Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Russian Operations Assessment 28JAN2024

Key Takeaways: 
  • Kremlin officials and mouthpieces continue to set information conditions to destabilize Moldova, likely as part of efforts to prevent Moldova’s integration into the EU and the West among other objectives.
  •  Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergei Naryshkin reiterated that the Kremlin is not interested in any settlements short of the complete destruction and eradication of the Ukrainian state, likely in an ongoing effort to justify the long-term and costly Russian war effort to domestic audiences. 
  • The Kremlin also continues to frame and justify a long-term Russian war effort as part of an existential geopolitical confrontation with the West and Nazism. 
  • Ukrainian Navy Commander Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa emphasized the importance of Ukraine’s ability to technologically adapt and develop as Russian forces continue to adapt to Ukrainian operations in a January 27 Sky News interview. 
  • The Kremlin will likely use the withdrawals of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to continue efforts to expand Russian influence in Francophone Africa. 
  • Unnamed Indian government sources stated that India wants to distance itself from Russia, its largest arms supplier, because the war in Ukraine has limited Russia’s ability to provide India with munitions.  Russian forces recently advanced near Kreminna and Avdiivka amid continued positional fighting throughout the theater. 
  • A Russian source claimed that Rosgvardia is forming the 1st Volunteer Corps with remaining Wagner Group personnel and newly recruited volunteers (dobrovoltsy) following the Kremlin adoption of the law allowing Rosgvardia to form its own volunteer formations in December 2023. 
  • Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Head Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov stated on January 28 that Ukraine and Russia will conduct a prisoner of war (POW) exchange in the near future.


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