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[l] at 11/28/22 11:55pm
Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, Johanna Moore, Dana Alexander Gray, Amin Soltani, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 28, 5:00 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Social media users circulated calls for protests following the US-Iran world cup match on November 29 although it is unclear to what extent these demonstrations will materialize. Some protest organization groups and other prominent social media users circulated calls for protests on November 29, possibly in an attempt to coopt or challenge pro-regime celebrations on city streets.[1] Some social media users disagreed with the November 29 call to protests and highlighted pre-organized protests scheduled for December 5-7.[2] Another anti-regime social media user circulated ways to support the protest movement until demonstrations resume on December 5, further suggesting that protesters remain focused on unrest planned for December 5-7.[3] The Neighborhood Youth of Karaj protest organization similarly alluded to requiring more time to reinforce its organizational capabilities and supplies before protests resume on December 5, as CTP previously reported.[4] Recent social media activity from groups purporting to be protest organizations suggest diverging approaches to coordinating unrest, one of which calls for large crowds and emphasizes continuous protest activity, the other of which seemingly requires more time and preparation. This rhetorical schism could indicate that protest organization groups remain primarily local and lack a coherent, nation-wide structure.Anti-regime Black Reward hacker group claimed to have leaked a conversation between Basij Deputy Commander Ghassem Ghoureishi and state-affiliated media actors referencing intra-regime fissures over ongoing protests. Black Reward claimed a cyberattack on IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency’s website on November 25, which Fars later confirmed.[5] The recorded discussion between Ghoureishi and his subordinates purportedly originated from Fars’ digital archives. The two-and-a-half-hour-long audio file confirmed extensive protest activity and other acts of defiance on November 15, including significant strikes in 22 of Iran’s 31 provinces and almost complete store closures in Tehran city. Ghouresishi additionally stated that Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani, President Ebrahim Raisi, and Judiciary Chief Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei separately met with reformists at unspecified dates, possibly corroborating prior reporting that senior Iranian officials had met with prominent reformists to discuss strategies to quell ongoing unrest.[6] The audio file also referenced directives allegedly given by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to violently crack down on dissent. One of the speakers noted that Khamenei complained that members of the Expediency Discernment Council—a council that mediates between regime entities and advises the supreme leader—had failed to condemn demonstrations and separately warned LEC Commander Hossein Ashtari against failing to sufficiently suppress protests. The conversation similarly included referenced waning morale among security personnel.[7]Black Reward has previously described itself as a group of anti-regime Iranian hackers who support the Mahsa Amini protest movement, although no entity has been able to confirm the group’s identity nor the veracity of their information.[8] The group previously claimed to have hacked sensitive information relating to the Iranian nuclear program on October 21.[9] CTP cannot authenticate Black Reward’s leaked audio file. The conversation does allude to intra-regime fractures congruent with CTP’s prior reporting and assessments, however, and is completely plausible if not verifiable. CTP does not regard this audio file as independent confirmation of previous assessments, however, as it has not been authenticated by any reputable actor.The Iranian regime is coordinating with Qatari officials to suppress public acts of defiance among Iranians in Doha, including members of the Iranian national football team. An anonymous FIFA security official told CNN that IRGC members chastised Iranian players for failing to sing the national anthem in the November 21 match against England, suggesting that Qatar either assisted with or permitted IRGC extraterritorial operations in Doha. The source added that Iranian officials had threatened to torture the family members of Iran team players who demonstrated sympathy with anti-regime protesters and forbade them from interacting with foreigners.[10] The New York Times similarly reported on November 21 that Qatari officials banned Iranian fans from attending matches if they possessed pre-1979 Iranian flags, further corroborating reports of Qatari-Iranian cooperation to suppress anti-regime activity in Doha.[11] Anti-regime outlet Iran International additionally published a November 27 report claiming that Iranian and Qatari officials secretly coordinated to control which Iranians attend the World Cup matches.[12] The November 27 report included the leaked Black Reward audio file allegedly featuring Ghoureishi, wherein an official claimed that Basij officials had identified over 500 ”counterrevolutionaries” attending the tournament.[13] Ghoureishi claimed that Qatari officials promised to prevent Iranian attendees from displaying pre-1979 flags and engaging in other acts of dissent.[14]Key TakeawaysSocial media users circulated calls for protests following the US-Iran world cup match on November 29, although it is unclear to what extent these demonstrations will materialize.The anti-regime Black Reward hacker group claimed to have leaked a conversation between Basij Deputy Commander Ghassem Ghoureishi and state-affiliated media actors referencing intra-regime fissures over ongoing protests.The Iranian regime is coordinating with Qatari officials to suppress public acts of defiance among Iranians in Doha, including members of the Iranian national football team.At least 10 protests took place in six cities across six provinces on November 28.Social media users documented trucker strikes throughout Iran for the third consecutive day.IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Haji Zadeh announced that over 300 protesters and security personnel have died since anti-regime protests began on September 16, although this number is almost certainly higher.The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has stationed security forces at the Iran-Iraq border, decreasing the likelihood of an IRGC ground incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan.Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least 10 protests took place in six cities across six provinces. CTP assesses with high to moderate confidence that protests occurred in the following locations on November 28:Karaj, Alborz Province[15]Size: SmallDemographic: Industrial workersProtest Type: Strike and protest, third consecutive dayKaraj, Alborz Province[16]Size: SmallDemographic: High school studentsEsfahan City, Esfahan Province[17]Size: MediumDemographic: Industrial workersProtest Type: Strike and protest, third consecutive dayTehran City, Tehran Province[18]Size: SmallDemographic: Tehran University of Art and Practical Arts University studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[19]Size: SmallDemographic: Allameh Tabataba'i University studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[20]Size: Small to mediumDemographic: Shahid Beheshti University studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[21]Size: SmallCTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in the following locations on November 28:Kermanshah City, Kermanshah Province[22]Size: Small to mediumDemographic: Technical University of Kermanshah studentsSabzevar, Khorasan Razavi Province[23]Size: SmallDemographic: Hakim Sabzevari University students and professorsNotes: Photos and uncorroborated reports, no available footageSanandaj, Kurdistan Province[24]Size: UndeterminedProtester Activity: Fire lit in streetNote: CTP defines small protests as fewer than 100 individuals, medium protests as between 100 and 1,000, and protests as over one thousand.Social media users documented trucker strikes throughout Iran for the third consecutive day. Some reported strike locations include Esfahan, Ghazvin, Hamadan, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Lorestan, and Yazd Provinces.[25]The Iranian Judiciary released approximately 709 detained protestors under Judiciary Chief Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei’s November 26 clemency order.[26] Ejei clarified on November 27 that detainees must express ”remorse” in order to receive leniency, and Ejei’s order excludes protest leaders and protestors accused of arson or assault.[27]IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Haji Zadeh announced that over 300 protesters and security personnel have died since anti-regime protests began on September 16, marking the first official death toll in over two months.[28] A state-run broadcaster last announced 41 protest-related deaths on September 22.[29] The current death toll is still likely higher than the figure presented by Haji Zadeh, however. An Iranian human rights organization placed the total death toll from the Mahsa Amini protest wave at 451 on November 28.[30]Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with senior commanders of the Artesh Navy on November 28 to commemorate a naval holiday. Khamenei’s speech was focused on naval operations and did not mention ongoing, anti-regime protests.[31]IRGC-affiliated media reported that unidentified attackers shot and killed Basij Organization member Reza Dastani with an unspecified firearm in Esfahan City, Esfahan Province on November 28.[32]Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsThe Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has stationed security forces at the Iran-Iraq border, decreasing the likelihood of an IRGC ground incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan. Commander of the KRG 2nd Border Guard Brigade, Brigadier General Goran Saleh Khaled, announced on November 28 that security forces have deployed to positions along the Iran-Iraqi Kurdistan border.[33] IRGC Quds Force Commander Esmail Ghaani allegedly threatened that Iran would conduct ground operations into Iraqi Kurdistan unless Baghdad sends Iraqi military forces—notably not Kurdish military forces—to secure the border region, as CTP has previously reported.[34] Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani released a statement on November 28 welcoming ”official forces” along the Iran-Iraq border, however Baghdad-based Al Mada reported that Tehran is unhappy with the decision to station Kurdish forces on the border.[35]The KRG deployment does not appear to meet Ghaani’s reported demands and may have angered Iranian officials, but it likely will decrease the prospect of the IRGC conducting ground operations against anti-regime Kurdish militants allegedly operating in Iraqi Kurdistan. The sizable KRG deployment and unfavorable terrain along the border make an IRGC ground operation unlikely to succeed. Armored and special forces units from the IRGC Ground Forces deployed to unspecified locations in northwestern and western Iran on November 25, as CTP has previously reported.[36] The deployment, however, is likely intended to aid in protest suppression in Iran’s restive Kurdish regions and to serve as additional leverage in negotiating with Baghdad and Erbil.[37] Iran may accuse Iraqi Kurdish forces of being ineffective in order to pressure the Iraqi government into security concessions to gain concessions and justify additional rocket and missile strikes in Iraqi Kurdistan.[1] https://twitter.com/Shahinlooo/status/1597218078659874816?s=20&t=tLewy0FV6fJjtD7admMYFg ; https://twitter.com/JavananBoushehr/status/1597304444420784129?s=20&t=7izahXtcqyGWPrDg0sbmnA ; https://twitter.com/Shahinlooo/status/1597218078659874816?s=20&t=cHElV4Oh36yfDpHEczIkjw ; https://twitter.com/Javanan_mashhad/status/1597221388477419521?s=20&t=tLewy0FV6fJjtD7admMYFg[2] https://twitter.com/ArmiNoza/status/1597266036591845377?s=20&t=KhIY7nl0oQ9WaDYUrJUoRg ; https://twitter.com/shotorifeshari/status/1597258725081116673?s=20&t=KhIY7nl0oQ9WaDYUrJUoRg ;[3] https://twitter.com/arixolin/status/1597145727804661760?s=20&t=2IqlMPrP7rbS4HP1kmmAKA[4] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/iran-crisis-update-november-27[5] https://twitter.com/KhosroKalbasi/status/1596197794771243008 ; https://www.timesofisrael.com/irans-fars-news-agency-hit-by-cyberattacks-blames-israel/[6] https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-protests-government-mahsa-amini-11669137860[7] https://www.iranintl.com/202211287937[8] https://www.cyberscoop dot com/iran-nuclear-emails-hack-leak-black-reward/[9] https://twitter.com/Natsecjeff/status/1583570154486607872?s=20&t=DQGho3r559VqSnYTuayOMA[10] https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/28/football/iran-soccer-family-threats-intl-spt[11] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/21/sports/soccer/iranian-fans-persian-flags-protests-england-game.html[12] https://www.iranintl.com/en/202211279876[13] https://www.iranintl.com/en/202211279876; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-21[14] https://www.iranintl.com/en/202211279876[15] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597190685366812672?s=20&t=VDzeZNbYKx48SysZP0p6tw ; https://twitter.com/AtenaDaemi/status/1597258567111049216?s=20&t=VDzeZNbYKx48SysZP0p6tw ; https://twitter.com/indypersian/status/1597270528871796737?s=20&t=VDzeZNbYKx48SysZP0p6tw[16] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597138328918183936?s=20&t=OpiEtSbzWOTjkg5ZS7YZSQ ; https://twitter.com/CoordinatingA/status/1597248715714367489?s=20&t=OpiEtSbzWOTjkg5ZS7YZSQ[17] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597213698715947008?s=20&t=SWeK9_WHdOoH3YQ30fS2KA ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1597221323469881345?s=20&t=SWeK9_WHdOoH3YQ30fS2KA[18] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597250090401660930?s=20&t=U01o7AWDuX-bssOS3qflbw ; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1597211025513730048?s=20&t=U01o7AWDuX-bssOS3qflbw ; https://twitter.com/Bidarzani/status/1597225978216198146?s=20&t=U01o7AWDuX-bssOS3qflbw ; https://twitter.com/HassanRonaghi/status/1597212284677685249?s=20&t=U01o7AWDuX-bssOS3qflbw ; https://twitter.com/indypersian/status/1597215344069951490?s=20&t=U01o7AWDuX-bssOS3qflbw[19] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597246680390602752?s=20&t=FtoisAQCfXyKhDjdqLzVSg ; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1597220972922228737?s=20&t=FtoisAQCfXyKhDjdqLzVSg ; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1597239861047607302?s=20&t=RlIEBfEafAYl5SRSTeBFwg[20] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597167528274325504?s=20&t=ViJ5bgCeR4z0mSC5C7xEDA ; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1597133582853582848?s=20&t=ViJ5bgCeR4z0mSC5C7xEDA ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1597160331759218689?s=20&t=Idkr0gx87181TBO-mt9qhw ; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1597149324407754752?s=20&t=FNKS3m4utKUADNjhq-FtLg[21] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1597300883016278024?s=20&t=FNKS3m4utKUADNjhq-FtLg[22] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597311146151010304?s=20&t=DsS78a_8Wdsd1f9KlBsS7A[23] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597252205077463041?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg[24] https://twitter.com/SrwaZand/status/1597283107136077824?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1597291308217176064?s=20&t=Idkr0gx87181TBO-mt9qhw[25] https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1597249192577089537?s=20&t=alzhfWM2JP3WgiSb5u6phQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597197464804929537?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597264098718547968?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597264676249042945?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597207061666103301?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597202919178539011?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597196865111740416?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1597265102927167490?s=20&t=Zh6VWIYMizcT-WdPHj-AMg; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1597139562089922561[26] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/09/07/2813405/آزادی-709-نفر-از-زندانیان-دارای-شرایط-ارفاقات-قانونی-از-زندان-های-12-استان-کشور[27] https://www.isna dot ir/news/1401090704339/افراد-دروغگو-و-مدعی-را-احضار-کرده-و-مستندات-بخواهید[28] https://shahraranews dot ir/fa/news/137193/ویدئو|-سردار-حاجی‌زاده-بیش-از-۳۰۰-جان-باخته-و-شهید-در-وقایع-اخیر-داریم[29] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-22/iranian-volunteer-militia-member-killed-by-rioters-irna-says?leadSource=uverify%20wall[30] https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1597364824320757760?s=20&t=eQ9L3N5UB8yCBttvljMEGA[31] https://www.leader dot ir/fa/content/26166/دیدار-تعدادی-از-فرماندهان-نیروی-دریایی-ارتش[32] https://www.isna dot ir/news/1401090704481/ترور-یکی-از-بسیجیان-فعال-اصفهان-تلاش-برای-شناسایی-و-دستگیری ; https://t.me/Sepah_lr/73492[33] https://www dot kurdistan24 dot net/fa/story/207846-; https://www.facebook.com/%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%B3-%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B7%D9%82%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84%D9%89-104446584295199/?ref=page_internal[34] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-18[35] https://shafaq dot com/ar/%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A9/%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%AD%D8%A8-%D8%A8%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82-%D9%86%D8%B4%D8%B1-%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D9%83%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86; https://almadapaper dot net/view.php?cat=279116[36] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-25[37] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-25

[Author: ISWKF] [Category: Iran]

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[l] at 11/28/22 8:37pm
Karolina Hird, George Barros, Grace Mappes, Layne Philipson, Madison Williams, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 28, 6:30pm ET Click here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Recent claims of Russian gains around Bakhmut on November 27 and 28 do not portend an imminent Russian encirclement of Bakhmut. Geolocated imagery shows that Russian forces likely captured Ozarianivka (a village about 15km southwest of Bakhmut) around November 27 and 28.[1] Multiple Russian sources claimed that Russian forces also captured Kurdiumivka (13km southwest of Bakhmut), Klishchiivka (7km southwest of Bakhmut), Andriivka (10km southwest of Bakhmut), Zelenopillia (13km south of Bakhmut), Pidhorodne (5km northeast of Bakhmut) and Spirne (30km northeast of Bakhmut) with the intention of encircling Bakhmut from the south and east.[2] There is no open-source evidence supporting these claims at this time. Russian sources have notably propagated spurious claims regarding gains around Bakhmut as part of a continued information operation since October, and recent unsubstantiated territorial claims may be part of this continued information operation.[3] However, even if Russian forces have indeed succeeded in taking control of settlements south of Bakhmut, these gains do not threaten the critical T0513 (Bakhmut-Siversk) and T0504 (Bakhmut-Kostyantynivka) routes that serve as major Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) into Bakhmut. There is also a network of smaller village roads that connect to Bakhmut via the city’s northwest. The claimed Russian positions closest to Bakhmut in Klishchiivka and Pidhorodne lead directly into prepared Ukrainian defenses in Bakhmut and its western and northern satellite villages. Russian forces in Klishchiivka, in order to advance any further, would have to cross three kilometers of fields with little cover and concealment. Russian troops, in their current degraded state, are likely unable to be able to accomplish this task quickly. Wagner Group financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin himself observed in October that Wagner forces operating in the Bakhmut area advance only 100–200 meters a day.[4] Russian claimed advances around Bakhmut over the course of November 27 and 28 are thus unlikely to generate operational-level effects and certainly not quickly.Caption: Map showing recent Russian claims (yellow) around Bakhmut and the roads supporting Ukrainian positions in Bakhmut as well as the fields Russian forces must cross to close the distance.Source: Esri, Maxar, Earthstar Geographics, and the GIS User CommunityRecent Russian force deployments to Belarus in November 2022 are likely part of a Russian effort to augment Russian training capacity and conduct an information operation targeted at Ukraine and the West — not to prepare to attack Ukraine from the north again. Satellite imagery from mid-November indicates an increase in Russian equipment, particularly main battle tanks, at the 230th Combined Arms Obuz-Lesnovsky Training Ground in Brest, Belarus, including at least one brigade’s worth of equipment observed at the training ground on November 20.[5] Independent Belarusian monitoring organization The Hajun Project reported on November 28 that Russian forces transferred 15 Tor-M2 surface-to-air missile systems and 10 pieces of unspecified engineering equipment towards Brest.[6] These deployments likely support Russian training efforts and are not preparing for combat from Belarus. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 28 that it assesses Russian forces will transfer unspecified elements ("some units”) from Belarus to an unspecified area after the units “acquire combat capabilities.”[7] This statement supports several ISW assessments that combat losses among Russian trainers and the stresses of mobilization have reduced Russia’s training capacity, likely increasing Russia’s reliance on Belarusian training capacity.[8] The Ukrainian General Staff additionally noted on November 28 that it has not observed indicators of Russia forming offensive groups near Ukraine’s northern border regions.[9]The Kremlin also likely seeks to use these Russian force deployments in Belarus as an information operation to promote paralysis in Kyiv and fix Ukrainian forces around Kyiv to prevent their use in the south and east. Belarusian forces remain unlikely to attack Ukraine as ISW has assessed.[10] Ukrainian Military Intelligence Directorate representative Andrii Yusov stated on November 28 that the Kremlin is spreading information about an alleged forthcoming Belarusian attack on Ukraine.[11]Russian milbloggers widely criticized the Russian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) decision to place severe customs limits on the import of dual-use goods, demonstrating their continued and pervasive discontent with the Russian MoD’s conduct of the war in Ukraine. Various milbloggers noted on November 27 that the Russian MoD has instituted tighter customs controls on a variety of dual-use goods (goods with both non-military and military function that can be purchased by civilians) such as quadcopters, heat packs, sights, clothing, and shoes, all of which are items that Russian civilians have been crowdfunding and donating to Russian soldiers in the wake of widespread issues with adequately equipping of mobilized recruits.[12] Russian sources noted that this puts Russian troops in a bad position because it undermines the ability of civil society organizations to fill the gap left by the Russian MoD in providing troops with basic equipment.[13] While the customs limits are reportedly intended to centralize and consolidate government control and oversight of the provision of dual-use goods, the decision ultimately undermines campaigns led by elements of Russian civil society, as well as many prominent Russian milbloggers, to provide direct support to Russian recruits, thus further putting the MoD at odds with prominent social actors.Russian forces are likely preparing to launch a new wave of missile strikes across Ukraine in the coming week, but such preparations are likely intended to sustain the recent pace of strikes instead of escalating it due to continued constraints on Russia’s missile arsenal. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in his nightly address on November 27 that Russian forces are preparing a new wave of strikes.[14] Spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command Nataliya Humenyuk relatedly noted that an additional Russian missile carrier went on duty in the Black Sea on November 28, which Humenyuk stated is an indicator of preparations for a renewed wave of massive missile strikes over the course of the coming week.[15] Russian milbloggers also claimed that the current Russian aviation and sea grouping means Russian forces will mount another series of missile strikes in the coming days.[16] However, due to the continued degradation of the Russian missile arsenal over the course of previous strikes, it is likely that Russia seeks to sustain, as opposed to escalate, the current pace of strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure.Increased speculation in the Russian information space about Russian preparations to withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) prompted a Kremlin response on November 28. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied claims on November 28 that Russian forces were preparing to leave the ZNPP following statements by the head of Ukrainian nuclear energy agency Energoatom, Petro Kotin, on November 27 that Russian forces are preparing to leave, but that it is too soon to tell whether they will leave the plant.[17] The Enerhodar Russian occupation administration also denied these rumors and claimed that Russian nuclear energy agency Rosatom‘s plan to build an alternate energy source for the ZNPP is an indicator of long-term occupation.[18] Such responses from both the occupation administration and the Kremlin itself indicate the pervasiveness of this narrative and the value the Kremlin places on countering it.Key TakeawaysThe Russian-claimed capture of several small villages around Bakhmut on November 27 and 28 does not portend an imminent Russian encirclement of Bakhmut.Recent Russian force deployments to Belarus in November 2022 are likely part of a Russian effort to augment Russian training capacity and conduct an information operation.Russian milbloggers widely criticized the Russian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) decision to place severe customs limits on the import of dual-use goods, indicating a continued and pervasive discontent with the Russian MoD’s conduct of the war in Ukraine.Russian forces are likely preparing to launch a new wave of missile strikes across Ukraine in the coming week, but such preparations are likely intended to sustain the recent pace of strikes rather than increase it.Russian forces continued efforts to defend against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations around Svatove as Russian sources reported that Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive west of Kreminna.Russian forces made incremental gains south of Bakhmut.Russian forces continued to strengthen fortified positions and establish security measures in eastern Kherson Oblast.Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian military assets and along critical logistics lines in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continue to face issues with adequate training and equipment and challenges with morale and discipline as Russian military failures have significant domestic social impacts.Russian occupation authorities continued efforts to facilitate the integration of educational systems in occupied Ukraine into the Russian system.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Eastern UkraineRussian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and one supporting effort)Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk OblastRussian Supporting Effort—Southern AxisRussian Mobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasUkrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)Russian forces continued efforts to defend against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations around Svatove on November 27 and 28. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops prioritized defensive operations in the Kupyansk direction, about 45km northwest of Svatove, on November 27 and 28.[19] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that Russian troops repelled Ukrainian attacks near Kuzemivka (13km northwest of Svatove) on November 27 and Novoselivske (14km northwest of Svatove) on November 28.[20] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attacked Stelmakhivka (15km northwest of Svatove) on November 27 and struck the settlement using a TOS-1A thermobaric artillery system, indicating that Russian forces are either prioritizing the defense of the Svatove-Kreminna line or lack more appropriate artillery systems.[21] Satellite imagery from between November 15 and November 26 shows the development of Russian defensive lines north and south of Svatove.[22] A prominent Russian milblogger suggested that Ukrainian troops are preparing for additional counteroffensive actions along the Svatove-Kreminna line.[23] Russian troops are likely prioritizing the defense of the Svatove area to secure critical ground lines of communication (GLOCs) that run eastwards into Russian rear areas such as Starobilsk.Russian sources reported that Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations west of Kreminna on November 27 and 28. The Russian MoD claimed that Ukrainian troops attempted to advance near Ploshchanka (15km northwest of Kreminna) and Dibrova (5km southwest of Kreminna).[24] The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian troops are on the offensive west of Kreminna, likely in an attempt to regain lost positions in the Lyman direction.[25] Ukrainian troops reportedly repelled Russian attacks on Bilohorivka and Verkhnokamyanske, both within 15km south of Kreminna, between November 27 and November 28.[26]Russian Main Effort—Eastern UkraineRussian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces made gains south of Bakhmut on November 28. Geolocated footage shows Ukrainian drones striking Russian troops in Ozarianivka, 15km southwest of Bakhmut.