Interactive Map: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

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Interactive Map: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Click here to see ISW’s Interactive Map. This map complements the static control-of-terrain maps that ISW daily produces with high-fidelity and, where possible, street-level assessments of the war in Ukraine.

The PLA’s Evolving Outlook on Urban Warfare: Learning, Training, and Implications for Taiwan

The West should pay close attention to the Chinese military’s preparations for urban combat, as these efforts will have profound effects on China’s policy toward Taiwan and elsewhere. 

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Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, January 14, 2023

Jan 14, 2023 – Press ISW

Russian forces launched two waves of missile strikes targeting Ukrainian critical infrastructure on January 14. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces conducted 50 missile and three airstrikes against Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kryvyi Rih, Dnipro, Vinnytsya, and unspecified settlements in western Ukraine. Russian missile strikes on Dnipro City damaged an apartment building, killing at least 5 people and wounding over 60. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces struck Ukrainian cities and settlements in two waves: first employing S-300 and S-400 systems in Belarus against ground targets in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast in the morning and later launching 28 cruise missile strikes using Kh-101/Kh-555, Kh-22, sea-based Kalibr, and Kh-59 guided air missiles. The Ukrainian General Staff added that Ukrainian forces shot down 18 cruise missiles and three guided air missiles.

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Iran Crisis Update, January 14, 2023

Jan 14, 2023 – Press ISW

The Iranian judiciary announced on January 14 the execution of Alireza Akbari—a former deputy defense minister and British-Iranian dual national. The judiciary previously announced on January 11 that it had sentenced Akbari to death for espionage charges. Iranian officials and media have accused Akbari of providing information to British intelligence services. CTP has previously assessed that some elements of the security establishment are coopting Akbari’s case to force Ali Shamkhani from his position as Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) secretary. CTP is not prepared to assess the likelihood of Shamkhani’s departure, however.

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Salafi-Jihadi Movement Weekly Update, January 12, 2023

Jan 13, 2023 – Press ISW

Deteriorating relationships between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and local communities will likely advantage the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) as it seeks to expand its shadow governance in eastern Syria. Tensions have spiked over reported SDF human rights abuses in communities it suspects of harboring ISIS fighters in Deir Ezzor province. ISIS is likely taking advantage of the SDF’s abuse of civilians by retaliating against the SDF to promote itself as an alternative, while also using threats and intimidation to recruit local allies. Al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, is attempting to push back an effort by Somali government and local forces to oust the group from positions in central Somalia. Somali forces, with US support, have removed al Shabaab from several strongholds in central and south-central Somalia. Al Shabaab is retaliating with attacks intended to pin Somali forces in their positions and intimidate local militias. The group is likely not pursuing negotiations with the Somali government, despite media reports of talks. An escalating insurgency in Pakistan is straining relations between the Pakistani government and the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has increased attacks in Pakistan since November 2022. The TTP has ties to the Afghan Taliban and maintains havens inside Afghanistan. The relationship between the Afghan Taliban government and Pakistan has deteriorated over the past few months due to increasing border clashes and the Taliban government’s failure to reign in TTP attacks targeting Pakistan. The Pakistani government is now likely considering a renewed military effort against the TTP to include strikes in Afghan territory. The Taliban government will seek to avoid open military conflict with Pakistan but will remain either unable or unwilling to restrict TTP operations targeting Pakistan from Afghanistan.

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Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, January 13, 2023

Jan 13, 2023 – Press ISW

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on January 13 that Russian forces seized Soledar, Donetsk Oblast, on the evening of January 12. The Russian MoD claimed that Russian forces can now form a “cauldron” around Bakhmut and threaten Ukrainian supply lines running southwest of Soledar that support Ukrainian troops in the city. The Russian MoD notably praised assault and army aviation, missile and artillery troops, and Russian airborne forces for seizing Soledar, without acknowledging Wagner Group’s participation in the fighting for the city. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov maintained that the situation around Soledar is difficult and noted that it is unclear if Russian forces control the settlement at this time. At the same time, other Ukrainian military officials reported that Ukrainian forces continued to fight in Soledar during the night of January 12-13. Ukrainian forces may still occupy some positions on the northwestern borders of Soledar but are unlikely to control significant territory within the settlement itself. ISW assessed on January 12 that Russian forces had likely captured Soledar on January 11, but such a victory is unlikely to presage an imminent Russian encirclement of Bakhmut.

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Iran Crisis Update, January 13, 2023

Jan 13, 2023 – Press ISW

Some protest organizers in Iran are trying to push the protest movement into a new phase—one that could include more militant activity against the Iranian regime. The Karaj Neighborhood Youth has argued in recent days that the movement has entered a “new phase” and “second wave” as protest turnout has continued to decline. The Karaj group has described this new period as featuring greater centralization and cohesion within the movement, external outreach, and insurgent activity. The Karaj group stated on January 4 that the movement has “intensified” its coordination and is making unified decisions regarding “approaches, fighting methods, assistance, etc.” The Karaj group rebranded entirely on January 13, labeling itself as the international communications wing of the Iranian Neighborhood Youth Union (INYU)—a coalition of protest groups that formed in December 2022.[3] The Karaj group under its new name announced that the INYU is pursuing two efforts: “1. Building cohesion and cooperation among militant groups inside Iran [and] 2. Connecting with the international community (individuals, organizations, and media).” The group added that the first effort “is currently underway, and soon most militant groups in the field will gather together.” It is unclear how much real influence the INYU has over the protest movement and to what extent its efforts will succeed, especially given the challenges that it has had in generating protest turnout previously. Infighting over leadership within the protest movement could seriously hinder these efforts. It is also unclear to what extent the INYU will continue trying to coordinate overt acts of political defiance, such as demonstrations and strikes.

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Iran Crisis Update, January 12, 2023

Jan 12, 2023 – Press ISW

CTP recorded no protests in Iran for the second consecutive day on January 12, 2023. Some protest organizers called for demonstrations to commemorate executed protesters, but CTP did not record indications that these demonstrations materialized. Regular expressions of anti-regime sentiment are continuing throughout Iran, however. Protest groups have also called for demonstrations on January 19—20, which coincide with scheduled university exams. Gathering students in-person to take the tests could catalyze demonstrations. Regime officials have discussed issuing localized or possibly countrywide internet shutdowns on these dates ostensibly to prevent cheating on the exams, as CTP previously reported, and could use such measures to facilitate protest suppression.

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Ukraine Conflict Updates

Aug 15, 2022

This page collects ISW and CTP’s updates on the conflict in Ukraine. In late February 2022, ISW began publishing daily synthetic products covering key events related to renewed Russian aggression against Ukraine.

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