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Defeating Russia’s Kharkiv Operation Requires Eliminating Russia’s Sanctuary

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.

Closing the Skies, Liberating Ukraine

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

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Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 8, 2024

Jun 8, 2024 – ISW Press

The Russian military command is reportedly transferring an unspecified number of forces to the Ukrainian-Russian border area near Kharkiv Oblast, but it is unclear if the Russian military command plans to immediately commit these redeployed forces to combat or use them to reinforce the Northern Grouping of Forces to bring it closer to its reported planned end strength. Chechen Akhmat Spetsnaz Commander Apty Alaudinov claimed in an interview with Russian state media outlet RT on June 8 that Russian authorities decided to transfer elements of the Akhmat Spetsnaz to the Kharkiv direction from unspecified areas at the end of May 2024. Alaudinov claimed that the “Kashtan” detachment, formerly known as Akhmat “Kamerton” detachment and renamed after its new commander, is operating in the Kharkiv direction.

Iran Update, June 8, 2024

Jun 8, 2024 – ISW Press

Israeli forces rescued four Hamas-held hostages during a complex operation in the central Gaza Strip. Hamas captured the four hostages from the Nova music festival during the October 7 attack. This marks the second successful rescue of living hostages by Israel during the war. Israeli forces engaged Palestinian fighters during the rescue and Palestinian fighters killed one Israeli officer during the engagement. Hamas fighters fired a man portable air defense system at an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) helicopter in Nuseirat, where the rescue occurred. The IDF acknowledged the presence of civilians in the area and estimated the number of casualties to be under 100. Palestinian reports said that hundreds of civilians died during the rescue.

Iran Update, June 7, 2024

Jun 7, 2024 – ISW Press

Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar indicated opposition to the latest Israeli ceasefire proposal, according to unspecified Arab officials.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 7, 2024

Jun 7, 2024 – ISW Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin articulated a theory of victory in Ukraine on June 7 that assumes that Russian forces will be able to continue gradual creeping advances indefinitely, prevent Ukraine from conducting successful operationally significant counteroffensive operations, and win a war of attrition against Ukrainian forces.

Africa File, June 7, 2024: Russian Diplomatic Blitz; Somalia Boots Ethiopia

Jun 7, 2024 – ISW Press

High-level Russian officials are meeting with Russian partners across Africa, seeking to advance the Kremlin’s strategic goals of projecting greater Russian influence to supplant the West and better positioning Russia for prolonged confrontation with the West. The visits are strengthening Russia’s military footprint on the continent, which enables the Kremlin to use its limited resources to threaten NATO’s southern flank and degrade Western influence, advancing the narrative that Russia is a revitalized great power on par with the West.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 6, 2024

Jun 6, 2024 – ISW Press

Putin stated during a meeting with the heads of foreign press organizations on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 5 that Russia could begin supplying long-range weapons to unspecified adversaries of the West as a “symmetrical response” to the lifting of some Western restrictions on Ukraine’s use of Western-provided weapons to strike military targets within Russia. Kremlin actors routinely threaten to directly strike Western targets in an effort to use Western fears of escalation with Russia to encourage the West to self-deter its support for Ukraine, and Putin’s June 5 threat is not a notable inflection in this regard.

Iran Update, June 6, 2024

Jun 6, 2024 – ISW Press

Hamas reportedly said that it will reject the Israeli ceasefire proposal, arguing that the proposal does not ensure a permanent end to hostilities. Saudi-based media obtained a copy of a Hamas memo to other Palestinian militias in which Hamas explained that Hamas did not accept the proposal because it is “fundamentally different” from the proposal that US President Joe Biden outlined on May 31.

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