[27] Various Russian sources circulated claims between November 27 and 28 that Wagner Group and other Russian forces also broke through Ukrainian defensive lines and are clearing Kurdiumivka (13km southwest of Bakhmut), Klishchiivka (7km southwest of Bakhmut), Andriivka (10km southwest of Bakhmut), Zelenopillia (13km south of Bakhmut), Pidhorodne (5km northeast of Bakhmut) and Spirne (30km northeast of Bakhmut) with the intention of encircling Bakhmut from the south and east.[28] ISW has not observed visual confirmation that Russian forces have advanced into the aforementioned settlements, with the exception of Ozarianivka. The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian troops attacked settlements to the south and northeast of Bakhmut on November 28.[29] Russian milbloggers heavily emphasized purported Ukrainian losses in the Bakhmut area and claimed that Russian troops, namely Wagner Group forces and elements of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), are advancing closer to Bakhmut’s city center.[30] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian troops additionally repelled limited Ukrainian counterattacks south and east of Bakhmut between November 27 and 28.[31]Russian forces continued ground attacks in the Avdiivka–Donetsk City area and southwest of Donetsk City on November 27 and 28. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 28 that Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks near Vodiane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Marinka, and Novomykhailivka, all ranging from the northwestern to southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City.[32] Russian military correspondents reported heavy fighting in Vodiane, Pervomaiske, and Marinka on November 27 and 28 and reported that Russian troops have made incremental advances within Marinka as of November 28.[33] Social media footage taken by Ukrainian soldiers in Avdiivka (just north of Donetsk City) shows widespread destruction to infrastructure due to continued Russian artillery strikes on the settlement.[34] Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian troops attempted limited counterattacks southwest of Donetsk City in the Vuhledar area on November 27 and 28.[35] Russian forces continued routine strikes along the line of contact in the Avdiivka­–Donetsk City area, western Donetsk Oblast, and eastern Zaporizhia Oblast on November 27 and 28.[36]Supporting Effort—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)Note: ISW will report on activities in Kherson Oblast as part of the Southern Axis in this and subsequent updates. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in right-bank Kherson Oblast has accomplished its stated objectives, so ISW will not present a Southern Ukraine counteroffensive section until Ukrainian forces resume counteroffensives in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continued to strengthen fortified positions and conduct security measures in eastern Kherson Oblast on November 27 and 28. Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov stated that Chechen Rosgvardia forces conduct law enforcement functions such as document checks, raids against saboteurs, and identification of weapons caches in civilian areas in eastern Kherson and western Zaporizhia oblasts.[37] Ukrainian Kherson Oblast Advisor Serhiy Khlan stated that Russian forces continue to dig trenches and establish fortifications in occupied Kherson Oblast and move military equipment and build fortifications on the Arabat Spit in eastern Crimea.[38] Russian forces are likely using the Arabat Spit as a logistics line connecting southern Kherson Oblast to Crimea, as ISW has previously assessed.[39] The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) posted footage on November 27 of elements of 1st Army Corps (DNR forces) establishing defensive positions on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River.[40] Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces continued to shell areas on the west (right) bank of the Dnipro River on November 27 and 28, including Kherson City, Chornobaivka, Antonivka, and Beryslav.[41]Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian military assets and critical logistics lines in southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian strikes against Russian force concentrations in Melitopol, Polohy, and Mykhailivka (just north of Melitopol), Zaporizhia Oblast on November 25 wounded over 100 military personnel and destroyed 10 pieces of military equipment and two ammunition depots.[42] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported on November 28 that strikes against Russian forces in Polohy and Chernihivka (south of Polohy), Zaporizhia Oblast injured 80 military personnel.[43] Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Ukrainian forces shelled along Russian logistics lines in Kherson Oblast on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River, including Velyki Kopani (on the R57 Kherson City-Nova Kakhovka highway), Hola Prystan (just south of Kherson City), and Radensk (both on the E97 Radensk-Armiansk highway) on November 27 and 28.[44] The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 28 that Ukrainian strikes damaged 30 pieces of Russian military equipment in Hola Prystan.[45] Ukrainian Odesa Oblast Military Administration Spokesperson Serhiy Brachuk stated that Ukrainian strikes destroyed Russian military warehouses and a command post in unspecified areas in Skadovsk and Kherson raions.[46]Russian forces continued routine artillery, rocket, and missile strikes west of Hulyaipole and in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv oblasts on November 27 and 28. Russian forces struck Zaporizhzhia City, Dnipro City, and Kryvyi Rih on November 27.[47] Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Russian forces shelled Nikopol and Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Ochakiv, Mykolaiv Oblast on November 27 and 28.[48] A Russian milblogger expressed continued concern about a Ukrainian force buildup along the Zaporizhia Oblast front line for a possible counteroffensive.[49]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian forces continue to face issues with adequate training and equipment and challenges with morale and discipline. A Russian source stated on November 28 that Russian marksmen receive rifles without optics, troops in Russia’s Western Military District (WMD) did not receive anti-tank weapons, and mechanized infantry battalions failed to receive proper training.[50] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on November 28 that the behavior of Russian forces in Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast has worsened since the arrival of the Russian troops from the Kherson withdrawal, indicating the worsening morale and increased restlessness of these forces.[51] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian troops are looting, engaging in physical altercations with one another, and raping locals at higher rates than before.[52] A Ukrainian milblogger also shared footage of intoxicated Russian conscripts in Melitopol on November 28.[53] An open-source intelligence aggregator amplified reports that a mobilized man at the Novosibirsk Higher Military Command School shot himself in the leg on November 28 to avoid deploying to Ukraine.[54] Latvia-based independent Russian-language outlet Meduza reported on November 28 that the approximately 280 Russian soldiers who refused to fight due to insufficient medical and materiel support for their military units were imprisoned, threatened, and psychologically tortured in a basement near Zaitseve, Donetsk by their senior commanders and are now appealing their imprisonment to the Russian Investigative Committee.[55] ISW previously reported that Russian officers forced at least 100 of these men out of the Zaitseve basement at gunpoint.[56]Russian military failures continue to have significant domestic social impacts within Russia. Russian families of mobilized servicemembers continued to appeal to the Russian government to return their loved ones from the war in Ukraine and to compensate them for time served.[57] Meduza reported that Russian officials denied the “Council of Mothers and Wives of the Mobilized,” a group of women who have demanded to meet with Putin concerning Russian logistical and equipment problems, access to Putin’s meeting with mothers on Russian Mother’s Day, November 27; and that the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office blocked the group on social media on November 28.[58] A Russian source noted that the Russian information space criticized Russian officials’ (including Putin‘s) attempts to placate mothers of Russian servicemen on Russian Mother’s Day.[59] Families of the mobilized in Kopeysk, Chelyabinsk Oblast appealed to their local government concerning the Russian Armed Forces’ failure to pay their mobilized loved ones due to an administrative oversight.[60] A Russian milblogger condemned Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Andrey Kelin for his confession during an interview with BBC on November 23 that his son was not mobilized because he had a family and no military training. The Russian milblogger stated that sons of officials and deputies miraculously have not mobilized while “ordinary Russian men” with the same qualifications have been sent to Ukraine.[61] An open-source intelligence aggregator amplified a report that Kostroma Duma deputy Vladimir Mikhailov asked Putin to issue a decree to end the partial mobilization in part to attempt to “reduce” the growing tension in the Russian public.[62]Vladimir Putin’s November 25 creation of an electronic state information resource is likely to be used as a tool for subsequent waves of mobilization.[63] Russian human rights activist Pavel Chikov reported that the electronic information resource will be all encompassing and complete by December 30.[64] Chikov reported that the resource will combine data from the tax service and integrate data with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Federal Penitentiary Service, the Federal Bailiff Service, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Sports, the CEC, and the Pension Fund.[65] Through the collation of this personal data, the resource will likely streamline the mobilization summons process but will not overcome the systemic issues with the training and equipment of mobilized recruits.Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied and annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian civilians into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems)Russian occupation authorities continued efforts to integrate educational systems in occupied Ukraine into the Russian system on November 28. Russian-backed Zaporizhia Oblast occupation administration head Vladimir Rogov reposted a Russian television segment on November 28 claiming that all schools in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast have transitioned to Russian education standards and that classes will take place in the Russian language.[66] Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) head Denis Pushilin held an operational meeting on November 28 to discuss licensing DNR schools in accordance with Russian legislation. Pushilin stated that most DNR schools do not meet Russian education standards and announced plans to bring all DNR schools to Russian standards within the next five years.[67]Russian occupation officials continued filtration and law enforcement measures in occupied territories on November 27–28. Russian sources claimed on November 28 that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) thwarted a series of Ukrainian sabotage operations in Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast, and detained three suspected Ukrainian saboteurs who claimed that they were operating on orders from the Ukrainian Special Services.[68] The Zaporizhia Oblast Military Administration reported on November 27 that Russian forces established a detention center in Polohy, Zaporizhia Oblast, to hold Ukrainian POWs and citizens accused of cooperating with Ukrainian forces.[69]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.[1] https://twitter.com/PaulJawin/status/1597125619397013504?s=20&t=OkUQqWm3EPfW7WG4n-kq4w; https://twitter.com/EerikMatero/status/1597154563169320965?s=20&t=OkUQqWm3EPfW7WG4n-kq4w https://t.me/stranaua/77540[2] https://t.me/kommunist/13632; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43061; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43058; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43055; https://t.me/milinfolive/93810; https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/54573 ; https://t.me/rybar/41545; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/20118; https://t.me/brussinf/5258; https://t.me/vladlentatarsky/17705; https://t.me/readovkanews/47800; https://t.me/sashakots/37357; https://t.me/yurasumy/6279; https://ria dot 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ru/20221128/artemovsk-1834797265.html; https://t.me/miroshnik_r/9719; https://t.me/brussinf/5260; https://t.me/grey_zone/15975; https://t.me/brussinf/5259; https://t.me/kommunist/13616; https://t.me/kommunist/13618; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43074; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71491; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71498[29] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02VaD8m4Fxe1FRw6cMMqA3am42qcfyrAAkZ52iLNdTJzhvJ3PQapBcr81FixE4s2oql[30] https://t.me/rybar/41549; https://t.me/readovkanews/47763; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10096; https://t.me/milchronicles/1344; https://t.me/sashakots/37359; https://t.me/rybar/41551[31] https://t.me/mod_russia/22152 ; https://t.me/mod_russia/22173[32] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02VaD8m4Fxe1FRw6cMMqA3am42qcfyrAAkZ52iLNdTJzhvJ3PQapBcr81FixE4s2oql[33] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/20106 ; https://t.me/rt_special/2245; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71410; https://t.me/kommunist/13633; https://t.me/rybar/41522[34] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1596721407568019456[35] https://t.me/mod_russia/22173; https://t.me/mod_russia/22152[36] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0pUMSsh59xUnc5aq8iPBLJLmRASe5CEezsmYWU2s2zDbw8uVzM2qnsW6Lzks7dhE5l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02VaD8m4Fxe1FRw6cMMqA3am42qcfyrAAkZ52iLNdTJzhvJ3PQapBcr81FixE4s2oql; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/5691; https://t.me/rybar/41544; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0vZyWxhGJBFWMVfdyTfjMaiLmM568qEfys2yuhzpidChw3sU2n9bCBSTiAjstD17el; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02nLBNHZm3HpFHocJoKJBwovEVTeCqZvuX7csJP1py8vojc2vPgzDehYgwmrKbg8xNl; https://t.me/rybar/41520; https://t.me/wargonzo/9465[37] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3155[38] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02JXupp3tRT1EYKP4qUWdf6ufH3Urf2pwEGJaCCzqWAeHwXCH5wvYrQtgSVS6dMBnil?__cft__[0]=AZVk-OiE6P0Vv12arAHHj1Lq7JtryG5IUlopo8ySWXlx_HgI7SOozl6KubJRYzeL6-knwZyF2hXVzcxrCoDo_jCY-3TcjnvuyHUVjSkU5lqgKDOPpwskY-vxv7kv_ncJlM40YeeO7HYglbvd1VU1RVFy&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[39] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-27[40] https://t.me/nm_dnr/9473[41] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0pUMSsh59xUnc5aq8iPBLJLmRASe5CEezsmYWU2s2zDbw8uVzM2qnsW6Lzks7dhE5l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02VaD8m4Fxe1FRw6cMMqA3am42qcfyrAAkZ52iLNdTJzhvJ3PQapBcr81FixE4s2oql; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02nLBNHZm3HpFHocJoKJBwovEVTeCqZvuX7csJP1py8vojc2vPgzDehYgwmrKbg8xNl; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/2057; https://t.me/rybar/41520[42] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02nLBNHZm3HpFHocJoKJBwovEVTeCqZvuX7csJP1py8vojc2vPgzDehYgwmrKbg8xNl[43] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02VaD8m4Fxe1FRw6cMMqA3am42qcfyrAAkZ52iLNdTJzhvJ3PQapBcr81FixE4s2oql[44] https://t.me/hueviyherson/29939; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid059yU25kkyZV3oE4zV4iVFuQzXNDz73y4F4y4NXkPTfDSQx6RwisbMihe8i5vA1fXl?__cft__[0]=AZUdFgwqktaShgVw0nUnfXKXiW1Obn0mQMfayVrjnmU4LkyxX3DtUU51rIOiJv-LAu_v-uHBwOaW3P-VFOT1gus1wLwqXMhMZ8a6N0xZ8jx_8xY4U0li_aYEXy1tjk1m6jWiVpCPU-uEjOtN_DRj00XD&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29916; https://t.me/rybar/41520; https://t.me/rybar/41544[45] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02VaD8m4Fxe1FRw6cMMqA3am42qcfyrAAkZ52iLNdTJzhvJ3PQapBcr81FixE4s2oql[46] https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23613[47] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/15021; https://t.me/starukhofficial/4286; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23571; https://t.me/spravdi/21641; https://t.me/mod_russia/22152; https://t.me/kommunist/13609; https://t.me/kommunist/13610; https://t.me/vilkul/2304; https://t.me/vilkul/2305; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2593; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23572; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23581; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23586; https://t.me/stranaua/77400; https://t.me/spravdi/21636; https://t.me/stranaua/77377 https://t.me/vladlentatarsky/17679; https://t.me/south0wind/2881; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43040; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43042; https://t.me/milinfolive/93786; https://t.me/milinfolive/93787; https://t.me/milinfolive/93789; https://t.me/rybar/41520[48] https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1517; https://t.me/vilkul/2303; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2589; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1517; https://t.me/vilkul/2303; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2589; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/3592; https://t.me/rybar/41544; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2596 ; https://t.me/vilkul/2309 ; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1530; https://t.me/rybar/41544[49] rtps://t.me/rybar/41547; https://t.me/rybar/41548[50] https://twitter.com/VDV_Textbooks/status/1597222839060295680?s=20&t=jvTxxhMtIA9ypE4xEvFhRw; https://twitter.com/VDV_Textbooks/status/1597222839060295680?s=20&t=36v6Efh0qqdwy7AqOkRCNw[51] gov.ua/2022/11/28/rosijski-soldaty-vchynyayut-zlochyny-proty-myrnogo-naselennya-melitopolya/[52] gov.ua/2022/11/28/rosijski-soldaty-vchynyayut-zlochyny-proty-myrnogo-naselennya-melitopolya/[53] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1597214320777392130?s=20&t=SKzHM5pUkkizj5o758p9Ow; https://t.me/riamelitopol/76421[54] https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1597150012114206720?s=20&t=RaKIBY_fjxbSVBnoOUoSyA; https://www dot sibreal.org/a/v-novosibirske-mobilizovannyy-prostrelil-sebe-nogu/32150855.html[55] https://meduza(dot)io/news/2022/11/28/rossiyskie-kontraktniki-otkazavshiesya-voevat-potrebovali-ot-sk-vozbudit-ugolovnye-dela-o-nezakonnom-lishenii-svobody-ih-derzhali-v-podvalah-v-donbasse[56] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-25[57] https://vk.com/wall-104264026_179627; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/27/vo-vkontakte-zablokirovali-stranitsu-soveta-materey-i-zhen-mobilizovannyh-trebovavshih-vstrechi-s-putinym[58] https://t.me/mod_russia/22080; https://t.me/meduzalive/74092; https://t.me/readovkanews/47670; https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/putin-meet-mothers-soldiers-fighting-ukraine-2022-11-25/[59] https://t.me/bazabazon/14675; https://t.me/mod_russia/22080; https://t.me/meduzalive/74092; https://t.me/readovkanews/47670; https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12889 ; https://t.me/mozhemobyasnit/14149 ; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1161207658667360256[60] https://vk.com/wall-104264026_179627[61] https://t.me/mobilizationnews/4725; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICDCWFHzlq0; https://notes.citeam.org/mobilization-nov-26-27[62] https://vk.com/wall182002586_9602; https://t.me/horizontal_russia/17360 ; https://notes.citeam.org/mobilization-nov-26-27[63] https://t.me/mod_russia/22076; https://notes.citeam.org/mobi-nov-26-27[64] https://t.me/pchikov/5287[65] https://t.me/pchikov/5287[66] https://t.me/vrogov/6268[67] https://t.me/pushilindenis/2942[68] https://t.me/readovkanews/47792; https://t.me/bazabazon/14685 ; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71480; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/28/fsb-zayavila-o-predotvraschenii-serii-teraktov-v-kontroliruemoy-rossiey-chasti-zaporozhskoy-oblasti[69] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/15027;%20https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/15025

[Author: ISWKF] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/27/22 8:32pm
  Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 27, 5:00 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Iranian protest organization groups may be reinforcing their organizational capabilities as protest activity entered a relative lull over the past several days. The Neighborhood Youth of Karaj issued a statement on November 26 suggesting that nation-wide calls for protests on November 24-26, which failed to significantly increase protest turnout, were poorly coordinated. The group stated that it had endorsed calls for protests on these dates but was not responsible for organizing them. Its statement suggested, in fact, that at least one such call that was attributed to it was a fake. Calls for protests on November 24-26 suggested that protesters congregate in large crowds on pre-designated streets.[1] The advance notice would have likely provided security personnel with ample time to prepare, thereby increasing the risk to protest participants as CTP previously observed.[2] Calls for large crowds concentrated in a single location would have additionally decreased the effectiveness of the protests, as the scattered nature of anti-regime demonstrations has strained security forces’ limited bandwidth over the past several weeks. The Neighborhood Youth of Karaj‘s hints that unknown actors published a call for more dangerous and less effective protests in its name raise the possibility that pro-regime actors might be attempting to shape protest efforts in ways that would facilitate regime crackdowns, although the group makes no such accusation. It is also possible that some other group or individual sympathetic to the protest movement issued the ”fake” call unwisely but without ill intent.The Neighborhood Youth of Karaj added that its organization consisted of field leaders and researchers who carefully selected protest dates and locations, suggesting that some anti-regime protest groups have established organizational structures.[3] The group’s statement endorsed calls for protests on December 5-7, possibly providing the group with enough time to regenerate necessary organizational capabilities and/or supplies. Another anti-regime social media user that frequently circulates calls for protests urged protesters to practice patience, start recruiting members, and collect ammunition in preparation for the next protest wave.[4]Regime and IRGC media channels published a video threatening to attack Azerbaijan using rhetoric similar to that used about Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. IRGC media channels posted “first we take Baku and then Jerusalem” alongside the video of a notional highway running from Iran to Israel via Azerbaijan (there is no such highway, of course).[5] The video includes text asking “where does the road to Jerusalem pass?”[6] The Iranian regime and IRGC have repeatedly published anti-Azerbaijan messaging that blames the Azerbaijani government for instigating unrest in Iran, as CTP has previously reported.[7] The November 27 video, however, alludes to an IRGC rhetorical refrain during the Iran-Iraq war that the Iranian regime used to justify mobilization for a ground offensive into Iraq late in the war: “the road to Jerusalem passes through Karbala.”[8] The phrase linked the Iranian offensive, part of Iran‘s military operations against Saddam Hussein’s 1980 invasion, with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s express mission to export the Islamic revolution and ultimately liberate Jerusalem.[9] Parallel messaging in the November 27, 2022 video suggests that elements of the regime are setting conditions to rally IRGC personnel to defend Iran against a similar attack supposedly perpetrated by Azerbaijan, presumably referring to the ongoing protests. The video’s appropriation of the “road to Jerusalem“ line likely resonates with IRGC personnel, especially senior officers who fought during the Iran-Iraq war.Key TakeawaysIranian protest organization groups may be reinforcing their organizational capabilities as protest activity entered a relative lull over the past several days.At least six protests took place in four cities across four provinces on November 27.IRGC Commander Hossein Salami warned Israel, Saudi Arabia, the US and the UK against supporting anti-regime protests in a speech to Basij members in Sistan and Baluchistan Province.Regime and IRGC media channels published a video threatening to attack Azerbaijan using rhetoric common during the Iran-Iraq War.Cultural and parliamentary entities have proposed legal measures to expedite the suppression of protesters and reward elite members of the regime.Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Al Sudani will travel to Tehran on November 29 ostensibly to mediate tensions between Iran and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least six protests took place in four cities across four provinces. CTP assesses with high to moderate confidence that protests occurred in the following locations on November 27:Tehran City, Tehran Province[10]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Activity: Fires lit in streetTehran City, Tehran Province[11]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Sharif University of Technology studentsProtest Type: Sit-in with signsTehran City, Tehran Province[12]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Allameh Tabataba’i University studentsCTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in the following locations on November 27:Karaj, Alborz Province[13]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Activity: Fires lit in streetGhazvin City, Ghazvin Province[14]Crowd Size: Small to mediumDemographic: Textile workersProtest Type: Strike and protestAbadan, Ilam Province[15]Crowd Size: UndeterminedRegime Repression: Security forces fired tear gas and bulletsProtester Activity: Fires lit in streetNote: CTP defines small protests as fewer than 100 individuals, medium protests as between 100 and 1,000, and protests as over one thousand.Social media users documented strikes—specifically among truck drivers—throughout Iran on November 26 and 27. Footage purportedly showed trucker strike activity in several cities, including Shiraz, Fars Province; Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan Province; and unidentified locations in Esfahan, Ghazvin, Kermanshah, and Tehran Provinces.[16]IRGC Commander Hossein Salami visited Sistan and Baluchistan Province on November 27. Salami warned Israel, Saudi Arabia, the US and the UK against supporting anti-regime protests in a speech directed at Basij members in Zahedan. Salami praised Sistan and Baluchistan residents and echoed regime rhetoric blaming ongoing protests on foreign actors inciting unrest through soft power tactics.[17] Salami’s visit coincides with large-scale protest activity following Friday prayer sermons in Zahedan and other provincial cities for the past several weeks.[18]Cultural and parliamentary entities have proposed legal measures that would expedite protester arrests and empower elite members of the regime. The Iranian health and science ministers approved a policy that facilitates disciplinary action for acts of dissidence, including “insulting Islamic or national rituals” and makes students liable for participating in university protests on November 27.[19] The Parliamentary Research Committee similarly drafted a plan that would intensify sentences relating to espionage or cooperation with ”hostile” foreign governments. The plan reportedly specified that cooperating with anti-regime actors—including foreign governments, think tanks, media outlets, and economic institutions—constituted ”corruption on earth,” a crime punishable by death in the Islamic penal code. The plan conversely proposed that officials sanctioned or ”persecuted” by malign foreign actors were eligible to receive benefits historically reserved for veterans.[20] Regime officials sanctioned by the US and the European Union are overwhelmingly members of the regime elite, many of whom benefit from regime corruption, and this plan would only further enrich and reward them even as ordinary Iranians suffer from the structural economic woes made worse by some of these sanctioned individuals. A Parliamentary Digital Economy Taskforce additionally ratified a plan that provides pre-verified, pro-regime digital actors with high-speed internet access on November 27.[21]Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsIraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Al Sudani will travel to Tehran on November 29 to mediate tensions between Iran and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and KRG President Nechirvan Barzani met with Iraqi and US-led International Coalition officials on November 27, closing out the diplomatic campaign they began by meeting with a plethora of Iraqi officials and political actors on November 22. The KRG likely seeks Baghdad’s support in halting Turkish and IRGC attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as deterring Iran from the ground invasion into Iraqi Kurdistan that it has repeatedly threatened to conduct. Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met with International Coalition Deputy Commander General Andrew Gardner likely to request additional diplomatic pressure on Turkey to halt its air campaign into Iraqi Kurdistan.[22] Gardner and Barzani may also have discussed efforts to halt the IRGC attacks. President Nechirvan Barzani likewise met with Sudani, likely to request his support in negotiating with the Iranians.[23] Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem Al Araji announced after the meeting that Sudani will travel to Tehran on September 29 to help defuse Iranian-KRG tensions.