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ISW is a policy research organization focused on U.S. national security. Email: press@understandingwar.org. For more: https://t.co/FO1PVyOnYB
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Apr 15 8 tweets 2 min read
2/ Russian forces have experimented with cruise missile, ballistic missile, and drone strikes of varying sizes and combinations, and are now routinely conducting large, combined strikes against targets in Ukraine. 3/ Iran’s similarly large, combined strike package was far less successful than recent Russian strikes in Ukraine, however, with Israeli air defenses intercepting almost all of the roughly 320 air targets except several ballistic missiles.
Apr 15 4 tweets 2 min read
NEW | Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 14, 2024

Israel’s success in defending against large-scale Iranian missile and drone strikes from Iranian territory on April 13 underscores the vulnerabilities that Ukrainian geography and the continued degradation of Ukraine’s air defense umbrella pose for Ukrainian efforts to defend against regular Russian missile and drone strikes. (1/4)Image 2/ The exhaustion of US-provided air defenses resulting from delays in the resumption of US military assistance to Ukraine combined with improvements in Russian strike tactics have led to increasing effectiveness of the Russian strike campaign in Ukraine.
Apr 14 9 tweets 2 min read
NEW | The Iranian April 13 missile-drone attack on Israel was very likely intended to cause significant damage below the threshold that would trigger a massive Israeli response. The attack was designed to succeed, not to fail. 🧵(1/9)Image 2/ The strike package was modeled on those the Russians have used repeatedly against Ukraine to great effect.

The strike consisted of approximately 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles.
Apr 14 8 tweets 2 min read
The Russian military command likely assesses that Ukrainian forces will be unable to defend against current and future Russian offensive operations due to delays in or the permanent end of US military assistance. 🧵(1/8) 2/ Though Russian forces likely lack the ability to conduct more than one simultaneous effective large-scale operational effort as they have throughout the war, Russian forces are now able to use multiple alternating offensive efforts to stretch Ukrainian defensive capabilities amid Ukrainian artillery and air defense shortages.
Apr 14 5 tweets 2 min read
NEW: The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force launched a large-scale drone and missile attack from Iranian territory that targeted Israel from Iranian territory on April 13 - the first time Iran has targeted Israel directly from Iranian territory. (1/5)Image
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2/ Members of Iran’s so-called “Axis of Resistance” appear to have conducted attacks targeting Israel simultaneously with Iran’s first wave of attacks.
Apr 14 4 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Tonight's Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment considers several most dangerous courses of action (MDCOAs) that could occur if Ukrainian forces continue to suffer from critical shortages in essential artillery, air defense, and other munitions and systems. (1/4)Image
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2/ ISW is not currently forecasting that these MDCOAs will occur, and, on the contrary, assesses that they are very unlikely to occur if additional US and Western aid is rapidly forthcoming.
Apr 14 8 tweets 2 min read
NEW: The composition of the ongoing Iranian attack on Israel is similar to that of strikes that Russia has repeatedly conducted against Ukraine in efforts to determine the optimal package to penetrate Western-style air- and missile defenses. 🧵(1/8)Image 2/ The Iranian drone and missile attack into Israel shows that Iran is learning from the Russians and the Houthis to develop increasingly dangerous and effective strike packages against Israel and the US.
Apr 12 5 tweets 2 min read
More Key Takeaways from the Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment:

ISW continues to assess that the development of Ukraine’s defense industrial base can allow Ukraine to sustain its defense against Russia and longer-term national security needs with significantly reduced foreign military assistance. 2/ Russian forces are domestically producing and fielding a new air-to-surface subsonic cruise missile against Ukraine designated the Kh-69 as part of continued efforts to improve strike packages and penetrate Ukraine’s degraded air defense.
Apr 12 5 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that Russia’s ongoing strike campaign against Ukrainian energy facilities aims in part to devastate the Ukrainian defense industry. (🧵1/5)Image
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2/ Putin's statement confirms ISW’s ongoing assessment that Russian strikes against Ukrainian energy facilities aim to degrade Ukrainian defense industrial capacity.
Apr 12 5 tweets 2 min read
NEW: The exhaustion of US-provided air defenses due to delays in resuming US aid to Ukraine and improvements in Russian strike tactics have led to the increasing effectiveness of Russian strikes against Ukraine w/o an increase in the size or frequency of such strikes. (🧵1/5)Image 2/ Russian forces have inflicted increasing and long-term damage to Ukrainian energy infrastructure this spring. The increased effectiveness of Russian strikes does not appear to result from the use of more missiles and drones in each strike.
Apr 12 6 tweets 2 min read
US European Command (EUCOM) Commander and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Christopher Cavoli reported that EUCOM and NATO are strengthening their ability to respond to the “chronic threat” that Russia poses to global stability and European security in hopes of deterring future Russian aggression against NATO. 🧵(1/6) 2/ Cavoli stated during a briefing to the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on April 10 that Russia poses a “chronic threat” to the world and warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not intend to limit or stop his aggression at the borders of Ukraine.
Apr 11 6 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Russian forces conducted another large-scale series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine on the night of April 10 to 11 that caused notable and likely long-term damage to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. 🧵(1/6)Image
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2/ Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that Ukraine needs more Patriot air defense batteries to protect both Ukraine’s population centers and frontline areas.
Apr 10 5 tweets 3 min read
Russian forces recently advanced west of Avdiivka and likely captured Pervomaiske (southwest of Avdiivka) as of April 9. Additional geolocated footage published on April 9 shows that Russian forces advanced in fields northeast of Netaylove (immediately west of Pervomaiske). (1/5)

