expanded clearing operations in eastern Rafah on May 18. The IDF 401st Brigade is “deepening the raid” in eastern Rafah, according to the IDF. Israeli forces destroyed militia infrastructure and killed about 50 Palestinian fighters in the area. Israeli forces also destroyed a weapons production site. An IDF lieutenant colonel said that the IDF has begun attacking Hamas’ Rafah Brigade. Several Palestinian militias claimed attacks targeting Israeli forces in the al Tanour neighborhood, indicating that Israeli forces have advanced to the area. A Palestinian journalist reported that Israeli forces advanced and engaged Palestinian fighters in the Jninah and Brazil neighborhoods in eastern Rafah.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024 - ISW Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin framed Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast as part of Russian efforts to create a "buffer zone" to protect Russian border areas from Ukrainian strikes, confirming ISW's previous assessments.

Iran Update, May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024 - ISW Press

Hamas is continuing to discuss its desired political end state in which a Hamas-influenced government governs the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Closing the Skies, Liberating Ukraine, Helsinki Commission, May 16, 2024

May 17, 2024 - ISW Press

The following testimony was presented by ISW Non-Resident Russia Fellow Nataliya Bugayova before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) on May 16, 2024.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024 - ISW Press

Xi held a series of meetings with European and Russian leaders in April and May, after which he likely concluded that the PRC could maintain and deepen economic ties with Europe while continuing to support Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Iran Update, May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024 - ISW Press

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on May 16 that the IDF will deploy additional forces to Rafah as Israeli forces continue to conduct limited operations in the area. Gallant said that Israeli forces have destroyed several tunnels in eastern Rafah and will continue to destroy tunnels there. Gallant added that IDF operations will “intensify” in Rafah.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian officials reported that Ukrainian forces are stabilizing the situation along the northern border in Kharkiv Oblast and that the tempo of Russian offensive operations in the area continues to decrease. Ukrainian Khortytsia Group of Forces Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Nazar Voloshyn stated on May 16 that Ukrainian forces are partially stabilizing the situation in the Kharkiv direction, and the Ukrainian General Staff noted that Ukrainian forces have so far denied Russia’s tactical objectives to penetrate Ukrainian defenses within Vovchansk (northeast of Kharkiv City) and establish a foothold in the area.

Africa File, May 16, 2024: Russian Outreach Across Africa

May 16, 2024 - ISW Press

Russia has reinforced its military presence in Libya as it consolidates its positions across Africa. Russia may have deployed the influx of personnel and matériel as part of ongoing negotiations to secure a naval base in Libya, prepare to send more support to various theaters in sub-Saharan Africa, or strengthen its position to make itself essential to resolving the ongoing domestic stalemate in Libya.

Iran Update, May 15, 2024

May 15, 2024 - ISW Press

The Israeli defense minister publicly called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to define a political end state in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on May 15 that “governance by non-Hamas Palestinian entities, accompanied by international actors, is in Israel’s interest.”