[24][1] https://twitter.com/javanane_ir/status/1595078930301583361/photo/1;%20https://twitter.com/javanane_k/status/1595341576603336706/photo/1[2] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-25[3] https://twitter.com/javanane_k/status/1596610159035416577[4] https://twitter.com/arixolin/status/1596405516640874497?s=20&t=uWoG9bK68cGGQb4E85bogg[5] https://twitter.com/BeniSabti/status/1596887147549626369?s=20&t=2wKHUw8vUPbHm5OjlmLwtA[6] https://twitter.com/BeniSabti/status/1596887147549626369?s=20&t=2wKHUw8vUPbHm5OjlmLwtA[7] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-19[8] https://www.cna.org/archive/CNA_Files/pdf/cop-2013-u-005291-final.pdf[9] https://www.cna.org/archive/CNA_Files/pdf/cop-2013-u-005291-final.pdf[10] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596933822431436800?s=20&t=x1eoUQ46Krs0RDO-32c19A[11] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596809095050240000?s=20&t=uWoG9bK68cGGQb4E85bogg [12] https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1596822392940089344?s=20&t=kIakoIbTZ9zKiHx6wtaxyQ ; https://twitter.com/VOAfarsi/status/1596866107461095424?s=20&t=kIakoIbTZ9zKiHx6wtaxyQ[13] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596845527097671680?s=20&t=lSMng1AC5-kKZW5W4BogNQ ; https://twitter.com/javanane_k/status/1596860374392807424?s=20&t=-_LJYx1xc8QAHnod-ThESg[14] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596942609267974145?s=20&t=uWoG9bK68cGGQb4E85bogg [15] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596923652074676224?s=20&t=uWoG9bK68cGGQb4E85bogg ; https://twitter.com/Javanmardi75/status/1594031025167941639?s=20&t=u_tk63WsyHt8PbYcwq6nmQ [16] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596797972523597824?s=20&t=wzeMpY8wqFzhS2M6G-Q-mA ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596894074287656962?s=20&t=AjKoGHcTmCjXeT4DUaaqNQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596863740527357953?s=20&t=QBJ0Nn-jAS7CTMKRlOGkMA ; https://twitter.com/javanane_k/status/1596844639172321280?s=20&t=oNpIkU_e0OknEI54ENq0oQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596821137723256832?s=20&t=uWoG9bK68cGGQb4E85bogg ; https://twitter.com/AmirToumaj/status/1596904687332077570?s=20&t=uWoG9bK68cGGQb4E85bogg[17] https://tn dot ai/2812589[18] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-25[19] https://iranwire.com/fa/news-1/110491-%D8%AA%D8%BA%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%A2%DB%8C%DB%8C%D9%86%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B6%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B7%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B4%D8%AC%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AC%D8%B1%D9%85-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A6%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%B4%D8%AF/ ; https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiz9erQrM_7AhXwFFkFHdNbAbAQxfQBKAB6BAgIEAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eghtesadnews.com%2F%25D8%25A8%25D8%25AE%25D8%25B4-%25D8%25A7%25D8%25AE%25D8%25A8%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B1-%25D8%25B3%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C%25D8%25B1-%25D8%25B1%25D8%25B3%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586%25D9%2587-%25D9%2587%25D8%25A7-61%2F537653-%25D8%25A7%25D8%25A8%25D9%2584%25D8%25A7%25D8%25BA-%25D8%25AC%25D8%25AF%25DB%258C%25D8%25AF%25D8%25AA%25D8%25B1%25DB%258C%25D9%2586-%25D8%25B4%25DB%258C%25D9%2588%25D9%2587-%25D9%2586%25D8%25A7%25D9%2585%25D9%2587-%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586%25D8%25B6%25D8%25A8%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B7%25DB%258C-%25D8%25AF%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586%25D8%25B4%25D8%25AC%25D9%2588%25DB%258C%25DB%258C&usg=AOvVaw3UJeL60nrgvvEbtatxDUif[20] https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjyq8G4sM_7AhWQKVkFHfkAAwMQxfQBKAB6BAgHEAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.etemadonline.com%2F%25D8%25A8%25D8%25AE%25D8%25B4-%25D8%25B3%25DB%258C%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B3%25DB%258C-9%2F584355-%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C%25D8%25AB%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B1%25DA%25AF%25D8%25B1%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D8%25AA%25D8%25AD%25D8%25B1%25DB%258C%25D9%2585-%25D8%25B4%25D8%25AF%25D9%2587&usg=AOvVaw31gpKHz03bVKChqUY3UoDA[21] https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.dotic.ir%2Fuploads%2Forg%2F2022%2F11%2F26%2F166946901299771400.pdf&data=05%7C01%7C%7C14e9e8ec4d324256044108dad07f6c06%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C638051542928498801%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=jF3enWcJT7JUK%2FmPqY4iZoq3TlrAL0xjdGVK3QR3DPs%3D&reserved=0[22] https://www dot shafaq dot com/ar/%D9%83%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D9%80%D9%80%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA/%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%AB%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9---%D8%B9%D8%B3%D9%83%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86-%D9%82%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85-%D9%83%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A[23] https://www dot rudawarabia dot net/arabic/kurdistan/271120224; https://www dot rudawarabia dot net/arabic/kurdistan/271120224[24] https://www dot rudawarabia dot net/arabic/middleeast/iraq/271120224  

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Iran]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/27/22 8:32pm
  Grace Mappes and Frederick W. KaganNovember 27, 5:30 pm ETClick here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.ISW is publishing an abbreviated campaign update today, November 27. This report evaluates the defensive positions Russian forces are establishing in eastern Kherson Oblast and what those positions suggest about Russian expectations for future operations in this area.The Russian military clearly assesses that Ukrainian forces could cross the Dnipro River and conduct counter-offensive operations in eastern Kherson Oblast, possibly threatening all of the critical ground lines of communications (GLOCs) from Crimea to the mainland. Russian forces have been digging trenchlines and concentration areas in eastern Kherson since early October 2022 in obvious preparation for the withdrawal from the west bank of the Dnipro River and Kherson City.[1] Russian troops are preparing either to defend in depth or to conduct operational or strategic delay operations. Russian forces clearly do not expect to be able to prevent Ukrainian forces from getting across the river, nor are the Russians prioritizing defensive positions to stop such a crossing. The Russian military is setting conditions for a protracted defense in eastern Kherson Oblast that could allow the establishment of a solid Ukrainian lodgment on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. The assessment that follows examines the Russian defensive laydown and evaluates the expectations for the flow of operations likely guiding that laydown exclusively. This assessment makes no effort to determine whether Ukrainian forces intend to cross or are capable of crossing the Dnipro River in this region and offers no forecast about whether or not they will make any such attempt.Russian forces are fortifying their positions along critical GLOCs in eastern Kherson Oblast against a possible future Ukrainian counteroffensive. Satellite imagery shows that Russian forces have prioritized digging trenches and erecting dragon’s teeth anti-tank defenses along GLOCs that connect Russian forces on the eastern (left) bank of the Dnipro River with southeastern rear areas in Kherson Oblast and Crimea as well as with eastern rear areas around Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast. Most of these field fortifications are situated directly on the GLOCs themselves and are primarily oriented perpendicular to the roads themselves. They are thus most like elaborate roadblocks rather than parts of cohesive defensive lines that stretch across multiple GLOCs and fields. Russian forces have also heavily fortified a 3km-wide strip of land separating the Kinburn Spit from mainland Kherson Oblast and along the beaches immediately south and east of the strip.Satellite image ©2022 Maxar TechnologiesSatellite image ©2022 Maxar TechnologiesThe Russian defensive positions suggest that the Russian military leadership views the prospect of a Ukrainian counteroffensive across the Dnipro River as a serious threat. The array of Russian fortifications on and around the Kinburn Spit (as shown in the map) suggests that Russian forces do not expect to maintain positions on the spit itself if Ukrainian forces launch a counterattack against the spit; rather, Russian forces very likely expect Ukrainian forces to take the Kinburn Spit but intend to prevent them from advancing to mainland Kherson Oblast and to defend against an amphibious attack on the land immediately surrounding the spit’s connection to mainland Kherson Oblast.[2] The layered lines of defense (as shown in the map) provide Russian forces with multiple fallback positions if one defensive line happens to fall while the rest remain intact. Defenses near the spit suggest that Russian forces are concerned that Ukrainian forces could establish themselves on or near the spit and use that base to launch a drive from the west against their defensive positions that are otherwise generally oriented to defend against counter-offensive operations from the north.Russian defensive positions are optimized to defend against Ukrainian forces attempting to advance along GLOCs rather than driving cross-country as Ukrainian forces have previously done. Russian forces concentrated most of their defenses at multiple locations astride critical GLOCs, establishing only a handful in the open fields between the highways. However, Ukrainian forces have previously conducted long cross-country drives in Kharkiv Oblast to capitalize on their success in breaking through Russian defensive lines near Balakliya, enabling them to more quickly advance on and surround Russian strongpoints such as Kupyansk and Izyum and push Russian forces from the Siverskyi Donets River in Kharkiv Oblast to the international border in most of the oblast.[3]Most of the Russian field fortifications in eastern Kherson are nevertheless optimized to defend against drives along the roads and would be very vulnerable to envelopments across the open countryside.  Many of the fortifications across the roads do not extend far past the roads themselves, often just far enough to provide good fields of fire from both sides onto the road itself.  Most of these positions have open flanks terminating in the middle of fields. The flanks are often not refused (drawn back) or otherwise well-designed to deter or defend against attacks from the sides or rear. Many of these positions are not in tactical supporting distance of one another, moreover, which would make each vulnerable to Ukrainian tactical envelopments. Satellite imagery shows that Russian forces have constructed dragon’s teeth anti-tank structures around their positions immediately on the roads, but those anti-tank arrays do not extend far enough into the open fields to prevent Ukrainian tanks and other tracked vehicles from enveloping the Russian lines. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies Satellite image ©2022 Maxar TechnologiesThe tactical vulnerabilities of these defensive positions are mirrored in a similar operational-level vulnerability. Russian forces would be under threat of attacks on their uncovered flanks or even complete encirclement if Ukrainian forces were able to cross the Dnipro River both in the Kherson City-Nova Kakhovka area to the north of most Russian fortifications and to initiate a substantial mechanized campaign from a base on or near the Kinburn Spit to the west of most fortifications.Russian forces may be attempting to delay (slow down) rather than defend against (stop) a Ukrainian offensive on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River. Russian forces would presumably delay until they can deploy more reinforcements to either stop or slow Ukrainian forces from breaking through secondary and tertiary lines of defense that protect critical GLOCs both to Crimea and to western Zaporizhia Oblast (as shown in the map). It is unclear if the Russian military leadership foresees a delay mission at the operational or the strategic level. An operational-level delay would require holding long enough to allow forces already in theater to move from other areas to eastern Kherson. A strategic-level delay would mean holding long enough to allow newly-mobilized units time to arrive in theater. The difference lies primarily in the Russian military’s perception of time-space relationships in this area. Russian forces would likely take many months to drive through a Ukrainian defensive array if the Ukrainians had built one like the one described in this report. If Russian forces expect Ukrainian forces to take months to break through their defenses in this region, they could reasonably expect additional mobilized forces or partially-trained conscripts to arrive in time to stop and possibly reverse the Ukrainian counter-offensive.But Ukrainian counter-offensives have sometimes moved much more rapidly than that, once launched. If Ukrainian forces were able to penetrate several of the Russian defensive lines in Kherson Oblast in weeks rather than months, then Russian forces would have to reinforce from other parts of the theater with forces already deployed and operating there. The defensive array itself offers no insight into the Russians’ expectations in this regard.Russian forces have likely deployed mobilized personnel to the primary lines of defense and pulled experienced, professional units to the secondary and tertiary lines of defense, a deployment pattern that could lead to more rapid Ukrainian advances.[4] As ISW has previously reported, Russian mobilized personnel are generally poorly trained, equipped, and led, significantly increasing casualties among mobilized personnel and decreasing their willingness to fight.[5] Such reports are so frequent and pervasive that they have divided the Russian information space and prompted swift punishment and suppression.[6] Manning Russian frontline fortifications with these less effective, less organized, and poorly equipped and supplied personnel could lead to them collapsing or falling back faster than Russian military leadership may have planned, potentially disrupting Russian time-space relationship expectations.The Russian effort to prepare extensive defensive positions in eastern Kherson, however well or poorly executed, highlights the critical importance this terrain holds for the future course of the war. The GLOCs that Russian forces seek to defend in Kherson Oblast include almost all remaining routes essential to maintaining military operations across southern Ukraine, including the two main highways connecting mainland southern Ukraine to Crimea. Losing even one of these GLOCs would likely strain Russian logistics supporting operations in eastern Kherson Oblast and western Zaporizhia Oblast and could allow Ukrainian forces to advance close enough to the remaining highway to interdict it. As ISW has previously reported, Russian forces may seek to use the Arabat Spit as a third GLOC between Crimea and southern Ukraine that Ukrainian forces could threaten by targeting one of the two bridges essential to maintaining the GLOC.[7] The Russian failure to hold these GLOCs would force the Russians to rely entirely on the GLOC from Rostov through Mariupol and Melitopol, itself under threat of a Ukrainian counter-offensive from the north. If Ukrainian forces established themselves in eastern Kherson Oblast, they could threaten an additional counter-offensive toward Melitopol from the west, which Russian forces would likely struggle to defend against.Elements of the Russian information space are beginning to lose faith in Russian forces’ ability to hold key areas in western Zaporizhia Oblast, possibly setting long-term information conditions for a Russian withdrawal from this area. Russian milbloggers have made recent claims that Ukrainian forces are preparing to retake the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in Enerhodar.[8] Recent Russian-language discourse on Twitter references such posts to claim that Russian milblogger channels, especially those affiliated with Wagner Group, are promulgating a narrative that Russian forces are preparing to leave the ZNPP soon.[9] The head of the Ukrainian nuclear energy agency Energoatom stated on November 26 that Russian forces may be preparing to leave the ZNPP and that the first indication of these preparations is unspecified “Russian publications”—possibly referring to social media discourse—that suggest Russia should transfer control of the ZNPP to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).[10] Though ISW has seen no evidence of an imminent Ukrainian counteroffensive in Zaporizhia Oblast that could threaten Russian positions in Enerhodar or Melitopol, this discourse combined with the consistent thread of Russian milblogger, occupation officials, and state media claims of a Ukrainian force concentration along this axis to threaten Melitopol may also prepare the information space for an eventual Russian withdrawal regardless of whether such claims actually intend to do so.[11] Frequent Russian official claims that Ukrainian forces continue to shell the ZNPP could also intentionally or unintentionally support this condition-setting.[12]ISW offers no forecast of future Ukrainian operations and makes no assessment of Ukrainian capabilities to conduct the counter-offensive operations discussed above. The Russian military, however, clearly regards a Ukrainian counter-offensive across the Dnipro and/or via the Kinburn Spit as possible and very dangerous. It has put considerable effort into a defensive array against such possible Ukrainian operations, but that array contains many vulnerabilities that the Ukrainians have shown they can exploit.Key inflections in ongoing military operations on November 27:The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian officials are preparing for another wave of covert mobilization starting on December 10 in the Russian Federation and in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine.[13]Russian milbloggers widely criticized the Russian Federal Customs Service for customs delays and exclusions of dual-use goods that volunteer movements have been sending to the Russian military.[14]The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the Russian forces along the Svatove-Kreminna line are conducting defensive operations around Kupyansk and offensive operations west of Kreminna.[15]Russian sources reported that Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations toward Svatove and Kreminna.[16]Russian forces continued offensive operations around Avdiivka.[17] The Ukrainian General Staff did not report that Ukrainian forces repelled any ground attacks around Bakhmut on November 27, suggesting that Russian forces may have advanced in the area.[18]Russian forces conducted strikes against Dnipro City, Kryvyi Rih, and Zaporizhzhia City.[19]Russian occupation officials continued to forcibly transfer Ukrainian children from occupied territories in Luhansk Oblast to Russia under the guise that the children require special medical care.[20][1] https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-russia-dnieper-trenches-fortifications-satellite-photos/32127029.html[2] https://twitter.com/reader00141/status/1596061716957351936[3] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-7; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-9; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-8; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-11[4] https://lb dot ua/society/2022/11/21/536603_rosiyani_peretvoryuyut_uzberezhzhya.html[5] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-13; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-5; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-3; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-1; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-13[6] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-25; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-7[7] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-22[8] https://t.me/smotri_z/8490; https://t.me/smotri_z/8371; https://t.me/bulbe_de_trones/3381 [9] https://twitter.com/Rezerv8/status/1596741927608938497; https://twitter.com/ibuEn1GSQ7kLeyE/status/1595369625906192384; https://twitter.com/digitalstalker3/status/1596869436983889925; https://twitter.com/tvevz/status/1568847600240959488; https://twitter.com/Kuznecova_TA/status/1595481980434628610; https://twitter.com/Alpetrovich/status/1595129152444968961; https://twitter.com/kingeugen/status/1567503243114123265; https://twitter.com/Q0MT6pFmbVqynsM/status/1595051133084766208; https://twitter.com/Info53917080/status/1595017734597009411 [10] https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/27/takoe-vpechatlenie-chto-rossiyane-sobirayut-chemodany-glava-energoatoma-o-situatsii-na-zaporozhskoy-aes[11] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-19; https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russian%20Operations%20Assessments%20November%2016.pdf; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-11; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-28; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-7; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-19[12] https://ria dot ru/20221119/aes-1832812629.html; https://lenta dot ru/news/2022/11/21/obstrelenergodara/; https://lenta dot ru/news/2022/09/21/zaesobstrel/; https://news dot ru/vlast/vsu-vojska-vypustili-sem-snaryadov-po-zaporozhskoj-aes/; https://iz dot ru/1389232/izvestiia/zelenskii-uprazdnil-ukrainskuiu-delegatciiu-v-kontaktnoi-gruppe-onlain-spetcoperatcii-2-sentiabria;[13] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02nLBNHZm3HpFHocJoKJBwovEVTeCqZvuX7csJP1py8vojc2vPgzDehYgwmrKbg8xNl[14] https://t.me/voenacher/34284 ; https://t.me/rybar/41513 ; https://t.me/MedvedevVesti/12212; https://t.me/rybar/41514 ; https://t.me/epoddubny/1384 ; https://t.me/grey_zone/15952; https://t.me/zhivoff/7285 ; https://t.me/MedvedevVesti/12220; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10080 ;[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0vZyWxhGJBFWMVfdyTfjMaiLmM568qEfys2yuhzpidChw3sU2n9bCBSTiAjstD17el ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02nLBNHZm3HpFHocJoKJBwovEVTeCqZvuX7csJP1py8vojc2vPgzDehYgwmrKbg8xNl ;[16] https://t.me/mod_russia/22152 ; https://t.me/wargonzo/9476 ; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10081 ; https://t.me/mod_russia/22152 ;[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02nLBNHZm3HpFHocJoKJBwovEVTeCqZvuX7csJP1py8vojc2vPgzDehYgwmrKbg8xNl ; https://t.me/kommunist/13616 ; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/20106 ; https://t.me/rt_special/2245 ; https://t.me/wargonzo/9465 ;[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0vZyWxhGJBFWMVfdyTfjMaiLmM568qEfys2yuhzpidChw3sU2n9bCBSTiAjstD17el; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02nLBNHZm3HpFHocJoKJBwovEVTeCqZvuX7csJP1py8vojc2vPgzDehYgwmrKbg8xNl[19] https://t.me/vilkul/2304; https://t.me/vilkul/2305; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2593; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23572; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23581; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23586; https://t.me/stranaua/77400; https://t.me/spravdi/21636 ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02nLBNHZm3HpFHocJoKJBwovEVTeCqZvuX7csJP1py8vojc2vPgzDehYgwmrKbg8xNl ; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23571 ; https://t.me/stranaua/77371 ; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/15021; https://t.me/starukhofficial/4286[20] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/7081  

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:05pm
Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Dana Alexander Gray, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 26, 5:00 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei publicly rejected the possibility of compromise or reform to placate the ongoing protests on November 26. Khamenei reiterated his hard line on the protests and his accusation that foreign actors incited the unrest. He ended his speech with a Quranic verse that social media users interpreted as further affirmation that he will not make concessions.[1] Khamenei made these remarks in a meeting with Basij members and lauded their role in protest suppression. Khamenei may have meant to use his speech to signal to other senior regime officials his disapproval of cooperating with reformists to quell the protests. Some regime power centers have signaled their willingness to cooperate with reformists and possibly implement limited reform in recent weeks. President Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani discussed implementing unspecified “liberalizing measures” with reformist leaders, including members of the Khomeini and Rafsanjani families, in exchange for help quelling protests in late October and possibly early November, according to the Wall Street Journal.[2] Other senior regime officials, including Mojtaba Khamenei, Judiciary Chief Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, and Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi have met with reformist politicians in recent days as well.[3] If true, it is noteworthy that Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf has seemingly not yet agreed to meet with reformists given that many of his counterparts across the Islamic Republic have. A prominent journal published by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) furthermore responded positively on November 21 to former reformist President Mohammad Khatami’s calls for dialogue to address protester grievances.[4] Khamenei has conversely rejected reformist outreach. Mohammad Ali Abtahi—who is a close political associate of Khatami—stated on November 26 that Khatami wrote a letter to Khamenei about the protests.[5] Abtahi added that “there is no sign that [Khamenei] has considered” the letter. Khamenei’s apparent rejection of Khatami may indicate a divide between the supreme leader and some of his subordinates over how to engage the reformists. One should not overstate any such potential disagreement, however. It is highly unlikely that any senior regime officials considering cooperation with reformists would disobey or ignore Khamenei’s orders.Many regime officials support Khamenei’s uncompromising stance toward the protests, on the other hand. IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Ali Fadavi expressed implicit support for the regime using more brutality in the protest crackdown on November 21.[6] Some hardline media outlets have similarly called for security forces to use less restraint against protesters.[7] This rhetoric indicates that at least some regime circles prefer more repression rather than limited reform.President Ebrahim Raisi visited members of the Basij special forces on November 25, confirming their involvement in the protest crackdown.[8] Raisi met with members of the Basij Fatehin battalions and lauded their role in protest suppression.[9] The Fatehin battalions are Basij special forces that have suppressed previous protest waves and deployed to Syria to fight for despot Bashar al Assad.[10] These forces operate sniper elements.[11] The Basij has established Fatehin units in every province, according to IRGC-affiliated media.[12]Protests centered primarily around universities on November 25, highlighting once again the different demographics that comprise the protest movement. This movement includes university and high school students, minority communities in the border regions, urban elite, and many more. Each of these demographics has led the protests at a different point in this movement, granting it an impressive degree of resilience.Protest coordinators and organizations have called for protests throughout Iran from December 5 to 7.[13]Key TakeawaysSupreme Leader Ali Khamenei publicly rejected the possibility of compromise or reform to placate the ongoing protests. Khamenei may have meant to use his speech to signal to other senior regime officials his disapproval of cooperating with reformists to quell the protests.President Ebrahim Raisi visited members of the Basij special forces on November 25, confirming their involvement in the protest crackdown.Protest coordinators and organizations have called for protests throughout Iran from December 5 to 7.Protests centered primarily around universities, highlighting once again the different demographics that comprise the protest movementAt least 15 protests took place in four cities across four provinces.Dozens of local leaders from Baneh, Kurdistan Province issued a video statement condemning the regime crackdown and expressing support for the protesters.Iranian-backed militants fired two rockets at US patrol base in Hasaka Province, Syria.Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least 15 protests took place in four cities across four provinces. CTP assesses with high to moderate confidence that protests occurred in the following locations on November 26:Note: CTP defines small protests as fewer than 100 individuals, medium protests as between 100 and 1,000, and protests as over one thousand.Karaj, Alborz Province[14]Crowd Size: SmallKaraj, Alborz Province[15]Crowd Size: UndeterminedDemographic: Kharazami University of Karaj studentsRegime Repression: Security personnel filmed protestersEsfahan City, Esfahan Province[16]Crowd Size: SmallEsfahan City, Esfahan Province[17]Crowd Size: MediumDemographic: Esfahan University of Technology studentsEsfahan City, Esfahan Province[18]Crowd Size: MediumProtest Type: Strike and protestDemographic: Steel workersAlvand, Ghazvin Province[19]Crowd Size: UndeterminedProtest Type: Strike and protestDemographic: Industrial workersTehran City, Tehran Province[20]Crowd Size: SmallProtest Type: Strike and protestProtester Activity: Fire lit in streetDemographic: Automobile workersTehran City, Tehran Province[21]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Amir Kabir University of Technology studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[22]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: University of Science and Culture studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[23]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Allameh Tabataba'i University studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[24]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: University of Tehran studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[25]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Kharazami University of Tehran studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[26]Crowd Size: SmallProtest Activity: Fires lit in streetTehran City, Tehran Province[27]Crowd Size: SmallCTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in the following locations on November 26:Tehran City, Tehran Province[28]Crowd Size: SmallProtest Activity: Sit inDemographic: Sharif University of Technology studentsDozens of local leaders from Baneh, Kurdistan Province issued a video statement condemning the regime crackdown and expressing support for the protesters on November 26.