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2/ Russian forces recently advanced west and southwest of Donetsk City. Geolocated footage published on April 8 shows that Russian forces made gains along Vatutin Street in southeastern Krasnohorivka (west of Donetsk City) following a mechanized assault with roughly two platoons. Image
Apr 10 7 tweets 3 min read
IRGC Navy Commander Rear Adm. Ali Reza Tangsiri implicitly threatened the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during an interview with Lebanese Hezbollah-controlled media on April 9, likely to pressure the UAE to sever ties with Israel.

More key takeaways ⬇️(1/7)
Image 2/ Tangsiri separately endorsed the strategy of “strategic patience” in response to the April 1 Israeli airstrike that killed seven IRGC officials in Damascus.
Apr 10 4 tweets 2 min read
NEW: US, Israeli, and Iranian officials told the @nytimes that Iran is operating a smuggling network through Jordan to arm Palestinian fighters in the West Bank. (1/4)Image
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2/ US and Israeli officials said that the Iranian-backed networks are specifically involved in moving small arms, anti-tank missiles, and RPGs.

Iran’s smuggling network in Jordan could enable already motivated militias in the West Bank to attack Israeli targets.
Apr 10 9 tweets 3 min read
Key Takeaways:

US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on April 9 that it transferred roughly a brigade’s worth of small arms and ammunition seized from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to Ukraine on April 4. 🧵(1/9) 2/ The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) is likely responsible for a drone strike against the Borisoglebsk Airbase in Voronezh Oblast overnight on April 8 to 9.
Apr 9 7 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Ukrainian drone strikes against Russian oil refineries are reportedly forcing Russia to seek gasoline imports from Kazakhstan. 🧵(1/7)Image 2/ Three unnamed industry sources told Reuters in an article published on April 8 that Russia asked Kazakhstan to establish an “emergency reserve” of 100,000 metric tons of gasoline that Kazakhstan could supply to Russia in case of shortages exacerbated by Ukrainian drone strikes and resulting refinery outages.
Apr 8 10 tweets 2 min read
.@nataliabugayova: Escaping the Kremlin-generated alternative reality requires more than evading Russian information operations. The US must reconnect with its own interests and the ground truths of this war.
🧵(1/10)

1. The West has the advantage, but it must decide to use it.Image 2. The challenges facing the United States are easier to solve than those facing Russia. The gap that Ukraine and its partners need to close to help Ukraine win is smaller than the gap that Russia needs to close to achieve its objectives in Ukraine.
Apr 7 9 tweets 3 min read
NEW: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky indicated that Ukraine does not have enough materiel to contest the battlefield initiative. 🧵(1/9)Image
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2/ Zelensky stated during an interview aired on April 6 that Ukrainian forces currently do not have enough ammunition to initiate and sustain future counteroffensive operations and reiterated that Ukrainian forces are currently using drones to partially compensate for artillery ammunition shortages across the theater.
Apr 6 8 tweets 2 min read
Key Takeaways from the April 5, 2024 Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment:

The recently intensified tempo of Russian offensive operations in Ukraine will likely result in increased manpower and materiel losses, but the Russian Ministry of Defense appears to be successfully mitigating these losses. 2/ Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal indicated that Ukraine is starting to staff new units, but that Ukraine needs further Western military assistance to properly equip them.
Apr 6 5 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) and Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted one of the largest series of drone strikes against military facilities within Russia, targeting at least four Russian airbases, on the night of April 4 to 5. (🧵1/5)Image
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2/ Ukrainian strikes have typically only targeted individual airbases within Russia, and Ukraine’s ability to strike 4 separate airbases in one strike series represents a notable inflection in the capabilities that Ukrainian forces are employing in their campaign against critical targets within Russia.