[29] These individuals showed their faces allowing their easy identification and risking regime punishment for their actions. This statement is similar to previous video statement from several dozen Sunni clerics and religious leaders in Kurdistan Province expressing support for the protesters on November 21.[30]Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsIranian-backed militants fired two rockets at US patrol base in Hasaka Province, Syria on November 25.[31] The attack caused no casualties or damage.[32] CTP previously reported that likely Iranian-backed militants conducted a rocket attack on US forces in northeastern Syria on November 17.[33] The IRGC likely directed these attacks to expel US forces from the region and also to respond to Washington’s perceived role in stoking protests. [1] https://twitter.com/fresh_sadegh/status/1596494118934511622[2] https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-protests-government-mahsa-amini-11669137860[3] https://www.iranintl.com/202211241814[4] https://amwaj.media/media-monitor/irgc-media-hint-at-dialogue-facilitated-by-reformist-ex-president[5] https://eslahatnews dot com/%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B7%D8%AD%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF-%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B1%D9%87%D8%A8%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF[6] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-22[7] https://amwaj.media/media-monitor/iranian-conservatives-demand-harsher-crackdown-as-protest-death-toll-rises[8] www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/09/05/2811995[9] www.president dot ir/fa/140988[10] https://www.criticalthreats.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Whatever-it-takes-to-end-it.pdf[11] https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/10/irgc-to-expand-basij-special-forces.php[12] www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1399/01/31/2240536[13] https://twitter.com/OutFarsi/status/1596515145114607616?s=20&t=twJQwoPLAru6CH9k2GsVOQ[14] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596568134403690498?s=20&t=twJQwoPLAru6CH9k2GsVOQ ; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1596579365235486722?s=20&t=FzbzURxqsuES6A1EqgsoBQ ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596575990410784769?s=20&t=FzbzURxqsuES6A1EqgsoBQ[15] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596536215918067714?s=20&t=vezDyfkIW8qK0cGP9YoIEw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596535690396946436?s=20&t=7-SQQ1a3ituszWApFXjTAg ; https://twitter.com/vaasnaaa/status/1596576191531700227?s=20&t=7-SQQ1a3ituszWApFXjTAg ; https://twitter.com/Sahand_Ava/status/1596542232013987840?s=20&t=7-SQQ1a3ituszWApFXjTAg ; https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1596531234737364993?s=20&t=pLceLPFpPFk9ps5CWBt12w[16] https://twitter.com/VIsfehan/status/1596549802598322176?s=20&t=twJQwoPLAru6CH9k2GsVOQ[17]  https://twitter.com/VOAfarsi/status/1596595898875641857?s=20&t=qHRrIekkBDG15ywemlmOmQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596454978499010562?s=20&t=qHRrIekkBDG15ywemlmOmQ[18] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596464333696819200?s=20&t=XoJ5uRym-DJvImhpBSQVvQ  ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596575891550871552?s=20&t=XoJ5uRym-DJvImhpBSQVvQ ; https://twitter.com/Lajbaz57/status/1596594539073970176?s=20&t=XoJ5uRym-DJvImhpBSQVvQ ; https://twitter.com/SamRasoulpour/status/1596460936793305089?s=20&t=XoJ5uRym-DJvImhpBSQVvQ  ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596437215315480576?s=20&t=XoJ5uRym-DJvImhpBSQVvQ[19] https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1596434826197966849?s=20&t=oP4XtAB9-kgiQmLTwlS8dw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596435023905067015?s=20&t=THwBzum2LyychH3PAM_WZA ; https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1596430803407339522?s=20&t=THwBzum2LyychH3PAM_WZA ; https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1596448393932390401?s=20&t=THwBzum2LyychH3PAM_WZA[20] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596434789854240768?s=20&t=-lNwjhgFmm9YNTxIKcWVhw[21] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596432928405606400?s=20&t=PA8h05YKp0lXyxWGTTg9xA ; https://twitter.com/nikimahjoub/status/1596491486191030276?s=20&t=PA8h05YKp0lXyxWGTTg9xA ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596411580362952705?s=20&t=noWe62yp_rf47q8q4VDxRw[22] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596443658903076865?s=20&t=CET0NNX8WGLOuqEB548J_g ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596454346811662336?s=20&t=twJQwoPLAru6CH9k2GsVOQ ; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1596456399135207425?s=20&t=CET0NNX8WGLOuqEB548J_g ; https://twitter.com/SamRasoulpour/status/1596464649641332741?s=20&t=CET0NNX8WGLOuqEB548J_g[23] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596537100932874240?s=20&t=twJQwoPLAru6CH9k2GsVOQ ; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1596524497623924736?s=20&t=A5PivXCbLtx4sny8-tAbnw[24] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596538208250126336?s=20&t=C5zhanB1GHJ2_I-2XQ9S1w ; https://twitter.com/indypersian/status/1596527693213978627?s=20&t=C5zhanB1GHJ2_I-2XQ9S1w ; https://twitter.com/SedayeShahrivar/status/1596541262571659264?s=20&t=C5zhanB1GHJ2_I-2XQ9S1w[25] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596534433233920001?s=20&t=twJQwoPLAru6CH9k2GsVOQ ; https://twitter.com/VOAfarsi/status/1596602191107616768?s=20&t=pLceLPFpPFk9ps5CWBt12w ; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1596509170076995584?s=20&t=pLceLPFpPFk9ps5CWBt12w[26] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596584413072089088?s=20&t=twJQwoPLAru6CH9k2GsVOQ ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596581290333331456?s=20&t=twJQwoPLAru6CH9k2GsVOQ ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596581121608716289?s=20&t=H9H0IOtp-quNSzySS__fRw[27] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596582204783697921?s=20&t=U4yatR4dx-IFeU3tMRr7Zg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596582505288695810?s=20&t=qHRrIekkBDG15ywemlmOmQ ; https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1596589724197654528?s=20&t=U4yatR4dx-IFeU3tMRr7Zg[28] https://twitter.com/pouriazeraati/status/1596473265475981312?s=20&t=dfIuCqpbSiH2SnFaqqrstw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596430591511375872?s=20&t=4mcITkXXKWx8UeMVbUhbCQ[29] https://twitter.com/Kolbarnews/status/1596574986055356416[30] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-21[31] https://www.syriahr dot com/en/277597/[32] https://twitter.com/CENTCOM/status/1596277600036470784[33] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-17 

[Author: Katherine Lawlor] [Category: Iran]

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[l] at 11/26/22 3:51pm
Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Angela Howard, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 26, 3:45pm ET Click here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.The overall pace of operations along the frontline has slowed in recent days due to deteriorating weather conditions but is likely to increase starting in the next few weeks as temperatures drop and the ground freezes throughout the theater. Ukrainian and Russian reporting from critical frontline areas throughout eastern and southern Ukraine, including Svatove, Bakhmut, and Vuhledar, indicates that operations on both sides are currently bogged down by heavy rain and resulting heavy mud.[1] Temperatures are forecasted to drop throughout Ukraine over the next week, which will likely freeze the ground and expedite the pace of fighting as mobility increases for both sides. The temperature in areas in Ukraine’s northeast, such as along the Svatove-Kreminna line, will dip to near-or-below-freezing daily highs between November 28 and December 4. It will likely take the ground some days of consistent freezing temperatures to solidify, which means that ground conditions are likely to be set to allow the pace of operations to increase throughout Ukraine over the course of the weekend of December 3-4 and into the following week. It is unclear if either side is actively planning or preparing to resume major offensive or counter-offensive operations at that time, but the meteorological factors that have been hindering such operations will begin lifting.Russian officials are continuing efforts to deport children to Russian under the guise of medical rehabilitation schemes and adoption programs. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on November 26 that the Russian occupation administration in Luhansk Oblast conducted medical examinations of 15,000 children between the ages of two and 17 and found that 70% of the children (10,500) are in need of “special medical care” that requires them to be removed to Russia for “treatment.”[2] The Resistance Center stated that Russian officials intend these forced deportation schemes to lure children’s families to Russia to collect their children after the children receive treatments, at which point the Resistance Center assessed Russian officials will prevent those families from returning home to Ukraine. The Center‘s report is consistent with ISW’s previous assessment that Russian officials are conducting a deliberate depopulation campaign in occupied Ukrainian territories.[3]Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova additionally posted an excerpt from a documentary film chronicling the story of the children she adopted from Mariupol.[4] Lvova-Belova has largely been at the forefront of the concerted Russian effort to remove Ukrainian children from Ukrainian territory and adopt them into Russian families, which may constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention as well as a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign.[5] Lvova-Belova's documentary is likely meant to lend legitimacy to the ongoing adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families, just as the guise of medical necessity is likely intended to justify mass deportations of Ukrainian children to Russian territory.Russian officials may be attempting to counterbalance the influence of Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin through the promotion of other parallel military structures. The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on November 26 that Russian officials appointed a Viktor Yanukovych-linked, pro-Kremlin businessman, Armen Sarkisyan, as the new administrator for prisons in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine and that Sarkisyan intends to use the role to create a new “private military company.”[6] The GUR reported that Sarkisyan modeled his effort to create a new private military company on the Wagner Group’s recruitment of prisoners in the Russian Federation and that Russian-Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetyan is sponsoring the effort.[7] Karapetyan is the owner of Tashir Holding company, a longtime subcontractor for Russian stated-owned energy company Gazprom.[8] The GUR reported that Sarkisyan’s attempt to create a new private military structure is an attempt to create a counterweight to Prigozhin’s de facto monopoly in the field of Russian private military companies.[9] It is likely that high-ranking Russian officials have approved Sarkisyan’s efforts as private military companies are illegal in Russia.Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov reported that he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25 and claimed that they discussed the participation of Chechen units in the war in Ukraine and the creation of new Russian military and Rosgvardia units comprised of Chechen personnel.[10] ISW has previously reported that Kadyrov routinely promotes his efforts to create Chechen-based parallel military structures.[11] Russian officials may be further promoting Kadyrov’s existing parallel military structures and Sarkisyan’s efforts to create a private military company to counteract the growing influence of Prigozhin, whom ISW has previously assessed uses his own parallel military structures to establish himself as a central figure in the Russian pro-war ultranationalist community.[12]Russian forces are likely using inert Kh-55 cruise missiles in their massive missile strike campaign against Ukrainian critical infrastructure, further highlighting the depletion of the Russian military’s high precision weapons arsenal. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported on November 26 that Russia is likely removing nuclear warheads from ageing Kh-55 missiles and launching the missiles without warheads at targets in Ukraine.[13] The UK MoD suggested that Russian forces are likely launching the inert missiles as decoys to divert Ukrainian air defenses.[14] Ukrainian officials have previously reported that Russian forces have extensively used the non-nuclear variant of the missile system, the Kh-555, to conduct strikes on critical Ukrainian infrastructure since mid-October.[15] The Russian military’s likely use of a more strategic weapon system in the role of a decoy for Ukrainian air defenses corroborates ISW’s previous reporting that the Russian military has significantly depleted its arsenal of high-precision missiles.[16] The use of more strategic weapons systems in support of the campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure suggests that the Russian military is heavily committed to the strike campaign and still mistakenly believes that it can generate strategically significant effects through that campaign.Key TakeawaysThe overall pace of operations in Ukraine is likely to increase in the upcoming weeks as the ground freezes throughout the theater.Russian officials are continuing efforts to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.Russian officials may be trying to counteract Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s growing influence through the promotion of other parallel Russian military structures.Russian forces are likely using inert Kh-55 missiles designed solely to carry nuclear warheads in its campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure, highlighting the Russian military’s depletion of high-precision weapons.Russian forces continued defensive operations against ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.Russian forces continued offensive operations in the directions of Bakhmut and Avdiivka.Russian forces continued establishing fortifications in eastern Kherson Oblast.Russian tactical, logistical, and equipment failures continue to decrease morale of Russian troops and drive searches for scapegoats. We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Eastern UkraineRussian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and one supporting effort);Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk OblastRussian Supporting Effort—Southern AxisRussian Mobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasUkrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)Russian forces continued defensive operations against ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensives along the Svatove-Kreminna line on November 26. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops are conducting active defense operations northwest of Svatove in the direction of Kupyansk and west of Kreminna in the direction of Lyman.[17] Russian sources continued to discuss marginal Russian advances within Novoselivske, 15km northwest of Svatove.[18] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian troops repelled Ukrainian attacks on Kolomychikha (10km west of Svatove) and Ploshchanka (15km north of Kreminna).[19] Ukrainian Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai noted that Ukrainian troops are continuing to succeed around Svatove and Kreminna, partially due to the low quality and incoherence of mobilized Russian recruits operating in the area.[20] Haidai reported that Ukrainian troops are additionally defending against continual Russian attacks on Bilohorivka, 10km south of Kreminna.[21]Russian Main Effort—Eastern UkraineRussian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations around Bakhmut on November 26. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Bakhmut, within 4km south of Bakhmut near Opytne, and within 18km northeast of Bakhmut near Soledar, Bakhmutske, and Yakovlivka.[22] A Russian milblogger posted a control of terrain map claiming that Russian forces control Opytne, although ISW has not observed visual evidence to corroborate this claim.[23] Russian and Ukrainian sources continued to claim that muddy conditions are slowing operations in the Bakhmut area.[24] A Russian milblogger claimed that fierce fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces continued on the southern outskirts of Bakhmut.[25]Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on November 26. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults within 23km southwest of Avdiivka near Pervomaiske, Krasnohorivka, and Nevelske.[26] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces also continued offensive operations in the direction of Novomykhailivka (36km southwest of Avdiivka).[27] Geolocated footage posted on November 26 shows Ukrainian forces striking advancing Russian tanks southwest of Novoselivka Druha (9km northeast of Avdiivka).[28]Russian forces continued to conduct defensive operations in western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts on November 26. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are conducting active defensive operations in these areas.[29] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian counterattacks within 79km southwest of Donetsk City near Mykilske and Vremivka in western Donetsk Oblast.[30] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued routine artillery and air strikes along the line of contact in Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts.[31]Supporting Effort—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)Note: ISW will report on activities in Kherson Oblast as part of the Southern Axis in this and subsequent updates. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in right-bank Kherson Oblast has accomplished its stated objectives, so ISW will not present a Southern Ukraine counteroffensive section until Ukrainian forces resume counteroffensives in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continued establishing fortifications in eastern Kherson Oblast and conducted routine artillery fire against areas on the west (right) bank of the Dnipro River on November 26. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are fortifying their positions along an unspecified coastline, likely referring to the Black Sea coast, and are preparing a defense-in-depth.[32] Russian forces are reportedly moving MLRS and S-300 systems closer to Kherson City, indicating that Russian forces may intend to increase the tempo of rocket and anti-air missile strikes against ground targets north of the Dnipro River in the coming days.[33] Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces shelled Kherson City, Antonivka, Chornobaivka, and Beryslav – all on the west (right) bank of the Dnipro River.[34]Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian force concentrations and military assets in Russian rear areas in southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian ammunition depot in Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast, injuring 50 Russian military personnel, and two warehouses in Vasylivskyi Raion, injuring 130 personnel and destroying seven pieces of equipment.[35] The Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, reported that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian ammunition depot in Mykhailivka on the northern outskirts of Melitopol on November 25.[36] A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces struck Chaplynka (40km south of Nova Kakhovka on the T2202 Nova Kakhovka-Armiansk route) and Skadovsk (R57-T2213 intersection on the Kherson City-Skadovsk route) in Kherson Oblast.[37]Russian forces continued to conduct routine artillery, rocket, and missile strikes west of Hulyaipole and in Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts on November 26. Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces struck Dnipro City.[38] Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces shelled Ochakiv, less than 5km north of the Kinburn Spit. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces shelled Nikopol and Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[39]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian tactical, logistical, and equipment failures continue to decrease the morale of Russian troops and drive searches for scapegoats. Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) First Deputy Information Minister Danil Bezsonov claimed on November 25 that “the mistakes of military authorities of all levels” forced Russian President Vladimir Putin to order unpopular partial mobilization.[40] Bezsonov alleged that Russian military authorities are relying on the mobilized personnel to correct authorities’ planning mistakes while leaving mobilized soldiers in poor conditions.[41] A prominent Russian milblogger described “extremely outdated equipment” with which mobilized soldiers were photographed during training in Kostroma as “depressing.”[42] Another Russian milblogger lamented the inability of Russian forces to defend against Ukrainian drones without anti-drone systems, thermal imagers, drones, and radio stations.[43] The milblogger blamed wealthy elites for their failure to understand the importance of anti-drone warfare.[44] The Ukrainian General Staff stated on November 26 that Russian authorities continue to struggle to provide logistical support for mobilized soldiers.[45] Russian civilians are reportedly decreasingly willing to support material drives to fill that gap, though civilian collection drives for mobilized soldiers are ongoing.[46]Actors in the Russian information space have been divided on whether to accept complaints of Russian soldiers as guidance for improvement or to quash them for decreasing faith in Russian military leadership, as ISW has previously reported.[47] Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) First Deputy Information Minister Danil Bezsonov argued that mobilized soldiers deserve proper treatment, equipment, weapons, and attention and have the right to complain about a lack of proper equipment on November 25.[48] Bezsonov stated the mobilized do not have the right to complain about spending the night on the floor of a military recruitment office or about harsh conditions on the front.[49]A Russian source framed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s November 25 creation of an electronic state information resource for information on citizens registered with the military as a resource useful in supporting better provisioning of soldiers fighting Ukraine.[50] The database is projected to begin working on April 1 to coincide with spring conscription.[51]Russian forces’ continued difficulties providing for soldiers’ medical needs are already hindering treatment of civilians in Russian-occupied territories. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 26 that Russian forces in Luhansk Oblast have suffered major losses and are increasingly appropriating civilian hospitals in occupied areas for exclusively military use.[52] Civilians in Luhansk Oblast are reportedly facing increased difficulty accessing medical services and finding space in morgues.[53] ISW reported on additional impacts of Russian forces’ growing demand for medical care on November 25.[54]The Kremlin continues to respond disproportionately to limited domestic resistance to Russia’s war in Ukraine. A prominent Russian news source reported on November 25 that Russian authorities created three additional police controls and dispatched almost a dozen police and Federal Protective Service personnel (FSO) to patrol the Kremlin walls around the clock after an unidentified individual wrote “no to war” on the wall of the Kremlin.[55] The scale of such a response indicates continued Kremlin concern over domestic resistance and commitment to shaping the domestic information space and/or for the security of the Kremlin itself.Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied and annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian civilians into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems) See topline text.Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.    [1] https://t.me/stranaua/77323; https://t.me/miroshnik_r/9699; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43013; https://www.kp dot ru/daily/27475/4682355/?from=tg  [2] https://sprotyv.mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/26/rosiyany-pidgotuvaly-105-tys-ditej-do-vyvezennya-v-rosiyu/[3] https://isw.pub/UkrWar111622; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-25[4] https://t.me/malvovabelova/809; http://tsargrad-tv.turbopages dot org/tsargrad.tv/s/shows/jeto-moj-rebjonok-istorija-prijomnogo-syna-marii-lvovoj-belovoj_667473[5] https://isw.pub/UkrWar111622[6] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/pryznacheno-novoho-smotriashcheho-za-v-iaznytsiamy-na-terytorii-rf-ta-tymchasovo-okupovanykh-terytoriiakh-ukrainy.html[7] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/pryznacheno-novoho-smotriashcheho-za-v-iaznytsiamy-na-terytorii-rf-ta-tymchasovo-okupovanykh-terytoriiakh-ukrainy.html[8] https://www.forbes.com/profile/samvel-karapetyan/?sh=2134d5046e19[9] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/pryznacheno-novoho-smotriashcheho-za-v-iaznytsiamy-na-terytorii-rf-ta-tymchasovo-okupovanykh-terytoriiakh-ukrainy.html[10] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3145  [11] https://isw.pub/UkrWar102822[12] https://isw.pub/UkrWar111622[13] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1596389927733927937[14] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1596389927733927937[15] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvRyoIAVhtk&ab_channel=СуспільнеНовини ; https://t.me/kpszsu/2171  ; https://www.facebook.com/kpszsu/posts/pfbid028rM22wAaW31zUjgULCqczHbKSZQC8vi8jQNBR79qMEVpKYdLZssuFSUpx1a8FpXMl  ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0CJCe33EJrD9HjaE9FNdrpq398y3fg1RmQxMdYkj4UVnYmZJcCsnWYMMsatpD4RpCl ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02rznceYc3QUWkDR7BrBVN1VPWat2sjzgiCf1unqhoqQbvP46JJBKyzFQHxBhgkQc3l ; https://www dot pravda.com.ua/articles/2022/10/24/7373160/  ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02iuwf3frMqYrBZcoYCmn62HYMBkaGrNwoaV3NySDmrcazHoXjyDF3LAGgx7WzSrjvl ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02VU4ruthEkw8DEpZpxWaoaRTWMRnAhZqvAgvrS2BshVpZZZCqjSd8116esMwLwHP8l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0Psc44zGz1CABwxT4V8hJ4Sg7vVH47cf19eDNVYYPD7CnQhJiiXAVT3h6oEYCsnJ1l ; https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/kh-555.htm[16] https://isw.pub/UkrWar112222[17]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[18] https://t.me/mod_russia/22105; https://t.me/riafan_everywhere/14707; https://t.me/voenkors/260; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71330; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/20073[19] https://t.me/mod_russia/22105[20] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/7070[21] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/7070[22]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[23] https://t.me/wargonzo/9453[24] https://t.me/stranaua/77323 ; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43032[25] https://t.me/wargonzo/9453[26]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[27] https://t.me/wargonzo/9453[28] https://twitter.com/ng_ukraine/status/1596401265436610560 https://twitter.com/blinzka/status/1596489111019425792 [29]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dyWDxtc9M1aFg8A2eaYYRM36vJaRhoG3o9iSe6T2q2xeWLLLnRty36YbGGPNA9wgl ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[30] https://t.me/mod_russia/22105  [31]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dyWDxtc9M1aFg8A2eaYYRM36vJaRhoG3o9iSe6T2q2xeWLLLnRty36YbGGPNA9wgl ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[32]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[33] https://t.me/hueviyherson/29900[34]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dyWDxtc9M1aFg8A2eaYYRM36vJaRhoG3o9iSe6T2q2xeWLLLnRty36YbGGPNA9wgl; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/2051; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/2038; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02V1LVfaobXJQ8ahGVfu1K9P1qKncAmTodorY65S39Jw5c7WWWM1r3fvGHCeNwFjoGl; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29881[35]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[36] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/945[37] https://t.me/wargonzo/9453[38] https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43022; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2575; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2573; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2572; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71325; https://t.me/stranaua/77280; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15136; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15135; https://t.me/readovkanews/47705; https://t.me/readovkanews/47706; https://t.me/stranaua/77314[39] https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1512; https://t.me/vilkul/2298; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2569[40] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/20067[41] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/20067[42] https://t.me/milinfolive/93775[43] https://t.me/marzoev_oleg/1628; https://t.me/marzoev_oleg/1629[44] https://t.me/marzoev_oleg/1628; https://t.me/marzoev_oleg/1629https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[46]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[47] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-25[48] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/20067[49] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/20067[50] https://t.me/Sladkov_plus/6730[51] https://t.me/ctrs2018/16045; http://publication.pravo dot gov.ru/Document/View/0001202211250017?index=0&rangeSize=1[52]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[53]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid024KvKFDVZP4U1YaUrzNg9LKKeAa53CmdJctbSZnhovu5CyDRjhXjnkHYnn1kroQwRl[54] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-25[55] https://t.me/bazabazon/14653; https://t.me/stranaua/77218 

[Author: Katherine Lawlor] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, Angela Howard, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 25, 9:00pm ETClick here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Reports of poorly staffed, provisioned, and supplied Russian mobilized personnel are dividing the Russian information space, exposing the tension between milblogger mobilization narratives, Wagner Group narratives, and actual Russian efforts to alleviate morale issues. Mobilized personnel from Serpukhov, Moscow Oblast, claimed on November 23 that the Russian military command sent them into battle without proper training, uniforms, or protective gear, leading them to suffer mass casualties. These personnel also claimed that command only feeds the mobilized personnel once a day despite having enough food to provide more meals.[1] A Russian source reported that the Serpukhov mobilized personnel now face a military tribunal for desertion, but the men later released a second video denying that they are deserters and stating they are willing to serve on the second and third lines of defense rather than the front line.[2]Russian milblogger responses split between calling for compassion for the mobilized personnel and punishment only for leadership, and punishment for the entire unit. A Russian milblogger claimed that these Russian personnel abandoned their positions in Makiivka, Luhansk Oblast, and left other members of their unit to be executed when surrendering to Ukrainian forces (an accusation that the Ukrainian government is investigating).[3] Some Russian milbloggers, including at least one channel affiliated with the Wagner Group, sympathized with the Serpukhov personnel and criticized the Russian training and command issues that led to this situation.[4] These milbloggers also criticized other Russian milbloggers who, they say, wrongfully condemned the Serpukhov personnel for Russian military command, training, and provisioning issues out of their control. One Russian milblogger even claimed that military personnel do not refuse to fight, but that they do not want to be “cannon fodder.”[5] Alexander “Sasha” Kots, a milblogger whom Russian President Vladimir Putin recently appointed to the Russian Human Rights Council, called for objectivity when viewing the video and said he would raise the issue with Putin in his new position on the Human Rights Council.[6] However, some milbloggers still criticized Kots for being too soft on the Serpukhov personnel and called for increasingly harsh penalties.[7] The mixed responses from milbloggers with various Kremlin and external affiliations about ongoing mobilization issues further illustrates the extent of the erosion of Russian morale and the increase in confusion among the pro-war Russian nationalist community resulting from poorly-executed mobilization and other force generation efforts.Russian President Vladimir Putin falsely presented a meeting with 18 hand-picked women holding influential positions in the Russian political sphere as an open discussion with the mothers of mobilized personnel on November 25, two days before Russian Mother’s Day.[8] Russian media publicized the meeting in an apparent attempt to assuage discontent from relatives of the mobilized and appeals from genuine mothers’ and wives’ groups.[9] Putin used the meeting to pledge to improve conditions for the mobilized, to call on Russians to distrust unfavorable media reports surrounding mobilization, and to display solidarity with the families of Russian soldiers.[10] Meanwhile, the calls of relatives of Russian soldiers have reportedly not received a response. A Russian news channel posted a video on November 24 in which a Russian woman claims that authorities will not meet with her even though she has been looking for her soldier son who disappeared in March.[11] The Council of Mothers and Wives posted that unidentified individuals began to surveil their members following their November 21 announcement of a roundtable discussion to consider the problems facing conscripts.[12] YouTube channel Moms of Russia posted a video appeal to Putin in which several mothers asked Putin to prevent the mobilization of their only child.[13] ISW saw no evidence of a response to the video from Putin. The Council of Mothers and Wives reportedly also expressed the belief that the invitation to Putin’s meeting of mothers only applied to specially selected individuals.[14]An investigation by Forbes’ Ukrainian service revealed the extent of the financial strains that the war in Ukraine has imposed on Russia’s annual budget. Forbes found that Russia has spent $82 billion dollars on the first nine months of the war in Ukraine, amounting to one quarter of its entire 2021 annual budget of $340 billion.[15] The investigation emphasized the impact that mobilization had on military-related expenditures since October and observed that providing for the 300,000 mobilized cost an additional $1.8 billion per month in addition to the increased costs of providing ammunition, equipment, and salaries to mobilized recruits, which in total amounted to a $2.7 billion increase following mobilization. ISW has previously reported on the detrimental effects of mobilization and the Kremlin’s overall war effort on the Russian federal budget.[16] In addition to the massive impact the first nine months of the war have had on the federal budget, ISW has also observed that local Russian administrations on the regional level have disproportionately borne the brunt of mobilization in a way that will continue to have reverberating social and financial impacts into 2023.[17]  The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) may have increased the frequency of prisoner of war (POW) exchanges in an attempt to soothe discontent in the information space regarding its prior failures to negotiate the return of Russian POWs. Russian and Ukrainian sources reported three concurrent POW exchanges between November 23 and 25. Russian and Ukrainian officials exchanged 35 Russian POWs for 35 Ukrainian POWs on November 23, 50 Russian POWs for 50 Ukrainian POWs on November 24, and nine Russian POWs for nine Ukrainian POWs on November 25.[18] The frequency of POW exchanges over the past few days is an inflection in itself- the Russian MoD has been notably restrained in the conduct of such exchanges and has faced significant criticism over its apparent lack of regard for Russian POWs in recent months.[19] The increased frequency of POW exchanges is likely meant partially to address discontent from Russian milbloggers, who reported on the most recent series of exchanges with a relatively neutral tone and emphasized the equal ratio of exchange.[20]A Ukrainian official confirmed that Ukrainian forces killed Iranian advisors in Russian-occupied Crimea in October and stressed that Ukraine would target any Iranian military presence on Ukrainian territory. Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov confirmed that Ukrainian forces killed the Iranian military advisors in a November 24 interview with the Guardian.[21] Danilov did not specify how many Iranian advisors Ukrainian forces killed, but an October 10 Jerusalem Post report put the figure at 10 Iranian military advisors.[22] US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby confirmed on October 20 that Iranian military personnel are in Russian-occupied Crimea to assist Russian forces in operating Iranian-made drone in attacks on Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure.[23] Danilov also threatened that Ukrainian forces would target any Iranian military presence on Ukrainian territory.[24] The confirmation and threat will likely not dissuade Iran from continuing to support Russia through the provision of high-precision weapons systems. ISW has previously assessed that Iran may be supplying drones and potentially ballistic missiles to the Russian Federation to more clearly establish an explicit bilateral security relationship with Russia in which they are more equal partners.[25]Russian leadership may be distributing a document among Russian servicemembers stating that Russia needs to mobilize five million personnel to win the war in Ukraine, an impossible task for the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian General Staff Deputy Chief Oleksiy Hromov stated on November 24 that the military-political leadership of the Russian Federation has prepared a document titled “Conclusion of the War with NATO in Ukraine” and has begun distributing it among Russian servicemembers.[26] The document reportedly identifies shortcomings of the Russian Armed Forces and notes the need for Russia to mobilize five million Russians to win the war in Ukraine.[27] It is unclear whether Russian leadership considers the five million figure a possible target or whether it is an unreachable projected force requirement, reasonable or not, that suggests that they cannot achieve their objectives in Ukraine. Russia’s chaotic and ineffective conduct of partial mobilization with the target of 300,000 mobilized personnel suggests that the mobilization of five million Russians is an impossible task for the Russian Federation. Russian leadership may have drafted and distributed the document in the fashion of Soviet-style after-action reports that deflect responsibility from the overarching strategic leadership failures of the war and place culpability for failure on the operational and tactical failures of the Russian military. Hromov, however, provided no additional details and ISW has been unable to obtain any corroboration or independent reporting about the document.Key TakeawaysReports of a group of understaffed and ill-supplied mobilized personnel are dividing the Russian information space.President Vladimir Putin falsely presented a meeting with hand-picked women as an open discussion with mothers of mobilized personnel.An investigation by Forbes’ Ukrainian service revealed that the war in Ukraine has had a serious financial impact on the Russian Federation’s annual budget.The Russian MoD may have increased the frequency of POW exchanges to soothe discontent in the Russian information space. A Ukrainian official confirmed that Ukrainian forces killed Iranian military advisors in Russian-occupied Crimea and threatened to target Iranian military presence on Ukrainian territory.Russian military leadership may be circulating a document stating that Russia needs to mobilize five million personnel to win the war in Ukraine, which Russia cannot do.Russian forces conducted limited counterattacks to regain lost positions northwest of Svatove and Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations toward Kreminna.Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas, and influential Russian figures may be setting informational conditions to deflect blame for a lack of progress in the Bakhmut area.Russian forces continued to establish defenses south of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast and around critical ground lines of communication (GLOCs) connecting Crimea to southern Kherson Oblast.Russian sources and officials continue attempts to shape the narrative around a likely second partial mobilization while denying the potential for general mobilization.Russian officials are continuing efforts to stimulate demographic change in occupied areas of Ukraine by deporting Ukrainian residents and replacing them with imported Russian citizens.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Eastern UkraineRussian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and one supporting effort);Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk OblastRussian Supporting Effort—Southern AxisRussian Mobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasUkrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)Russian forces conducted limited counterattacks to regain lost positions northwest of Svatove between November 24 and 25. Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Department of the Ukrainian General Staff, Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, reported on November 24 that Russian troops are continuing efforts to retake positions around Kupyansk, about 45km northwest of Svatove.[28] The Ukrainian General Staff noted on November 25 that Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks on Stelmakhivka, 15km northwest of Svatove.[29]  Russian sources also widely claimed that Russian troops began attacking Novoselivske (14km northwest of Svatove) on November 24 and that Russian troops entered the settlement and began consolidating positions on November 25 in order to cut Ukrainian access to the P07 highway that runs into Svatove.[30] A Russian military correspondent posted pictures of Russian trenches and concrete dragon’s teeth fortification in the Svatove area on November 24 and noted that artillery units of the Russian Western Military District comprised of mobilized recruits are the holding defense of Kreminna.[31] Russian sources continue to highlight the poor conditions and muddy terrain in this area, although the deep freeze that is forecasted to set in starting in about a week will likely accelerate the pace of operations.  Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations towards Kreminna on November 24 and 25. The Russian Ministry of Defense and other Russian sources reported that Ukrainian forces unsuccessfully attempted to attack toward Chervonopopivka and Ploshchanka, 6km and 15km northwest of Kreminna, on November 24 and 25.[32] The Ukrainian General Staff also noted that Russian troops attempted to attack toward Dibrova, 5km southwest of Kreminna.[33] Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian forces are conducting strikes on Russian rear areas behind the Svatove-Kreminna line between November 24 and 25.[34]Russian Main Effort—Eastern UkraineRussian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces continue to focus their main efforts on conducting offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast. Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Department of the Ukrainian General Staff, Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, stated on November 24 that Russian forces are concentrating efforts in the Siversk, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka areas with the aim of encircling Bakhmut.[35] Hromov stated that 290 combat clashes took place in the Donbas over the past week, with 90 combat clashes in the Bakhmut area.[36] Hromov stated that the most difficult situation is in the Bakhmut area and that Russian forces have also attempted multiple times in the past week to break through Ukrainian defenses around Nevelske (16km southwest of Avdiivka).[37]Russian forces continued offensive operations in the direction of Bakhmut on November 24 and 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Bakhmut; within 23km northeast of Bakhmut near Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, and Bakhmutske; and within 16km southwest of Bakhmut near Andriivka, Klishchiivka, Ozarianivka, and Opytne on November 24 and 25.[38] Russian sources claimed on November 24 that there was heavy positional fighting near Bakhmut and that Russian forces established control over new positions in the southeastern outskirts of the city.[39] Russian sources also reported on November 24 that Russian forces completed a sweep of Mayorsk south of Bakhmut.[40] Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces conducted an assault within 13km southwest of Bakhmut towards Kurdiumivka on November 24 and 25, with one milblogger claiming that Russian forces intend to cut the railway line in the area.[41] A Russian milblogger claimed on November 25 that Russian forces fired on Ukrainian reinforcements moving to Bakhmut from the northeast through Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.[42]Influential Russian figures may be trying to set information conditions for the continued slow progress of Russian offensive operations in the Bakhmut area. Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin stated on November 25 that he forbids Wagner fighters from giving interviews on the situation in the Bakhmut area and that wishful thinking in Russian media confuses Russian servicemembers and negatively impacts operations in the area.[43] Prigozhin also stated that the task of Wagner Group formations in the area is not to take Bakhmut but instead to degrade Ukrainian forces and their combat potential.[44] Prigozhin’s recent comments stand in contrast to ISW's previous assessment that Wagner Group forces exaggerate territorial gains around Bakhmut and their responsibility for said gains to further distinguish themselves from proxy and conventional Russian forces.[45] ISW has also previously noted that Wagner Group forces have not made significant gains around Bakhmut since June.[46] Prigozhin may be setting informational conditions to shield himself and Wagner Group from criticism that the results of their months-long offensive to take Bakhmut are incongruent with the continued claims of their success and operational importance in the area.Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on November 24 and 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults within 37km southwest of Avdiivka near Krasnohorivka, Marinka, Pervomaiske, and Novomykhailivka on November 24 and 25.[47] Russian milbloggers also claimed that Russian forces conducted offensive operations within 10km southwest of Avdiivka near Vodyane on November 24 and 25.[48] A Russian milblogger claimed on November 25 that Russian forces also conducted an assault near Nevelske.[49] Russian milbloggers claimed on November 24 and 25 that ongoing urban warfare between Ukrainian and Russian forces is fierce in Marinka.[50] One Russian milblogger claimed on November 24 that Ukrainian forces are preparing for counteroffensive operations in the direction of Opytne (4km southwest of Avdiivka).[51] ISW does not make assessments on future Ukrainian operations.Russian forces continued to conduct defensive operations in western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts on November 24 and 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 24 and 25 that Russian forces are conducting active defensive operations in western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts.[52] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian counterattacks within 91km southwest of Donetsk City near Novomykhailivka, Novodonetske, Volodymrivka, Pavlivka, and Vremivka in western Donetsk Oblast and near Novodarivka and Levadne in eastern Zaporizhia Oblast on November 24 and 25.[53] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued routine indirect fire along the line of contact in Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts on November 24 and 25.[54]A Ukrainian official reported that Russian forces are likely continuing to reinforce positions in western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts. Ukrainian advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko stated on November 24 and 25 that Russian forces continued to move military personnel and equipment to and through Mariupol.[55] Andryushchenko stated that Russian military reinforcements from Kherson Oblast have begun to arrive in Mariupol on November 25.[56] ISW has previously assessed that recent Russian military movements suggest that Russian forces are likely reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhia and western Donetsk Oblast.[57]Supporting Effort—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)Note: ISW will report on activities in Kherson Oblast as part of the Southern Axis in this and subsequent updates. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in right-bank Kherson Oblast has accomplished its stated objectives, so ISW will not present a Southern Ukraine counteroffensive section until Ukrainian forces resume counteroffensives in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continued establishing defensive positions and building fortifications in Kherson Oblast south of the Dnipro River on November 24 and 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continue to improve fortifications and logistical support for units in eastern Kherson Oblast.[58] Ukraine’s Resistance Center reported that Russian authorities are importing civilians from Mariupol to build fortifications in eastern Kherson Oblast, which indicates that Russian forces in this area lack the number of mobilized personnel necessary to construct fortifications at the speed and scale that leadership desires.[59] Forcing Ukrainian civilians to perform military tasks on behalf of the Russian occupiers, including constructing fortifications, would violate Article 40 of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.[60] A Russian milblogger claimed on November 25 that a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group conducted a brief raid against Ukrainian positions on the right bank of the Dnipro River in Antonivka, but this claim is unlikely and ISW cannot confirm the veracity of the report.[61] Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Russian forces continued shelling areas on the right bank of the Dnipro River, including Kherson City, Antonivka, Chornobaivka, Kozatske, Beryslav, and Dudchany on November 24 and 25.[62]Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian force concentrations and military assets on the west (left) bank of the Dnipro River and in rear areas in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Ukrainian forces struck Russian forces along the east bank of the Dnipro River near Nova Kakhovka, Kakhovka, and Liubimivka, and in the Russian rear in Chaplynka and Skadovsk.[63] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian force concentration in Zeleny Yar, Zaporizhia Oblast on November 23, destroying two trucks, wounding 12 personnel, and killing 20 personnel.[64]Russian forces continued establishing defenses around critical logistics lines connecting Crimea and southern Kherson Oblast. Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Spokesperson Andrii Chernyak stated that Russian forces are establishing defensive areas along the Kherson Oblast-Crimea administrative border, particularly two areas in northern Dzhankoi Raion.[65] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian authorities are manufacturing defensive structures in Crimea to erect in Armyansk, Crimea.[66] Dzhankoy and Armyansk are situated along the E105 and E97 highways respectively, and ISW has previously reported that Russian forces are increasingly relying on these ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to supply forces in southern Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts from Crimea but could create possible bottlenecks.[67] Ukrainian Kherson Oblast Military Advisor Serhiy Khlan stated that Russian forces are increasingly militarizing the Arbat Spit just east of the main Crimean Peninsula and Perekop Isthmus and have concentrated military helicopters and mobilized personnel on the spit.[68] Russian forces may be trying to use roads through the Arbat Spit to establish another GLOC connecting Crimea to other parts of southern Ukraine, but this route may be vulnerable to Ukrainian interdiction in the event of a Ukrainian counteroffensive as it relies on two bridges within 5km of Henichensk, Kherson Oblast. ISW has previously reported that Russian occupation officials are increasingly worrying about a Ukrainian counteroffensive against Crimea, though Russian forces likely do not expect to defend against an imminent Ukrainian counteroffensive.[69]Russian forces continued routine artillery, rocket, and missile fire west of Hulyaipole and in Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts on November 24 and 25.[70] Ukrainian and Russian sources claimed that Russian forces struck Zaporizhia City, Ochakiv, Mykolaiv Oblast, and Nikopol and Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[71] Russian milbloggers expressed continued concerns over a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Zaporizhia direction.[72] Some Russian milbloggers claimed on November 25 that Russian forces repelled a Ukrainian ground assault south of Hulyaipole near Polohy, but ISW cannot confirm these claims.[73]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian media, milbloggers, and officials continue attempts to shape the narrative around a likely second partial mobilization while denying the potential for general mobilization. A Russian opposition media outlet claimed that an unidentified high-ranking Russian deputy stated that mobilized forces will “run out” by the end of winter and leave holes for future mobilization to patch.[74] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the creation of a state information resource containing updated information on Russian citizens registered with the military.[75] This development sets appropriate conditions to facilitate a future wave of mobilization.General Russian mobilization remains extremely unlikely. A Russian opposition media outlet cited an unidentified source in the Russian presidential administration that the Kremlin abandoned the idea of general mobilization in late October and will instead pursue a second wave of mobilization.[76] Wagner Group Financier and Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov reportedly championed both martial law and general mobilization, though the majority of Kremlin representatives were opposed.[77]The Kremlin avoids public narratives suggesting further mobilization and has informally (but not legally) declared an end to partial mobilization in response to the unpopularity and ineffective implementation of the policy, as ISW has previously reported.[78] Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov declared on November 25 that an upcoming message from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Russian Federal Assembly will not contain an announcement of mobilization.[79] Covert mobilization and media predictions of future mobilization continue, as ISW has previously reported.[80]The Russian government struggles to define appropriate escalatory steps and force generation requirements in consideration of the status of recently annexed territories.  Russian Duma Defense Committee member Vikor Sobolev stated in an interview published on November 11 that partial mobilization will meet Russian requirements as long as the fighting remains within Ukrainian territory, while escalation against Russian territory may require general mobilization.[81] This distinction runs counter to the official Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territories and policy that even territory surrendered or never reached by Russian forces is part of Russia.A prominent Russian news source claimed on November 24 that Russian forces have fully formed a battalion of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) in Donetsk Oblast.[82] The source claimed the POW battalion is ready for deployment.[83] ISW cannot independently confirm these claims.Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai stated on November 24 that mobilized Russian prisoners fled their positions on the front lines.[84] Russian forces reportedly are searching for the escaped prisoners in civilian apartments around Luhansk Oblast.[85]Russian officials may be attempting to roll back unrealistic promises made to mobilized soldiers and create a feasible legislative system to classify veterans of the war in Ukraine, including soldiers in private military companies (PMCs). A Russian news outlet stated that a sizeable group of Russian Duma deputies proposed the legislative division of Russian mobilized soldiers into three groups: soldiers called up for military service during mobilization, fixed-term contractors in emergency situations, and those who have signed a contract to assist in tasks assigned to Russian forces.[86] The Russian news outlet projected this division of soldiers called up during mobilization from contract soldiers may entail the end of payment equality between mobilized soldiers and contract soldiers.[87] The creation of a third category of “assisting” forces likely creates a legal loophole for the provision of benefits to mercenaries employed by PMCs, such as the Wagner Group. Private military companies are illegal in Russia.Russian mobilized forces continue to demonstrate ineptitude and extreme disorder. A Russian source stated on November 23 that mobilized soldiers at a training ground in the center of Fedoseevka, Belgorod Oblast accidentally shot a seven-year-old boy walking home from school.[88] This likely represents Russian failure both in locating a training ground in an urban center and in shooting wildly outside of expected paths and directions. A Russian source reported on November 24 that a recently-mobilized intelligence sergeant accidentally shot and killed a fellow soldier in Tolpino, Kursk Oblast.[89] A Russian source claimed on November 24 that a Russian private stabbed a junior commissioned officer four times during a quarrel over an unspecified topic.[90] A Russian source reported on November 24 that a mobilized soldier from Transbaikalia died from a head injury under mysterious circumstances, and unidentified actors continued to purchase alcohol on his card.[91]The impacts of mobilization continue to cause short-term challenges for Russian society as well as to set destabilizing conditions for Russian society in the long term. Russian forces and private military companies (PMCs) are mobilizing medical professionals, promising pay up to ten times greater than average hospital salaries to doctors who agree to serve in combat zones, and holding training on basic medical procedures among soldiers.[92] Such actions suggest that Russian forces have lost contracted medical professionals and/or face casualties at rates far greater than expected or provided for. Wounded Russian servicemembers are likely receiving inferior care. Broader Russian society will likely face a shortage of medical professionals in the future, likely exacerbated by the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. Russian authorities also struggle to address economic and financial conditions surrounding the mobilized. A Russian source reported that local deputies in Novosibirsk appealed to the federal government to take unspecified action in response to banks denying the mobilized loans due to their high risk of default.[93] A Russian recruiting service claimed that recruiters struggle to employ men and noted that at least 300,000 job-seekers of working age have left Russia since the beginning of mobilization.[94]Russian men continue to use any means to avoid mobilization. Sibir Realii reported on November 25 that men in Siberia have established paternity in rates far higher than usual since the start of mobilization.[95] The Russian General Staff decreed on October 4 that fathers with three or more children under the age of 16 are not subject to mobilization.[96] A Russian source reported on November 24 that mobilized soldiers at a training ground in Yelan, Sverdlovsk Oblast, have entered into an agreement with a local hospital for the hospital to remove their appendices and then prescribe a one-month recovery period in which physical activity is prohibited.[97] The hospital has reportedly identified about 30 cases of “acute appendicitis” in mobilized soldiers to date.[98]Russian morale remains extremely low. A Russian opposition outlet claimed that 250 Russian soldiers in Zaitseve have refused to fight on the front lines and now hide in basements.[99] Russian officers reportedly entered the basements on November 21 and forced out 100 soldiers at gunpoint.[100]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied and annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian civilians into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems)Russian officials are continuing efforts to stimulate demographic change in occupied areas of Ukraine by deporting Ukrainian residents and replacing them with imported Russian soldiers and citizens. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on November 24 that Russia is trying to bring about demographic transitions in occupied areas and cited an example that Russian students are promised free education on the condition that they complete their training in institutions in occupied territories.[101] Ukrainian Advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushchenko, stated on November 25 that Donetsk People’s Republic Head (DNR) Denis Pushilin announced all apartment buildings in Mariupol are subject to evacuation and resettlement with Russian citizens and occupation-affiliated elements.[102] Other Ukrainian sources continued to report on the forced deportation of Ukrainian residents from occupied areas as part of an extended depopulation scheme.[103] A Dagestani state television and radio broadcasting company stated that Dagestan has received 50 Ukrainian children from Donbas for “rehabilitation,” which as ISW has previously reported is a guise used by Russian officials to justify the massive, forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russian territory.[104]Russian sources reported that unidentified actors (likely Ukrainian partisans) conducted an improvised explosive device (IED) attack near the Mariupol City Administration building on the evening of November 24. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Territorial Defense headquarters reported that the explosion was caused by a car bomb and killed one resident and noted that DNR law enforcement is carrying out escalated “operational-search and investigative measures.”[105] Russian forces overall are continuing escalated law enforcement operations throughout occupied areas of Ukraine on November 24 and 25 in response to partisan threats and fear of pro-Ukrainian sentiment.[106]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.  [1] https://t.me/mobilizationnews/4506; https://t.me/mobilizationnews/4606; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9AxXK4fYLw&ab_channel=JDay; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1595412643342336002; https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12848; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-22-23 [2] https://t.me/mozhemobyasnit/14142; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-23-24; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9AxXK4fYLw&ab_channel=JDay; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1595412643342336002; https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12848; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-22-23 [3] https://t.me/notes_veterans/6770; https://meduza dot io/en/news/2022/11/22/ukrainian-ag-s-office-investigates-russian-pow-execution-video-suspects-makiivka-captives-of-feigning-surrender[4] https://t.me/grey_zone/15925; https://t.me/vizioner_rf/3796; https://t.me/grey_zone/15929[5] https://t.me/grey_zone/15927; https://t.me/grey_zone/15925; https://t.me/vizioner_rf/3796[6] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-20; https://t.me/sashakots/37299[7] https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10049 ; https://t.me/s/vladlentatarsky [8] https://t.me/smotri_media/31750; https://t.me/mod_russia/22080; https://tass dot ru/obschestvo/16428063; https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-63756383; https://t.me/SOVETMATERI/1142; https://meduza dot io/feature/2022/11/25/kreml-ob-yavil-chto-putin-vstretilsya-s-materyami-uchastnikov-voyny-v-ukraine; https://t.me/readovkanews/47670; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-24-25; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15086; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15111[9] https://t.me/smotri_media/31750; https://t.me/mod_russia/22080; https://tass dot ru/obschestvo/16428063; https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-63756383; https://t.me/SOVETMATERI/1142; https://meduza dot io/feature/2022/11/25/kreml-ob-yavil-chto-putin-vstretilsya-s-materyami-uchastnikov-voyny-v-ukraine; https://t.me/readovkanews/47670; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-24-25; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15086; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15111[10] https://t.me/smotri_media/31750; https://t.me/mod_russia/22080; https://tass dot ru/obschestvo/16428063; https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-63756383; https://t.me/SOVETMATERI/1142; https://meduza dot io/feature/2022/11/25/kreml-ob-yavil-chto-putin-vstretilsya-s-materyami-uchastnikov-voyny-v-ukraine; https://t.me/readovkanews/47670; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-24-25; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15086; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15111[11] https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/15050; https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12857[12] https://t.me/SOVETMATERI/995; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[13] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCKRgYFvpfo; https://t.me/Govorit_NeMoskva/943; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-24-25[14] https://t.me/meduzalive/73875; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-22-23[15] https://forbes.ua/war-in-ukraine/za-devyat-misyatsiv-rosiya-vitratila-na-viynu-82-mlrd-tse-chvert-ii-richnogo-byudzhetu-rozrakhunki-forbes-24112022-9997[16] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-2[17] https://isw.pub/RusCampaignOct4; https://isw.pub/UkrWar110822; https://isw.pub/UkrWar110222[18] https://t.me/mod_russia/22031; https://t.me/nm_dnr/9457; https://t.me/mod_russia/22043; https://www.facebook.com/DPSUkraine/posts/pfbid02ujvLkbMzk8oHtrZ1Gz5eSfhmvGR6NzDA4rgAboe7X2jF5yLCUrD5KLG9s68crZSjl; https://t.me/ermaka2022/1674; https://minre.gov.ua/news/dodomu-z-polonu-povernulys-shche-50-oboronciv; https://t.me/kommunist/13539; https://t.me/epoddubny/13824; https://t.me/epoddubny/13822; https://t.me/milinfolive/93715; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71180; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23402; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23403; https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1595783028017696768; https://t.me/readovkanews/47661; https://t.me/pushilindenis/2936; https://t.me/pushilindenis/2927 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76627 ; https://www.facebook.com/DPSUkraine/posts/pfbid02TNKetKdGUtZwjmzL7sS4QVfNmzxyV3q4SMUhTi1DdcWTEhygK8uZReaPsQ1KV3BGl  ; https://suspilne(dot)media/323466-mzs-moldovi-viklikalo-rosijskogo-posla-cerez-obstrili-ukraini/; https://t.me/mod_russia/21991 ; https://t.me/rybar/41418   [19] https://isw.pub/UkrWar102922[20] https://t.me/kommunist/13539; https://t.me/epoddubny/13824; https://t.me/epoddubny/13822; https://t.me/milinfolive/93715[21] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/24/iranian-military-advisers-killed-aiding-moscow-in-crimea-kyiv[22] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/24/iranian-military-advisers-killed-aiding-moscow-in-crimea-kyiv; https://www.jpost dot com/breaking-news/article-720252[23] https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/20/politics/white-house-iran-drones-crimea/index.html[24] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/24/iranian-military-advisers-killed-aiding-moscow-in-crimea-kyiv[25] https://isw.pub/UkrWar110522[26] https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-ato/3621209-u-rosii-najblizcim-casom-mozliva-nova-hvila-mobilizacii-genstab.html[27] https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-ato/3621209-u-rosii-najblizcim-casom-mozliva-nova-hvila-mobilizacii-genstab.html[28] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLG2IZaEQf0[29] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02suL9hZ6rpNyeRLwiihrhWEKV8ZhgtieqywwUyPBG5MXdgjBURH3ZwZYBrQwT48uml[30] https://t.me/wargonzo/9412; https://t.me/kommunist/13567; https://t.me/kommunist/13568; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10065; https://t.me/sashakots/37343; https://t.me/epoddubny/13835;  https://t.me/readovkanews/47654; https://t.me/miroshnik_r/9700; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71277; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71240; https://t.me/sashakots/37341; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10066; https://t.me/russkiy_opolchenec/35073; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43014 [31] https://t.me/sashakots/37331; https://www.kp dot ru/daily/27475/4682355/?from=tg[32] https://t.me/mod_russia/22022; https://t.me/mod_russia/22073; https://t.me/evgeniy_lisitsyn/1696[33] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02suL9hZ6rpNyeRLwiihrhWEKV8ZhgtieqywwUyPBG5MXdgjBURH3ZwZYBrQwT48uml [34] https://t.me/millnr/9789; https://t.me/mod_russia/22073; https://t.me/marochkolive/33712; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1596077288344649728; https://t.me/kommunist/13558[35] https://armyinform.com.ua/2022/11/24/ponad-290-bojovyh-zitknen-z-protyvnykam-vidbulosya-na-shodi-protyagom-tyzhnya/     [36] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLG2IZaEQf0 [37] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLG2IZaEQf0 [38] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0dyHZoEiZF1nM3Tr2QexfVNnkitBVujbLWggwtP26vtmp2C3gNYwiF23Ch1fzKj3Sl?__cft__[0]=AZW3-QHZOIq2KA84jGVdtJDF2greVXGojuJ3cIcNr_pjSCcfCdzIn_yTlFbJAdvsiyyxF1KnWE6oRJah3Pds8sjcnTA8AR7Bt9comGfJp6GP_q5GnZxEVFVgZIrKEEUfAmrgMRLcuR1KAgqZ2uhKI5oqnPlOsAhvqvxA8FhNHpQIEyEwEJaZhYPNNxc62fSweWcaejQZIPZNCeTm_tNevud7&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02suL9hZ6rpNyeRLwiihrhWEKV8ZhgtieqywwUyPBG5MXdgjBURH3ZwZYBrQwT48uml[39] https://t.me/readovkanews/47631 ; https://t.me/rybar/41454 ;[40] https://t.me/readovkanews/47631 ;   https://t.me/rybar/41454[41] https://t.me/wargonzo/9431 ; https://t.me/rybar/41454[42] https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71256 ; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71277[43] https://t.me/concordgroup_official/68 ; https://t.me/Prigozhin_hat/2108 ; https://t.me/Prigozhin_hat/2109[44] https://t.me/concordgroup_official/68 ; https://t.me/Prigozhin_hat/2108 ; https://t.me/Prigozhin_hat/2109[45] https://isw.pub/UkrWar110822[46] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-28[47] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0dyHZoEiZF1nM3Tr2QexfVNnkitBVujbLWggwtP26vtmp2C3gNYwiF23Ch1fzKj3Sl?__cft__[0]=AZW3-QHZOIq2KA84jGVdtJDF2greVXGojuJ3cIcNr_pjSCcfCdzIn_yTlFbJAdvsiyyxF1KnWE6oRJah3Pds8sjcnTA8AR7Bt9comGfJp6GP_q5GnZxEVFVgZIrKEEUfAmrgMRLcuR1KAgqZ2uhKI5oqnPlOsAhvqvxA8FhNHpQIEyEwEJaZhYPNNxc62fSweWcaejQZIPZNCeTm_tNevud7&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02suL9hZ6rpNyeRLwiihrhWEKV8ZhgtieqywwUyPBG5MXdgjBURH3ZwZYBrQwT48uml[48] https://t.me/grey_zone/15907; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71277  [49] https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71277  [50] https://t.me/boris_rozhin/71277 ; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/43014 ; https://t.me/rybar/41452 ;  https://t.me/wargonzo/9412 ; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/42973; https://t.me/wargonzo/9431  [51] https://t.me/rybar/41452 [52] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02T9sdYvWGAdXiGRppEnAageB8WVzDTPyA1ZyRkqQGT2cvZ5jJeQDFyj3R1A3HdSm8l ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zcfcJXGfj5tCAz3w2GhBWpkSKc2CiJFnPbrB1HG1skVWXFC9w4Y7WEH2zvsg36Tvl[53] https://t.me/mod_russia/22073[54] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02T9sdYvWGAdXiGRppEnAageB8WVzDTPyA1ZyRkqQGT2cvZ5jJeQDFyj3R1A3HdSm8l ;[55] https://t.me/andriyshTime/4537 ;   https://t.me/andriyshTime/4549[56] https://t.me/andriyshTime/4562[57] https://isw.pub/UkrWar112222[58] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zcfcJXGfj5tCAz3w2GhBWpkSKc2CiJFnPbrB1HG1skVWXFC9w4Y7WEH2zvsg36Tvl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0dyHZoEiZF1nM3Tr2QexfVNnkitBVujbLWggwtP26vtmp2C3gNYwiF23Ch1fzKj3Sl?__cft__[0]=AZW3-QHZOIq2KA84jGVdtJDF2greVXGojuJ3cIcNr_pjSCcfCdzIn_yTlFbJAdvsiyyxF1KnWE6oRJah3Pds8sjcnTA8AR7Bt9comGfJp6GP_q5GnZxEVFVgZIrKEEUfAmrgMRLcuR1KAgqZ2uhKI5oqnPlOsAhvqvxA8FhNHpQIEyEwEJaZhYPNNxc62fSweWcaejQZIPZNCeTm_tNevud7&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[59] https://sprotyv.mod.gov.ua/2022/11/24/okupanty-zaluchayut-meshkancziv-mariupolya-do-pobudovy-fortyfikaczijnyh-sporud-na-hersonshhyni/[60] https://www.ohchr.org/en/instruments-mechanisms/instruments/geneva-convention-relative-protection-civilian-persons-time-war[61] https://t.me/rybar/41479[62] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/2019; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02T9sdYvWGAdXiGRppEnAageB8WVzDTPyA1ZyRkqQGT2cvZ5jJeQDFyj3R1A3HdSm8l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02suL9hZ6rpNyeRLwiihrhWEKV8ZhgtieqywwUyPBG5MXdgjBURH3ZwZYBrQwT48uml; https://t.me/wargonzo/9431; https://t.me/rybar/41479; https://t.me/rybar/41473; https://t.me/SobolevskyiYurii/718; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29853; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29843; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0dyHZoEiZF1nM3Tr2QexfVNnkitBVujbLWggwtP26vtmp2C3gNYwiF23Ch1fzKj3Sl?__cft__[0]=AZW3-QHZOIq2KA84jGVdtJDF2greVXGojuJ3cIcNr_pjSCcfCdzIn_yTlFbJAdvsiyyxF1KnWE6oRJah3Pds8sjcnTA8AR7Bt9comGfJp6GP_q5GnZxEVFVgZIrKEEUfAmrgMRLcuR1KAgqZ2uhKI5oqnPlOsAhvqvxA8FhNHpQIEyEwEJaZhYPNNxc62fSweWcaejQZIPZNCeTm_tNevud7&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zcfcJXGfj5tCAz3w2GhBWpkSKc2CiJFnPbrB1HG1skVWXFC9w4Y7WEH2zvsg36Tvl; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/1990; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/2004; https://t.me/rybar/41443[63] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02EnN16AFrwVN2waTbA6Govfv9fr6DcapUB6g5c7YAsMK8A5mo69hPeVqVXh1YisZul?__cft__[0]=AZX5Qgptt1f1HYEq32bg88SFTWNtMkbV6EDDAeg542fnxy-glI4XgyMHiXzN8tajQMnDPLEArVu4xclQMYuV6hvGZ27JY32C6Hevaxd2AlbU1F4JMZzipg4fC5V_RRoVo-5dxwJtQ9H5tafIZxR73Q-a&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02stMAgxwzJSH5A95FPxv3uhJxtexAJe9nr8Bakmku1rd8K9VYxVNeuyKCfBKGaomZl?__cft__[0]=AZU6wQ-X6opSkE3HEGlVxBSgx9MdJSbSsWqar0w5Qe-zyDQ2jiVf7B2O7f91hA02oKpT5_jxkEM9TzhXOub4YeP6Q6Mp6X7hmAChqpvtPsdRsuLPZzrNU4pT7SASbvBzKayJyu7muSNjtvaVyYCx_8yim-9mub_YUJfxTajdQ3k8gg&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://t.me/readovkanews/47664; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29853; https://t.me/rybar/41443[64] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02suL9hZ6rpNyeRLwiihrhWEKV[65] https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-crimea/3620171-rosiani-buduut-oboronni-smugi-na-pidstupah-do-krimu-ta-u-dzankojskomu-rajoni-rozvidka.html[66] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0dyHZoEiZF1nM3Tr2QexfVNnkitBVujbLWggwtP26vtmp2C3gNYwiF23Ch1fzKj3Sl?__cft__[0]=AZW3-QHZOIq2KA84jGVdtJDF2greVXGojuJ3cIcNr_pjSCcfCdzIn_yTlFbJAdvsiyyxF1KnWE6oRJah3Pds8sjcnTA8AR7Bt9comGfJp6GP_q5GnZxEVFVgZIrKEEUfAmrgMRLcuR1KAgqZ2uhKI5oqnPlOsAhvqvxA8FhNHpQIEyEwEJaZhYPNNxc62fSweWcaejQZIPZNCeTm_tNevud7&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[67] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-17[68] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02wwhLdiQJwG3J9c1WAfk63PTHfjt3Ee3cRkyLKox9YvoQpDygZiT1iQDxpUx7KoLul[69] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-22; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-16; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-10[70] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14979; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14997; https://t.me/rybar/41473[71] https://t.me/rybar/41473; https://t.me/kommunist/13548; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14978; https://t.me/starukhofficial/4274; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14975; https://t.me/starukhofficial/4271; https://t.me/rybar/41473; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2566; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1507;  https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2544; https://t.me/vilkul/2289; https://t.me/kommunist/13550; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1505; https://t.me/vrogov/6229; https://t.me/rybar/41443; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/3578[72] https://t.me/kommunist/13559; https://t.me/epoddubny/13831; https://t.me/smotri_z/8490`[73] https://t.me/epoddubny/13830; https://t.me/russkiy_opolchenec/35075; https://t.me/milchronicles/1338[74] https://verstka dot media/pochemu-ne-budet-vseobshey-mobilizacii/; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[75] https://t.me/mod_russia/22076; https://www.interfax dot 20ru/russia/874255; http://publication.pravo dot gov.ru/Document/View/0001202211250017; https://t.me/readovkanews/47674[76] https://verstka dot media/pochemu-ne-budet-vseobshey-mobilizacii/; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[77] https://verstka dot media/pochemu-ne-budet-vseobshey-mobilizacii/; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[78] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-18; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-14[79] https://t.me/rian_ru/186774; https://t.me/news_sirena/7874; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-24-25[80] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-18; https://t.me/mobilizationnews/4471; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23; https://t.me/horizontal_russia/17258[81] https://pdmnews dot ru/28824/; https://verstka dot media/pochemu-ne-budet-vseobshey-mobilizacii/; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[82] https://t.me/readovkanews/47566; https://t.me/epoddubny/13814; https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/54459[83] https://t.me/readovkanews/47566; https://t.me/epoddubny/13814; https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/54459[84] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/7018[85] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/7018[86] https://t.me/sotaproject/50057; https://sozd dot duma.gov.ru/bill/242712-8#bh_note; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-24-25[87] https://t.me/sotaproject/50057; https://sozd dot duma.gov.ru/bill/242712-8#bh_note; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-24-25[88] https://t.me/msk_gde/2425; https://openbelgorod dot ru/news/safety/2022-11-22/uchebnyy-voennyy-poligon-v-belgorodskoy-oblasti-ustanovili-ryadom-s-detskoy-ploschadkoy-303779; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[89] https://t.me/bazabazon/14621; https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1595828161325027330[90] https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12854; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-23-24[91] https://t.me/meduzalive/73993; https://www.chita dot ru/text/incidents/2022/11/23/71838326/; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-23-24[92] https://twitter.com/CITeam_ru/status/1595806349140840448; https://t.me/CITeam/2912; https://t.me/moscowtimes_ru/9265; https://t.me/nm_dnr/9451; https://t.me/millnr/9785; https://t.me/mod_russia/22017; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/7037; https://t.me/perm36/8914; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-24-25[93] https://t.me/sotaproject/49995; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-23-24[94] https://t.me/sotaproject/49939; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[95] https://t.me/sibrealii/13552[96] https://t.me/sibrealii/13552[97] https://t.me/muksun_fm/7072; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-24-25[98] https://t.me/muksun_fm/7072; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-24-25[99] https://t.me/svobodnieslova/962; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[100] https://t.me/svobodnieslova/962; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-22-23[101] https://sprotyv.mod.gov.ua/2022/11/24/okupanty-planuyut-zminyty-demografichnyj-sklad-tymchasovo-okupovanyh-terytorij/[102] https://t.me/andriyshTime/4557[103] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/7018; https://sprotyv.mod.gov.ua/2022/11/24/okupanty-vyvezly-shhe-20-fermeriv-z-tymchasovo-okupovanoyi-luganshhyny/[104] https://t.me/gtrkdagestan/8378; https://isw.pub/UkrWar111622; https://isw.pub/UkrWar102622[105] https://t.me/readovkanews/47649; https://t.me/TRO_DPR/9917[106] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zcfcJXGfj5tCAz3w2GhBWpkSKc2CiJFnPbrB1HG1skVWXFC9w4Y7WEH2zvsg36Tvl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02T9sdYvWGAdXiGRppEnAageB8WVzDTPyA1ZyRkqQGT2cvZ5jJeQDFyj3R1A3HdSm8l  

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Johanna Moore, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 25, 5:00 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Protests continued but did not surge across Iran on November 24 and 25 despite calls for protests. Protest coordinators and organizations called for countrywide demonstrations from November 24-26 in solidarity with the protesters in Kurdistan Province.[1] Some protest organizations requested that protesters congregate on the main streets in each city, possibly to demonstrate large crowd sizes. It is unclear why these calls did not materialize. Security forces may have successfully preempted the planned protests, concentrating security personnel along the main streets and thereby deterring protesters, though CTP cannot corroborate this hypothesis at this time. CTP previously argued that the nature of the planned protests increased the risk to protesters because the advance notice gave the regime time to prepare and a single set of locations at which to concentrate security personnel.[2] The scattered nature of the protests throughout most of this wave has strained security forces’ limited bandwidth.The regime’s protest crackdown and abuse of arrested demonstrators will alienate large swaths of the population and entrench anti-regime sentiment throughout Iran for decades. US-based NGO Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) estimated on November 25 that the regime has arrested over 18,000 protesters thus far.[3] HRAI estimated that 110 of these arrested protesters are children and teenagers. These numbers, if true, are significantly greater than those from previous major protest waves in Iran. The regime arrested around 4,000 protesters during the 2009 Green Movement and around 8,000 during the 2019 Bloody Aban protests.[4] CNN published a report on November 21 detailing the horrific acts of sexual assault and violence the regime is committing against arrested protesters.[5] A young Iranian protester told NPR on November 23 that she would prefer that the regime killed her rather than arresting her.[6] These horrible abuses will continually fuel anger and resentment toward this regime, underscoring the long-term challenge the Islamic Republic is creating for itself by the brutality it is using to oppress these protesters.Key TakeawaysProtests continued but did not surge across Iran despite calls for protests.The regime’s protest crackdown and abuse of arrested demonstrators will alienate large swaths of the population and entrench anti-regime sentiment throughout Iran for a long time.Citizens in Mazandaran Province sent medical supplies to protesters in Kurdistan Province, according to Radio Farda.Prominent Sunni cleric Moulana Abdol Hamid continued to inspire protests throughout Sistan and Baluchistan Province.Hacker group Black Reward defaced the website of IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency.The IRGC Ground Forces has deployed armored and special forces units to unspecified locations in northwestern and western Iran, likely to crack down on protesters and deter further demonstrations.US-based NGO Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) estimated that the regime has arrested over 18,000 protesters thus far.Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least 16 protests took place in nine cities across eight provinces on November 24 and at least 10 protests took place in nine cities across four provinces on November 25. CTP assesses with high to moderate confidence that protests occurred in the following locations on November 24:Note: CTP defines small protests as fewer than 100 individuals, medium protests as between 100 and 1,000, and protests as over one thousand.Karaj, Alborz Province[7]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Activity: Fire set in streetEsfahan City, Esfahan Province[8]Crowd Size: SmallRegime Repression: Security forces fired at protestersProtester Activity: Fire set in streetGhazvin City, Ghazvin Province[9]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: WorkersHamedan City, Hamedan Province[10]Crowd Size: SmallMahidast, Kermanshah Province[11]Crowd Size: Small to mediumProtest Type: Seven-day commemoration ceremony for killed protester Farhad KhosraviKamiyaran, Kurdistan Province[12]Crowd Size: MediumProtest Type: Commemoration ceremony for killed protester Fuad MohammadiJakigour, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[13]Crowd Size: SmallNotes: Protesters blocked roadZahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[14]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Activity: Fire set in streetTehran City, Tehran Province[15]Crowd Size: SmallProtest Type: Seven-day commemoration ceremony for killed protester Hamid Reza RouhiTehran City, Tehran Province[16]Crowd Size: Small to mediumNotes: These may be two different protests.Tehran City, Tehran Province[17]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Activity: Fire set in streetTehran City, Tehran Province[18]Crowd Size: SmallTehran City, Tehran Province[19]Crowd Size: SmallTehran City, Tehran Province[20]Crowd Size: SmallTehran City, Tehran Province[21]Crowd Size: SmallCTP assesses with high to moderate confidence that protests occurred in the following locations on November 25:Karaj, Alborz Province[22]Crowd Size: Small to mediumEsfahan City, Esfahan Province[23]Crowd Size: SmallChabahar, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[24]Crowd Size: SmallIranshahr, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[25]Crowd Size: Small to MediumKhash, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[26]Crowd Size: MediumRegime Repression: Security forces fired at protestersNouk Abad, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[27]Crowd Size: SmallRegime Repression: Security forces fired at protestersSaravan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[28]Crowd Size: SmallZahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[29]Crowd Size: LargeRegime Repression: Security forces fired at protestersProtester Activity: Protesters marched down street, blocked roadsNotes: The location and timing of available footage suggests that protests extended into the evening, although at a diminished scale. Protesters set fire on a city street in evening protests.Tehran City, Tehran Province[30]Crowd Size: Medium (day) to small (evening)Notes: The location and timing of available footage suggests that protests extended into the evening, although at a diminished scale.Tehran City, Tehran Province[31]Crowd Size: Small Citizens in Mazandaran Province sent medical supplies to protesters in Kurdistan Province on November 24, according to Radio Farda.[32] This support reflects how at least some protesters are aiding and likely cooperating with one another throughout the country to resist the regime crackdown. Protesters have established an informal medical care network for injured demonstrators in recent weeks, as CTP previously reported.[33] These kinds of interactions could provide a foundation for greater cooperation among protesters across Iran.IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami threatened the West, Israel, and Saudi Arabia on November 24 for their alleged roles in stoking protests.[34]IRGC Intelligence Organization Deputy Chief Brigadier General Mehdi Sayyari accused the US of leveraging popular economic frustrations to stoke protests on November 24.[35] Regime officials frequently accuse the US of using economic and psychological means to incite unrest. Growing regime attention on how economic shortcomings facilitate protests could place greater internal pressure on President Ebrahim Raisi and his administration to improve the economy. The Raisi administration cannot implement the necessary reform to meaningfully improve the economy, however, due to structural flaws and the IRGC’s monopoly in various sectors.Reformist Zahra Rahnavard published a statement on November 24 criticizing the regime crackdown.[36] Rahnavard demanded that the regime “either kill me or surrender to the will of the people.” Rahnavard is married to reformist leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who previously criticized the crackdown and expressed support for the protesters on October 1.[37]Prominent Sunni cleric Moulana Abdol Hamid continued to inspire protests throughout Sistan and Baluchistan Province on November 25.[38] Abdol Hamid reiterated his criticisms of the regime crackdown during his weekly Friday sermon. He also expressed solidarity with Kurdish protesters in northwestern and western Iran, against whom the regime has deployed the IRGC Ground Forces. Protests occurred in at least six cities in Sistan and Baluchistan Province on November 25. Abdol Hamid’s anti-regime message could increasingly resonate with Sunnis and other protesters in northwestern and western Iran, as CTP previously assessed.[39]Hacker group Black Reward defaced the website of IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency on November 25.[40] The group claimed to have recovered internal data, documents, and files from Fars News Agency. Black Reward previously hacked the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and published 50 gigabytes of documents related to the Iranian nuclear program on October 22, as CTP previously reported.[41]The IRGC Ground Forces has deployed armored and special forces units to unspecified locations in northwestern and western Iran, likely to crack down on protesters and deter further demonstrations. IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pak Pour announced these reinforcements on November 25.[42] He stated that these units will fight separatist militants. Social media reporting from West Azerbaijan Province has corroborated Pak Pour’s claim. Social media accounts reported the IRGC moving armor from Oroumiyeh to Oshnaviyeh on November 24 and to Piranshahr on November 25.[43] These deployments may be from the IRGC Ground Forces’ 2nd Imam Zaman Mechanized Brigade near Shabestar, East Azerbaijan Province, 3rd Hamzeh Seyyed ol Shohada Special Forces Division near Oroumiyeh, West Azerbaijan Province, and/or 31st Ashoura Mechanized Division in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province.[44]  Seven tanks are visible in the videos posted.Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsThe Iraqi central government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) continued trying to satisfy Iranian demands for the disarmament and removal of Kurdish militant groups in Iraqi Kurdistan on November 24. Iraqi central government and KRG officials discussed deploying joint Iraqi Army and KRG Peshmerga brigades to the Iraqi borders with Iran and Turkey.[45] Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian indicated on November 23 that the Baghdad committed to meeting Iranian demands, as CTP previously reported.[46]Iranian-backed militias and Syrian regime forces conducted a joint exercise near the al Tanf Garrison, which houses US troops, on November 23, likely to threaten American service members.[47][1] https://twitter.com/javanane_ir/status/1595078930301583361/photo/1;%20https://twitter.com/javanane_k/status/1595341576603336706/photo/1[2] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-23[3] https://twitter.com/HRANA_English/status/1596163594697248771[4] https://agsiw.org/irans-november-protests-in-perspective/[5] https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2022/11/middleeast/iran-protests-sexual-assault/index.html[6] https://www.npr.org/2022/11/23/1138875930/young-iranian-protesters-explain-what-keeps-them-going[7] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595825105346535424 ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595835232066109440?s=20&t=HQWVUWrYe9OEaV0ajWYxVA [8] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595839623950843904; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595821309698646020; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595856616078843905; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596019010264797185; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595823572949295109[9] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595740089610543104[10] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595833017703989254[11] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596022394790944771 ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595891108998938624?s=20&t=h_JwDYmdVCag3zxl7Fmo_g[12] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595774301009252352?s=20&t=WQRerluY94CkZLKWYtq0ew[13] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595775841317064706[14] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596081408522395648[15] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595777641252012032?s=20&t=t3rJGzywYRopbTUIiQp9WA[16] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595826550473199618 ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595827117740404736 ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596018114688602112?s=20&t=66iUabxnZQkS2EcRmXKaRw[17] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595840395295870977?s=20&t=UuXBeXkep_zY2IkPy4E-kA[18] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595846662928334848[19] https://twitter.com/VOAfarsi/status/1595936657491959808?s=20&t=Je1iAf6X64dttBsg8QS6wQ ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595859107885600768[20] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596016309728206848?s=20&t=WQXyqSDg7uZc4lIaGhtz2A[21] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595833806963019777[22] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596176050551418880?s=20&t=gwM7VmxJ2W-5TWBBIaebqA ; https://twitter.com/Javanmardi75/status/1596227976412418048?s=20&t=gwM7VmxJ2W-5TWBBIaebqA ; https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1596205055065169922?s=20&t=gwM7VmxJ2W-5TWBBIaebqA[23] https://twitter.com/iranwire/status/1596221249780187136?s=20&t=x9fdJrj_qGep1PetTb_U-Q ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596196443840466944?s=20&t=Y-vVgeySnMo8_9eMsksmEw[24] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596097473239552000?s=20&t=uYJaWXJvZ-WQs1VxD8P4Ng ; https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1596096209000833025?s=20&t=uYJaWXJvZ-WQs1VxD8P4Ng[25] https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1596175895181594625?s=20&t=L1ySzRRUpdmezoBhmmOMsQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596094346608377856?s=20&t=L1ySzRRUpdmezoBhmmOMsQ[26] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596091345650810880?s=20&t=dYsJla5jOFjAIYEd6cRNiA ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596109267953942528 ; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1596088707823575040?s=20&t=tILmvYq08ogyDHG-1Gtv5w ; https://twitter.com/HbSarbazi/status/1596125939745935361?s=20&t=tILmvYq08ogyDHG-1Gtv5w ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596084277107511296?s=20&t=tILmvYq08ogyDHG-1Gtv5w ; https://twitter.com/pooyanmokari/status/1596084799265181698?s=20&t=tILmvYq08ogyDHG-1Gtv5w ; https://twitter.com/IranIntl_Ar/status/1596087388966686721?s=20&t=tILmvYq08ogyDHG-1Gtv5w[27] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596109311310462977?s=20&t=7kLD9r38r2Um8qUZToPNCQ ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596109715376832513 ; https://twitter.com/ShahramRafizade/status/1596097532895035392?s=20&t=7kLD9r38r2Um8qUZToPNCQ ; https://twitter.com/SedayeShahrivar/status/1596225520911454210?s=20&t=7kLD9r38r2Um8qUZToPNCQ[28] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596097867135193088?s=20&t=0B8zSh98TaesxALeN3r7eA ; https://twitter.com/pouriazeraati/status/1596106688314183681?s=20&t=0B8zSh98TaesxALeN3r7eA ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1596094657943199744?s=20&t=0B8zSh98TaesxALeN3r7eA[29] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596087377373450240 ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596092776315092993 ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596104128589176833 ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596116406193782784?s=20&t=BfG8X05fN4bbj7Fpf6NYog ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596118819658993666 ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596089149064642560 ; https://twitter.com/farzinkadkhodae/status/1596120280103276544?s=20&t=bSxq3GLuSm_m6KchYmH-Hw ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596200893032300546?s=20&t=8Qw8kAVGR807ucyxe5oshQ[30] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596143300746309632?s=20&t=M4gdzxQ4sTcJ4wM4HbdY9w ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596177790537277441?s=20&t=4B0R7wbClcP5NEBIHOYC8A ; https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1596174540362567680?s=20&t=xVpKB6vthqllHZ1929Tb3w ; https://twitter.com/etelaf10/status/1596166825288630272?s=20&t=xVpKB6vthqllHZ1929Tb3w ; https://twitter.com/Ehsanism/status/1596156895282302976?s=20&t=xVpKB6vthqllHZ1929Tb3w ; https://twitter.com/FattahiFarzad/status/1596178217471471618?s=20&t=xVpKB6vthqllHZ1929Tb3w[31] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1596229543333081088?s=20&t=L1ySzRRUpdmezoBhmmOMsQ ; https://twitter.com/pouriazeraati/status/1596233221930422272?s=20&t=L1ySzRRUpdmezoBhmmOMsQ ; https://twitter.com/iranwire/status/1596266099959803904?s=20&t=L1ySzRRUpdmezoBhmmOMsQ[32] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595853989773705218[33] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-30[34] www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/09/03/2811459[35] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/09/03/2811334[36] https://t.me/kaleme/29875[37] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-1#_edn39dce23411eca8fb90c06e727076998e12[38] https://abdolhamid dot net/persian/2022/11/25/13040/[39] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-21[40] https://twitter.com/KhosroKalbasi/status/1596197794771243008[41] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-23[42] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/09/04/2811628[43] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595832661615992834; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1596062139206504448[44] https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Irans-Reserve-of-Last-Resort.pdf[45] https://www.rudawarabia dot net/arabic/middleeast/iraq/24112022[46] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-23[47] https://www.syriahr dot com/en/277397/  

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Iran]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Johanna Moore, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 23, 5:00 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Note: CTP will not publish a daily Iran Crisis Update on November 24 for the Thanksgiving holiday. CTP will resume daily publishing on November 25.Protest activity and strikes will likely increase in the coming days. Protest coordinators and organizations have called for countrywide demonstrations from November 24-26 in solidarity with the protesters in Kurdistan Province.[1] The regime has deployed the IRGC Ground Forces to cities and towns throughout Kurdistan Province to brutally crack down on protesters, as CTP previously reported.[2] Twenty-nine neighborhood youth groups issued a joint statement on November 23 calling for the upcoming protests, demonstrating a degree of overt coordination that CTP has not previously observed.[3]The nature of the planned protests increases the risk to protesters. Protest coordinators and organizations have called for protesters to congregate on the major city streets in each city.[4] Some social media accounts have published routes protesters should use in Tehran.[5] The advance notice that protesters will gather on these main streets gives security forces time to prepare and a single known location at which to concentrate security personnel. The scattered nature of the protests up until this point has strained security forces’ limited bandwidth. Intelligence and Security Minister Esmail Khatib alluded to this vulnerability on November 9, as CTP previously reported.[6]Supreme leader succession is heavily coloring how the Iranian political and security establishment responds to the protests. Mojtaba Khamenei—the son of Ali Khamenei and a potential successor—has reportedly held several private meetings in recent days possibly in part to reassert his influence within the regime. Mojtaba reportedly met with his political ally Hossein Taeb to discuss Taeb’s return to the security apparatus after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei dismissed him as IRGC Intelligence Organization chief in June 2022.[7] Taeb’s removal may have degraded Mojtaba’s reach into the security sphere. Mojtaba also reportedly met with Fatemeh Hashemi Rafsanjani—the daughter of former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.[8] Mojtaba complained about his political marginalization in the meeting, according to some Iranian outlets, although it is far from clear whether these reports are accurate.[9] These reports coincide with social media rumors claiming that Khamenei has rejected Mojtaba as a potential successor.[10] CTP cannot confirm any of these reports. These rumors and possible leaks underscore, however, the extent to which discussion about supreme leader succession and the associated political maneuvering likely remains prevalent in some regime circles. The struggle to determine who will replace Ali Khamenei may be fueling the intra-regime disagreements over protest suppression as well.Mojtaba’s meeting with Fatemeh Hashemi Rafsanjani is particularly noteworthy given the reports that Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with members of the Rafsanjani family to discuss cooperating to quell protests.[11] It is unclear whether Mojtaba’s possible meeting was related to this matter.Khamenei’s rumored rejection of Mojtaba as a successor, if true, does not necessarily eliminate Mojtaba’s chances at supreme leadership. The Assembly of Experts is the regime body constitutionally responsible for selecting the next supreme leader and will at least formally approve Khamenei’s successor. Khamenei has likely communicated his preferences privately to his inner circle, but he cannot appoint his successor directly. He can instead try to shape the Assembly of Experts’ vote that will occur after his death and the preferences of other regime power centers while he is still alive.Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated on November 23 that the Iraqi central government committed to disarming and removing Kurdish militants from the Iran-Iraq border region.[12] Amir Abdollahian’s comments follow discussions between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government on border security on November 22.[13] Iranian political and security leaders have repeatedly demanded that Iraqi authorities disarm and remove Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan in recent weeks due to the militants’ perceived role in stoking protests. It remains unclear whether the Iraqi central government will satisfy Iranian demands. Amir Abdollahian’s comments may provide the regime—and the Raisi administration more specifically—an offramp after Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Mohammad Kazem Al-e Sadegh issued an ultimatum with a deadline in 10 days for Iraq to address the Kurdish militant issue on November 21.[14] Iraqi officials have not commented on Amir Abdollahian’s statement as of this publication.Key TakeawaysProtest activity and strikes will likely increase in the coming days.The nature of the planned protests increases the risk to protesters.Supreme leader succession is heavily coloring how the Iranian political and security establishment responds to the protests.Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated that the Iraqi central government committed to disarming and removing Kurdish militants from the Iran-Iraq border region.At least 16 protests took place in 11 cities across 11 provinces.Unidentified individuals attacked and killed a Basij member in Marivan, Kurdistan Province.An LEC officer died due to injuries sustained in protests in Baneh, Kurdistan Province on October 27.LEC Western Tehran Provincial Commander Keyvan Zahiri announced the arrest of two individuals planning to conduct a suicide attack in Quds City, Tehran Province.The LEC Intelligence Organization arrested two individuals making Molotov cocktails and explosives in Qom City, Qom Province.Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least 16 protests took place in 11 cities across 11 provinces on November 23. CTP assesses with high to moderate confidence that protests occurred in:Note: CTP defines small protests as fewer than 100 individuals, medium protests as between 100 and 1,000, and large protests as over one thousand. CTP will continue revising this approach to optimize how we present information in the most accurate and accessible way possible.Esfahan City, Esfahan Province[15]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Esfahan University studentsAlvand, Ghazvin Province[16]Crowd Size: MediumDemographic: Diesel workersIlam City, Ilam Province[17]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: High school girlsRegime Repression: Security personnel reportedly attacked studentsKal Davoud, Kermanshah Province[18]Crowd Size: MediumProtest Type: Koroush Pazakh's funeral. Security personnel reportedly killed Pazakh for participating in an undetermined act of dissent.Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province[19]Crowd Size: MediumProtest Type: Amir Javad Asadzadeh’s funeral. Security personnel reportedly beat Asadzadeh to death for writing anti-regime slogans on an unspecified structure.Regime Repression: Security personnel attacked mourners.Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province[20]Crowd Size: Small to mediumDemographic: Local firemenDehdasht, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province[21]Crowd Size: SmallRegime Repression: Possible teargas.Protester Activity: Possible use of firecrackers or fireworksSanandaj, Kurdistan Province[22]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Kurdistan University students and professors staged a sit-in to demand the release of detained student protesters.Khorramabad, Lorestan Province[23]Crowd Size: MediumProtest Type: Hossein Zarinjoei's funeral. Security personnel detained Zarinjoei for criticizing the regime. Zarinjoei purportedly committed suicide in detention, although many social media users believe security personnel killed Zarinjoei in detention.Tehran City, Tehran Province[24]Crowd Size: UndeterminedDemographic: Pars Higher Education Institute of Art and Architecture studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[25]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Allameh Tabataba'i University studentsTehran City, Tehran Province[26]Crowd Size: SmallAmir Kabir University of Technology students staged a sit-in, chanted anti-regime slogansCTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in:Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province[27]Crowd Size: UndeterminedNotes: Security personnel shot a 16-year-old, suggesting that protests occurred on this date, however it is unclear from available footage if this event meets CTP’s threshold for protest activity.Babol, Mazandaran ProvinceCrowd Size: SmallDemographic: Anoushirvani University studentsZahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[28]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Activity: Fires in streetTehran City, Tehran Province[29]Crowd Size: UndeterminedRegime Repression: Security personnel forcibly arrested and beat a civilianNotes: Audio and debris on street suggest that protests occurred on this date, however it is unclear from available footage if this event meets CTP’s threshold for protest activity.CTP has recorded protest activity in at least 183 cities throughout all of Iran’s 31 provinces since anti-regime demonstrations began on September 16. The actual number is likely higher considering ongoing telecommunication and internet restrictions imposed by the regime.Unidentified individuals attacked and killed a Basij member in Marivan, Kurdistan Province on November 23.[30] At least five security personnel have died in Kurdistan Province since protests began on September 16.[31]An LEC officer died on November 23 due to injuries he sustained in protests in Baneh, Kurdistan Province on October 27.[32] Protesters threw stones and improvised explosives at the LEC officer, hospitalizing him until his death.LEC Western Tehran Provincial Commander Keyvan Zahiri announced on November 23 the arrest of two individuals planning to conduct a suicide attack in Quds City, Tehran Province.[33] The LEC arrested the individuals on November 17.The LEC Intelligence Organization arrested two individuals making Molotov cocktails and explosives in Qom City, Qom Province on November 23.[34] Iranian state media reported that the individuals disguised their workshop as a Basij base. The Basij Organization operates tens of thousands of bases across Iran. These bases are the central nodes around which local Basij members organize in each neighborhood. It is unclear whether these arrested individuals were actual Basij members who defected.The office of a prominent deceased ayatollah released a statement calling for the Islamic Republic to hold a referendum to prevent a civil war. Hossein Ali Montazeri’s son Ahmad Montazeri—a reformist cleric who has previously expressed support for the 2009 Green Movement—penned the open letter, echoing several Sunni clerics prior calls for a referendum.[35] Hossein Ali Montazeri had been the designated successor to Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for a time in the 1980s. Ahmad Montazeri called on other clerics to speak out against the regime and is seemingly the first Shia cleric to suggest a referendum.[36] Clerics have not specified what a potential referendum would be, although it is likely that they are referring to a referendum on the regime like the 1979 referendum that established the Islamic Republic. That 1979 referendum consisted of a single question--should the Iranian monarchy become an Islamic Republic with a constitution to be approved by the people?[37] Those advocating for a referendum today could be calling for a straightforward vote on the same question.Parliamentarian Esmail Kowsari confirmed on November 23 that the IRGC Ground Forces deployed in Kurdistan Province ostensibly to fight Kurdish militants and establish security around the borders.[38] Kowsari stated that security personnel from the LEC, Basij, and Intelligence and Security Ministry have died in the protests. Kowsari is an influential former IRGC brigadier general who has close ties to IRGC leadership and Mojtaba Khamenei.[39]Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsThere was nothing significant to report today.[1] https://twitter.com/javanane_ir/status/1595078930301583361/photo/1; https://twitter.com/javanane_k/status/1595341576603336706/photo/1[2] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-21[3] https://twitter.com/javanane_ir/status/1595078930301583361/photo/1[4] https://twitter.com/javanane_ir/status/1595078930301583361/photo/1[5] https://twitter.com/_re_za/status/1595161974240862208[6] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-10[7] https://t.me/sahamnewsorg/79245[8] https://www.entekhab dot ir/fa/news/704466[9] www.pyknet dot net/1401/04azar/01/mojtaba.htm[10] https://twitter.com/SaeedAganji/status/1595261551975534593[11] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-22[12] https://irna dot ir/xjL5JG[13] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-22[14] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-21[15] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595459091417243651?s=20&t=t--t57BNM2Y7zjBqOSDdvg ; https://twitter.com/Kolbarnews/status/1595441359737036801?s=20&t=Pf0dNK_IxkeqpN-NnBmJqw; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1595449806226341888?s=20&t=31cqjUWSDfjq_SAbjmVf-w[16] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595322218636083202?s=20&t=t_shxZySXFSRJ7Uo9u709Q ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595324842152431616?s=20&t=Pf0dNK_IxkeqpN-NnBmJqw [17] https://twitter.com/indypersian/status/1595478196987871243?s=20&t=uZZ62mvRyyTeziiomETvFA ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595494723979984896?s=20&t=t_shxZySXFSRJ7Uo9u709Q [18] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595472413172563969?s=20&t=g3_1wNnK0cgAudyP3oOEDg ; https://twitter.com/iranwire/status/1595497666032840704?s=20&t=g3_1wNnK0cgAudyP3oOEDg ; https://twitter.com/begoonah1/status/1595462074741784577?s=20&t=g3_1wNnK0cgAudyP3oOEDg[19] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595357685381226499?s=20&t=OUOT1mpmBo7MVW2DmYwZAA ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595409003022090241?s=20&t=MYokrYYX6xAUCqawwbf-TQ ; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1595442128577974272?s=20&t=TC7Mw4tfuRBwnE5mHplpGA[20] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595408755327377409?s=20&t=t_shxZySXFSRJ7Uo9u709Q[21] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595479580445478912?s=20&t=t_shxZySXFSRJ7Uo9u709Q ; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1595498299783630853?s=20&t=6PieZnqzkPHBObQw1Kv26w ; https://twitter.com/ManotoNews/status/1595490824355450880?s=20&t=6PieZnqzkPHBObQw1Kv26w [22] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595411321901797382?s=20&t=t_shxZySXFSRJ7Uo9u709Q ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595385741684756480?s=20&t=Pf0dNK_IxkeqpN-NnBmJqw [23] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595427393455390725?s=20&t=w1nkvxA_CtuhemfKwSpUFg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595429246004072450?s=20&t=w1nkvxA_CtuhemfKwSpUFg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595395162166935554?s=20&t=w1nkvxA_CtuhemfKwSpUFg[24] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595453327973748737?s=20&t=XAiIyRzx2vAMSoG5UryXww[25] https://twitter.com/ICHRI/status/1595462008031379463?s=20&t=HDvp3gUBRsC98wHOP7xzBw ; https://twitter.com/HassanRonaghi/status/1595436982271778816?s=20&t=vSBqJmbldIGHdSNualZCMg ; https://twitter.com/Javanmardi75/status/1595439382470737921?s=20&t=vSBqJmbldIGHdSNualZCMg [26] https://twitter.com/Javanmardi75/status/1595439382470737921?s=20&t=vSBqJmbldIGHdSNualZCMg ; https://twitter.com/HassanRonaghi/status/1595436982271778816?s=20&t=vSBqJmbldIGHdSNualZCMg [27] https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1595373482648420352?s=20&t=t_shxZySXFSRJ7Uo9u709Q [28] https://twitter.com/farzinkadkhodae/status/1595454371436892167?s=20&t=z48-SWpqoJ3bcKig3F_aUw ; https://twitter.com/Javanmardi75/status/1595467129037672448?s=20&t=t--t57BNM2Y7zjBqOSDdvg [29] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595482659240787994?s=20&t=pGqTP0I46AyeT1MnoHBz5Q ; https://twitter.com/ManotoNews/status/1595491103918395393?s=20&t=pGqTP0I46AyeT1MnoHBz5Q ; https://twitter.com/Vahid/status/1595422913599086592?s=20&t=pGqTP0I46AyeT1MnoHBz5Q[30] www.mashreghnews dot ir/news/1439139[31] https://twitter.com/Alfoneh/status/1595434003880116225[32] https://www.jahannews dot com/news/819981[33] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/09/02/2808929[34] https://www.irna dot ir/news/84951163[35] https://twitter.com/AbdolhamidNet/status/1588621247516069889 ; https://www.instagram.com/p/ClOEW2RAN0_/[36] https://iranwire.com/fa/news-1/110311-%D8%AF%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%B1-%D8%A2%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%B8%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AC%D9%84%D9%88%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%AC%D9%86%DA%AF-%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AF/[37] https://irandataportal.syr.edu/referenda[38] https://www.jamaran dot news/fa/tiny/news-1575058[39] https://www.criticalthreats.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/pdf_uploadanalysisThe_IRGC_Command_Network-1.pdf; https://www.radiofarda.com/a/30119166.html 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Iran]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
 After 280 consecutive days of reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, ISW and CTP will not publish a campaign assessment (or maps) tomorrow, November 24. Coverage will resume Friday, November 25. Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Madison Williams, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 23, 6:45 ETClick here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.The Russian military conducted another set of massive, coordinated missile strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure in a misguided attempt to degrade the Ukrainian will to fight. Ukrainian Air Force Command reported on November 23 that Russian forces launched 70 cruise missiles and five drones at Ukrainian critical infrastructure targets.[1] Ukrainian Air Force Command reported that Ukrainian air defenses shot down 51 of the Russian cruise missiles and all five drones.[2] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces struck residential buildings, thermal power plants, and substations in the city of Kyiv as well as in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Lviv, and Zaporizhia oblasts.[3] Ukrainian, Russian, and social media sources claimed that Russian forces also struck targets in Ivano-Frankivsk, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk, Sumy, Poltava, Kirovohrad, and Kharkiv oblasts.[4] Ukrainian officials reported widespread disruptions to energy, heating, and water supplies as a result of the Russian strikes.[5] ISW has previously assessed that the Russian military is still able to attack Ukrainian critical infrastructure at scale in the near term despite continuing to deplete its arsenal of high-precision weapons systems.[6] Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar stated that the Russian military mistakenly believes that the destruction of energy infrastructure will direct Ukrainian efforts to protect rear areas and divert Ukrainian attention away from the front in eastern and southern Ukraine.[7] Malyar stated that Russia’s campaign against critical infrastructure will not weaken the motivation of Ukraine’s civilian population, and the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov asserted that Russian missile and drone strikes will not coerce Ukraine into negotiations.[8]Prominent Russian politicians continue to promote openly genocidal rhetoric against Ukraine. Moscow City Duma Deputy and pro-Kremlin journalist Andrey Medvedev posted a long rant to his Telegram channel on November 23 wherein he categorically denied the existence of the Ukrainian nation, relegating Ukrainian identity to a “political orientation.”[9] Medvedev called Ukraine a pagan cult of death that worships prisoner executions and called for the total “liquidation of Ukrainian statehood in its current form.”[10] This rhetoric is openly exterminatory and dehumanizing and calls for the conduct of a genocidal war against the Ukrainian state and its people, which notably has pervaded discourse in the highest levels of the Russian political mainstream. As ISW has previously reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin has similarly employed such genocidal language in a way that is fundamentally incompatible with calls for negotiations.[11]The Kremlin has not backed down from its maximalist goals of regaining control of Ukraine but is rather partially obfuscating Russia’s aims to mislead Western countries into pressuring Ukraine to sue for peace. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated on November 21 that changing the current government in Ukraine is not a goal of the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine, observing that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has already spoken about this.”[12] Putin had said on October 26 that Ukraine has “lost its sovereignty” and come fully under NATO’s control.[13] Putin’s speech at the Valdai Discussion Club on October 27 again rejected Ukraine’s sovereignty, noting that Russia “created” Ukraine and that the “single real guarantee of Ukrainian sovereignty” can only be Russia.[14] Putin has also consistently upheld his talking point that Ukraine is a Nazi state that must be “denazified.”[15]  Putin’s demands amount to a requirement for regime change in Kyiv even if he does not explicitly call for it in these recent statements. The fact that Peskov refers back to these comments by Putin makes reading any serious walking-back of Russian aims into Peskov’s comments highly dubious.The Kremlin’s obfuscation of its aims likely intended for a Western audience is nevertheless confusing Russian war supporters. Peskov’s statement likely aimed to mitigate the effects of Vice-Speaker of the Russian Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev’s pro-war rant declaring that Russia can only normalize relations with Ukraine following the capitulation of the Ukrainian government.[16] The two contrasting statements confused the pro-war community. A Wagner Group-affiliated milblogger sarcastically observed that Russia is aimlessly fighting a war without a clear goal in response to Peskov’s statement.[17] ISW has reported on similar reactions to the Kremlin’s decision to exchange Ukrainian prisoners of war from Mariupol, whom Kremlin officials and propagandists vilified as “Nazis” and ”war criminals.”[18]The Kremlin’s hesitance to publicly commit fully to an extreme nationalist ideology and to the war is also bewildering propagandists who preach such ideology to the Russian masses. Russian political and military “experts” on a Russian state TV show pushed back against Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov’s claim that Kherson Oblast is fully Russian, which would justify the use of nuclear weapons.[19] The “experts” said that the use of nuclear weapons to defend territory that is not fully occupied is irrational and even said that NATO poses no threat to Russia. Russian propagandists have been making outlandish nuclear threats and accusing NATO of planning to attack Russia throughout Putin’s regime and especially before and during the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine; such dismissal of common Kremlin talking points in such a forum is unprecedented.[20] ISW has also previously reported that Russian extreme nationalist ideologist Alexander Dugin accused Putin of not fully committing to the pro-war ideology.[21] Putin has generally sought to balance extreme nationalist talking points to gather support from the nationalist-leaning community and a more moderate narrative to maintain the support of the rest of the Russian population. Russian military failures and the increasing sacrifices Putin is demanding of the Russian people to continue his disastrous invasion are bringing his deliberate obfuscation of war aims and attempts to balance rhetorically into sharp relief, potentially fueling discontent within critical constituencies.Key TakeawaysThe Russian military conducted another set of massive, coordinated missile strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure.Russian politicians continue to promote openly genocidal rhetoric against Ukraine.The Kremlin continues to pursue its maximalist goals and is likely issuing vague statements about its intent to mislead Western Countries into pressuring Ukraine into negotiations.Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the directions of Kreminna and Svatove.Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut and Avdiivka.Russian forces continued defensive operations on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.The Kremlin is continuing crypto-mobilization efforts at the expense of other Russian security services.Russian forces and occupation officials continued to forcibly relocate residents and confiscate their property.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Eastern UkraineRussian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and one supporting effort);Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk OblastRussian Supporting Effort—Southern AxisRussian Mobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasUkrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the directions of Svatove and Kreminna on November 23. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian artillery units thwarted a Ukrainian assault within 14km northwest of Svatove in the direction of Novoselivske.[22] A Russian milblogger posted videos purporting to show Russian forces striking a Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage group in the direction of Svatove.[23] The Russian MoD also claimed that Russian artillery units repelled a Ukrainian assault within 6km northwest of Kreminna near Chervonopopivka.[24] A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces attempted the assault toward Chervonopopivka to cut a section of the R-66 highway that connects Kreminna to Svatove.[25] A Russian source claimed that Ukrainian forces are concentrating forces in Kharkiv Oblast in preparation for a possible major offensive against Svatove. ISW does not assess claims about future Ukrainian operations.[26]Russian forces conducted limited counterattacks aimed at constraining the actions of Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv and Luhansk oblasts on November 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces neutralized a Russian reconnaissance and sabotage group within 47km northeast of Kharkiv City near Staritsa, Kharkiv Oblast.[27] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces conducted an assault within 15km northwest of Svatove in the direction of Stelmakhivka.[28] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces also repelled a Russian attack within 12km south of Kreminna near Bilohorivka.[29] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued routine indirect fire along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine.[30]Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian military concentrations and logistics in Luhansk Oblast. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 23 that Ukrainian forces struck several Russian manpower and equipment concentrations and destroyed a Russian ammunition depot in Luhansk Oblast in the previous days.[31] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces killed about 50 Russian military personnel and wounded up to 50 others in the strikes.[32]Russian Main Effort—Eastern UkraineRussian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the direction of Bakhmut on November 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Bakhmut, within 14km south of Bakhmut near Kurdiumivka, and within 30km northeast of Bakhmut near Spirne and Berestove.[33] A Russian milblogger claimed that Wagner Group units are continuing to attempt to push through Ukrainian defensive positions on the outskirts of Bakhmut and that Russian forces conducted assaults within 26km northeast of Bakhmut on Yakovlivka and Bilhorivka, Donetsk Oblast.[34] The milblogger also claimed that there is fierce fighting southeast of Soledar (12km northeast of Bakhmut).[35] Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian forces are suffering heavy losses in the Bakhmut area but did not provide specific information on said losses.[36] Social media sources posted geolocated footage showing Russian forces firing incendiary munitions near Ukrainian positions near Spirne.[37] Protocol III of the Geneva Convention prohibits the use of air-delivered incendiary munitions against military targets within a concentration of civilians.[38]Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on November 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults within 28km southwest of Avdiivka near Krasnohorivka, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Sieverne, and Marinka, and within 15km northwest of Avdiivka near Novobakhmutivka. A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces also conducted assaults southwest of Avdiivka near Novomyhailivka and Opytne, and within 6km northeast of Avdiivka near Kamianka.[39] Another Russian milblogger posted geolocated footage showing Russian forces making minimal advances towards Nevelske and claimed that the new positions would allow Russian artillery units to fire on roads leading to Krasnohorivka.[40] Russian sources claimed that Russian forces continued to advance in Marinka, and social media sources posted geolocated footage showing that Russian forces are making minimal advances.[41] One Russian source argued that control of Marinka is of key importance for Russian efforts to capture the Vuhledar salient.[42] These Russian advances in Marinka are less than 1km from the 2014 territorial boundaries in Donetsk Oblast and are the fruit of more than 8 years of Russian military efforts.Russian forces continued to conduct defensive operations in western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts on November 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are on the defensive in these directions.[43] The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that Russian forces repelled a Ukrainian assault near Pavlivka (52km southwest of Donetsk City).[44] A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian artillery units have been holding back further Russian offensive operations in the Pavlivka area.[45] Geolocated footage posted on November 23 shows Ukrainian forces in Pavlivka despite repeated Russian claims that Russian forces have completely taken the settlement.[46] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued routine indirect fire along the line of contact in Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts.[47]Supporting Effort—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)Note: ISW will report on activities in Kherson Oblast as part of the Southern Axis in this and subsequent updates. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in right-bank Kherson Oblast has accomplished its stated objectives, so ISW will not present a Southern Ukraine counteroffensive section until Ukrainian forces resume counteroffensives in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continued defensive operations on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast on November 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops in the Kherson direction are conducting positional defense, improving fortifications, and deploying additional equipment to defensive lines along the M14 (Kakhovka-Melitopol) highway.[48] Satellite imagery taken between November 2 and November 15 shows the construction of Russian fortifications north of Radensk, 25km southeast of Kherson City along the E97 highway that runs between Kherson City and Armiansk, occupied Crimea.[49] Satellite imagery also shows the ongoing construction of defensive positions, including construction materials, infantry trenches, and support-line trenches near Zaozerne, along the P47 Kakhovka-Henichesk route.[50] Russian forces reportedly struck Kherson City with incendiary munitions on November 23 and continued firing on settlements along the west (right) bank of the Dnipro River.[51] Russian forces conducted routine artillery strikes along the line of contact on western bank Kherson Oblast and in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia oblasts.[52]Ukrainian forces continued striking Russian concentration areas in Zaporizhia Oblast on November 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that a Ukrainian strike destroyed a Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile system near Orikhiv, a checkpoint near Vesele, and a personnel concentration in Melitopol between November 21 and 23.[53] Russian milbloggers continued to warn about the potential of an imminent Ukrainian offensive on the Zaporizhia Oblast frontline.[54]Ukrainian nuclear power company Energoatom announced on November 23 that due to a decrease in the availability of energy supply in Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) went into full blackout mode and that all diesel generators are in operation.[55] Energoatom’s statement is underscored by discussions between International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi and Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev in Istanbul, Turkey, to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the ZNPP.[56] Rosatom notably continues to accuse Ukraine of shelling the plant, and Rosatom advisor Renat Karchaa claimed that Ukrainian artillery fire damaged distillate tanks between two of the ZNPP’s power units between November 19 and 20.[57] Russian officials will likely continue to conduct an information operation accusing Ukraine of endangering the ZNPP in order to undermine attempts at negotiations with the IAEA and consolidate Russian control of the plant.Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)The Kremlin continues its attempts to address force generation issues at the expense of other Russian security services and is continuing crypto mobilization. A Russian milblogger reported that the Russian Armed Forces are training mobilized reservists of the Russian military police in North Ossetia, who will participate in combat in Ukraine.[58] Russian forces have also continued the forced mobilization of men in proxy republics and have reportedly mobilized all men (including those under 60 years of age) in Dovzhanska, Luhansk Oblast.[59] Russian milbloggers have shared video footage showcasing the early graduation of students from the Donetsk City Military School in April 2022, noting that of those students 12 have died and almost all were wounded in combat.[60] The milbloggers added that the class of 2023 will also graduate early. ISW previously reported that Russian officials have planned early graduations for cadets in Russia.[61] The Wagner Group has also continued to recruit personnel, with several prominent milbloggers sharing recruitment ads for a three-month-long ”business trip” to Ukraine.[62]Russian mobilized men and their families are continuing to complain about mobilization issues. Video footage showed Russian mobilized servicemen from Serpukhov, Moscow Oblast, complaining about mismanagement and poor leadership.[63] Mobilized men noted that the Russian command abandoned them in Baranykivka, Luhansk Oblast, on the Svatove-Kreminna frontline without any directions. Mobilized men added that as a result of poor leadership, half of the unit ended up in Ukrainian-liberated Makiivka, west of Baranykivka. Another video showed mobilized men in Yekaterinburg appealing to the city administration regarding the lack of payments.[64] Russian parliamentarian Maksim Ivanov also claimed to receive appeals from 537 families of mobilized men from Sverdlovsk Oblast regarding the lack of promised payments.[65] Russian pro-war milbloggers also accused the local administration of spending money on holiday decorations rather than paying the mobilized.[66] Russian mobilization nevertheless continues to drain the budgets of local governments. Mayor of Naberzhnye Chelny Nayil Magdeyev promised to allocate half a billion rubles (about 10 million dollars) to support mobilized and their families for a six-month period.[67] Such budget allocations for just one city in the Republic of Tatarstan reveal the costliness of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization.Russian mobilized men continue to show signs of low morale. Twenty mobilized men from the Republic of Mordovia reportedly did not return to a training ground in Ulyanovsk after their military command gave them a vacation day for Russia’s Unity Day on November 4.[68] Russian sources also reported that a mobilized man from Saratov Oblast who had previously shared a video of poor living conditions and then publicly retracted his statements ended up in a psychiatric hospital.[69] The man reportedly told his family that other soldiers wanted to drown him and that he is now in a drugged state.[70]The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are training operators for both Russian and Iranian-made UAVs in an educational institution in Russian-occupied Sevastopol.[71] Russian forces are reportedly currently training 30 servicemen for three weeks. Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on November 23, and Ukrainian officials previously reported that Iran may help Belarus produce artillery shells.[72]Geolocated footage showed a Russian military buildup in Belgorod Oblast near the international border on November 9, but the footage may show damaged and withdrawn Russian military equipment from Kharkiv Oblast.[73] Social media users geolocated two areas of military equipment concentrations in Verigovka and Biriuch, about 25km northeast of Velykyi Burluk. Social media users pointed out that much of the equipment appears damaged or in need of repair.Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied and annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian civilians into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems)Russian forces and occupation officials continued the relocation of civilians and the confiscation of private and public Ukrainian property on November 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued to forcibly resettle Ukrainian residents in Luhansk Oblast under the pretext of eliminating subversive actions and relocated at least 20 locals from Denezhnykove and Shtormove, Luhansk (about 25km northeast of Severodonetsk) to an unknown location.[74] Ukrainian Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai also reported that Russian forces continued to evict residents from their houses and occupy abandoned homes in Starobilsk Raion, Luhansk.[75] The Ukrainian Resistance Center notably reported that Russian forces continued to turn educational institutions in occupied territories into barracks due to an increased need for barrack space in that area after the Russian withdrawal from Kherson Oblast.[76] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian forces occupy parts of educational institutions while education programs continue to take place.[77] The Ukrainian Resistance Center also noted that Russian forces continued to treat wounded Russian servicemembers in civilian hospitals in occupied territories.[78] These efforts may constitute an effort to use civilians and civilian objects in occupied areas as human shields.Russian occupation authorities continued extensive efforts to tighten social control and erode Ukrainian national identity in occupied territories on November 23. Ukrainian Mariupol City advisor Andryushchenko reported that Russian occupying forces check schoolchildren’s belongings before the schoolchildren enter school and require them to sing the Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) anthems every morning.[79] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that occupation officials in Melitopol erected a monument in mid-November to Grigory Boyarinov, a Russian war hero and People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) employee who is known for leading the storming of Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin's palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, and participating in Amin's assassination in 1979 at the start of the Soviet invasion.[80] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on November 23 that Melitopol residents painted the monument black in protest.[81] Zaporizhia Oblast Occupation Head Yevheny Balitsky notably reported that Zaporizhia occupation authorities plan to carry out extensive nationalization of socially significant Ukrainian objects and infrastructure in Zaporizhia Oblast. Balitsky stated that occupation officials have identified over 400 social objects that they plan to nationalize by the end of 2022 and noted that they are currently working on an inventory of a children’s music school in Melitopol.[82] This plan essentially legalizes the looting of Ukrainian property, consolidates administrative control of occupied areas, and contributes to the erosion of Ukrainian identity and culture by subsuming socially-significant infrastructure into Russian systems.Russian and Ukrainian forces participated in another prisoner exchange on November 23.  Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged 35 Ukrainian servicemen and one Ukrainian civilian for 35 Russian servicemen and one Russian civilian.[83] Latvia-based independent Russian language news agency Meduza reported that, among the Ukrainian servicemembers exchanged, a few were defenders of the Azovstal Plant in Mariupol and a few were Ukrainian National Guardsmen who defended the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the early stages of the war.[84]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.   [1] https://t.me/kpszsu/2171[2] https://t.me/kpszsu/2171[3] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl[4] https://twitter.com/ukraine_map/status/1595407128101003264 ; https://t.me/readovkanews/47515 ; https://t.me/bazabazon/14597 ; https://t.me/kommunist/13502 ; https://t.me/readovkanews/47507 ; https://t.me/rybar/41412; https://t.me/readovkanews/47496 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76701 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76741 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76676  https://t.me/stranaua/76690; https://t.me/stranaua/76738; https://t.me/stranaua/76721 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76717 ; https://t.me/readovkanews/47514 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76677; https://t.me/stranaua/76680; https://t.me/readovkanews/47513[5] https://t.me/andriysadovyi/1159 ; https://t.me/OleksiyKuleba/2835 ; https://t.me/odesacityofficial/12766 ; https://t.me/chernigivskaODA/5294 ; https://t.me/Ukrenergo/1722 ; https://t.me/kozytskyy_maksym_official/5580 ;[6] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-22[7] https://t.me/annamaliar/447[8] https://twitter.com/OleksiyDanilov/status/1595404955904532487 ; https://t.me/annamaliar/447[9] https://t.me/MedvedevVesti/12173[10] https://t.me/MedvedevVesti/12173[11] https://isw.pub/UkrWar102722[12] https://tass dot ru/politika/16384599[13] Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, October 26 | Institute for the Study of War (understandingwar.org)[14] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-27[15] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/putin%E2%80%99s-victory-day-speech-forgoes-opportunity-escalate-russia%E2%80%99s-invasion-ukraine[16] https://tass dot ru/politika/16382119[17] https://t.me/grey_zone/15867 [18] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-may-17[19] https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1594915216026112000[20] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-6[21] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-12[22] https://t.me/mod_russia/21987[23] https://t.me/milinfolive/93689[24] https://t.me/mod_russia/21987[25] https://t.me/wargonzo/9397   [26] https://t.me/readovkanews/47477 [27] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid022o8XHWLPG2RoTX4DZYkdYaxAMzEWUWXhSwTNv4faHL2u9RjAnFCNsSRRHuyAfDHYl?__cft__[0]=AZVJF1QD5QIW7CNqz1vnX5oWVTxU553GbSB3vYU7Bee-ioIlyMmQIgzMjIFwFvtVUYpdCkml8ZlseyR2ECkw1JsZUxud_t2MRFYDDNxmblOrWmV9NynX9Q-dlqBf_tjwmRmshirkf3tyCFqS7WccyWjHM1pKsmkR1l4bOMUN0414K5GyvqaEbzMwqhPaHbjDMoTVS4eQ7cqU_WdJnnUoWP4K&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[28] https://t.me/wargonzo/9397    [29] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid022o8XHWLPG2RoTX4DZYkdYaxAMzEWUWXhSwTNv4faHL2u9RjAnFCNsSRRHuyAfDHYl?__cft__[0]=AZVJF1QD5QIW7CNqz1vnX5oWVTxU553GbSB3vYU7Bee-ioIlyMmQIgzMjIFwFvtVUYpdCkml8ZlseyR2ECkw1JsZUxud_t2MRFYDDNxmblOrWmV9NynX9Q-dlqBf_tjwmRmshirkf3tyCFqS7WccyWjHM1pKsmkR1l4bOMUN0414K5GyvqaEbzMwqhPaHbjDMoTVS4eQ7cqU_WdJnnUoWP4K&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[30] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid022o8XHWLPG2RoTX4DZYkdYaxAMzEWUWXhSwTNv4faHL2u9RjAnFCNsSRRHuyAfDHYl?__cft__[0]=AZVJF1QD5QIW7CNqz1vnX5oWVTxU553GbSB3vYU7Bee-ioIlyMmQIgzMjIFwFvtVUYpdCkml8ZlseyR2ECkw1JsZUxud_t2MRFYDDNxmblOrWmV9NynX9Q-dlqBf_tjwmRmshirkf3tyCFqS7WccyWjHM1pKsmkR1l4bOMUN0414K5GyvqaEbzMwqhPaHbjDMoTVS4eQ7cqU_WdJnnUoWP4K&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[31] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl[32] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl[33] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid022o8XHWLPG2RoTX4DZYkdYaxAMzEWUWXhSwTNv4faHL2u9RjAnFCNsSRRHuyAfDHYl?__cft__[0]=AZVJF1QD5QIW7CNqz1vnX5oWVTxU553GbSB3vYU7Bee-ioIlyMmQIgzMjIFwFvtVUYpdCkml8ZlseyR2ECkw1JsZUxud_t2MRFYDDNxmblOrWmV9NynX9Q-dlqBf_tjwmRmshirkf3tyCFqS7WccyWjHM1pKsmkR1l4bOMUN0414K5GyvqaEbzMwqhPaHbjDMoTVS4eQ7cqU_WdJnnUoWP4K&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[34] https://t.me/wargonzo/9397   [35] https://t.me/wargonzo/9397   [36] https://t.me/kommunist/13488 ; https://t.me/smotri_z/8403[37] https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1595450654486822913?s=20&t=cdAWXye3iuEAHst8S4y_fQ ; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1595429572958355457?s=20&t=cdAWXye3iuEAHst8S4y_fQ  [38] https://geneva-s3.unoda.org/static-unoda-site/pages/templates/the-convention-on-certain-conventional-weapons/PROTOCOL%2BIII.pdf[39] https://t.me/wargonzo/9397  [40] https://t.me/rybar/41416 ; https://t.me/rybar/41299   [41] https://t.me/rybar/41408 ; https://t.me/readovkanews/47482 ; https://twitter.com/AlbertoOlivie13/status/1595344550259720192 ; https://twitter.com/200_zoka/status/1595333976759173120 ;https://twitter.com/GeromanAT/status/1595330714605699073  [42] https://t.me/readovkanews/47482[43] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl[44] https://t.me/mod_russia/21987’[45] https://t.me/rybar/41413    [46] https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/12334 ; https://twitter.com/Cosmonaut19/status/1595386192865861633  [47] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid022o8XHWLPG2RoTX4DZYkdYaxAMzEWUWXhSwTNv4faHL2u9RjAnFCNsSRRHuyAfDHYl?__cft__[0]=AZVJF1QD5QIW7CNqz1vnX5oWVTxU553GbSB3vYU7Bee-ioIlyMmQIgzMjIFwFvtVUYpdCkml8ZlseyR2ECkw1JsZUxud_t2MRFYDDNxmblOrWmV9NynX9Q-dlqBf_tjwmRmshirkf3tyCFqS7WccyWjHM1pKsmkR1l4bOMUN0414K5GyvqaEbzMwqhPaHbjDMoTVS4eQ7cqU_WdJnnUoWP4K&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[48] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid022o8XHWLPG2RoTX4DZYkdYaxAMzEWUWXhSwTNv4faHL2u9RjAnFCNsSRRHuyAfDHYl?__cft__[0]=AZVJF1QD5QIW7CNqz1vnX5oWVTxU553GbSB3vYU7Bee-ioIlyMmQIgzMjIFwFvtVUYpdCkml8ZlseyR2ECkw1JsZUxud_t2MRFYDDNxmblOrWmV9NynX9Q-dlqBf_tjwmRmshirkf3tyCFqS7WccyWjHM1pKsmkR1l4bOMUN0414K5GyvqaEbzMwqhPaHbjDMoTVS4eQ7cqU_WdJnnUoWP4K&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[49] https://apps.sentinel-hub.com/eo-browser/?zoom=16&lat=46.56436&lng=32.92637&themeId=DEFAULT-THEME&visualizationUrl=https://services.sentinel-hub.com/ogc/wms/bd86bcc0-f318-402b-a145-015f85b9427e&datasetId=S2L2A&fromTime=2022-11-15T00:00:00.000Z&toTime=2022-11-15T23:59:59.999Z&layerId=1_TRUE_COLOR&demSource3D=%22MAPZEN%22&timelapse=%7B%22displayTimelapseAreaPreview%22:false,%22fromTime%22:%222022-08-02T00:00:00.000Z%22,%22toTime%22:%222022-11-15T23:59:59.999Z%22,%22filterMonths%22:null,%22selectedPeriod%22:%22day%22,%22minCoverageAllowed%22:0,%22maxCCPercentAllowed%22:100,%22isSelectAllChecked%22:false,%22showBorders%22:false,%22timelapseFPS%22:1,%22transition%22:%22none%22,%22pins%22:%5B%5D,%22timelapseSharePreviewMode%22:false,%22previewFileUrl%22:null,%22size%22:%7B%22width%22:512,%22height%22:512,%22ratio%22:1.000000000000208%7D,%22format%22:%22GIF%22,%22fadeDuration%22:0.5,%22delayLastFrame%22:false%7D&timelapseSharePreviewMode=true&previewFileUrl=https://s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/eob-timelapse-preview/S2L2A-801433273821459-timelapse.gif; https://twitter.com/MantisT0boggan/status/1595125792748412929[50] https://twitter.com/thewarzonewire/status/1595111904443518977  [51] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1595362248985387008?s=20&t=5CvtQr0fWDzqfe1BdSxOHA; https://t.me/jurnko/5054 https://t.me/hueviyherson/29682; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29685; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29691; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29701; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29708; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02Gjq9X2WPzfb7MRkPJ1NfNNiW3tVvqezpViiQbsVi8Uu8SobvJaG43c12y9QXXt2pl;   [52] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl; https://t.me/vrogov/6198; https://tass dot ru/voennaya-operaciya-na-ukraine/16402429?; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2521; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02Gjq9X2WPzfb7MRkPJ1NfNNiW3tVvqezpViiQbsVi8Uu8SobvJaG43c12y9QXXt2pl [53] ttps://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid022o8XHWLPG2RoTX4DZYkdYaxAMzEWUWXhSwTNv4faHL2u9RjAnFCNsSRRHuyAfDHYl?__cft__[0]=AZVJF1QD5QIW7CNqz1vnX5oWVTxU553GbSB3vYU7Bee-ioIlyMmQIgzMjIFwFvtVUYpdCkml8ZlseyR2ECkw1JsZUxud_t2MRFYDDNxmblOrWmV9NynX9Q-dlqBf_tjwmRmshirkf3tyCFqS7WccyWjHM1pKsmkR1l4bOMUN0414K5GyvqaEbzMwqhPaHbjDMoTVS4eQ7cqU_WdJnnUoWP4K&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R [54] https://t.me/rybar/41405; https://t.me/wargonzo/9403; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/42947[55] https://t.me/energoatom_ua/10809[56] https://t.me/stranaua/76596; https://twitter.com/iaeaorg/status/1595333584860110855[57] https://t.me/readovkanews/47474[58] https://t.me/rybar/41417[59] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6998[60] https://t.me/vladlentatarsky/17602; https://t.me/stranamoy/377[61] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-3[62] https://t.me/SIL0VIKI/57124; https://t.me/sashakots/37289; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10042[63] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9AxXK4fYLw; https://targum.video/v/2022/11/23/ab222c3702779b6ff10525dc35389e67; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1595384793818337282?s=20&t=zOb8F2cykdhP4Z8axxNjcg[64] https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1595421185474531329[65] https://t.me/horizontal_russia/17217[66] https://t.me/akashevarova/5899; https://t.me/nenubesit/657[67] https://t.me/idelrealii/22641[68] https://t.me/horizontal_russia/17200[69] https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12811 ; https://t.me/news_sirena/7746 ; https://t.me/inform22_official/3819[70] https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12811 ; https://t.me/news_sirena/7746 ; https://t.me/inform22_official/3819[71] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid022o8XHWLPG2RoTX4DZYkdYaxAMzEWUWXhSwTNv4faHL2u9RjAnFCNsSRRHuyAfDHYl?__cft__[0]=AZVJF1QD5QIW7CNqz1vnX5oWVTxU553GbSB3vYU7Bee-ioIlyMmQIgzMjIFwFvtVUYpdCkml8ZlseyR2ECkw1JsZUxud_t2MRFYDDNxmblOrWmV9NynX9Q-dlqBf_tjwmRmshirkf3tyCFqS7WccyWjHM1pKsmkR1l4bOMUN0414K5GyvqaEbzMwqhPaHbjDMoTVS4eQ7cqU_WdJnnUoWP4K&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[72] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-22; www.president dot ir/fa/140914[73] https://twitter.com/oryxspioenkop/status/1595382982881300481?s=20&t=5CvtQr0fWDzqfe1BdSxOHA; https://twitter.com/blinzka/status/1595388017786732544?s=20&t=5CvtQr0fWDzqfe1BdSxOHA; https://youtu.be/cTUFoqu5VCU; https://t.me/adbestias/6689?single; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTUFoqu5VCU;  https://twitter.com/blinzka/status/1595394183031795712?s=20&t=zOb8F2cykdhP4Z8axxNjcg ; https://twitter.com/oryxspioenkop/status/1595382982881300481?s=20&t=zOb8F2cykdhP4Z8axxNjcg[74] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid05tZg8wuMqkPMNzPyJZMjoqQMW9AE6VmJAXac6eR3LDnMFHf1rGDTBALm42ZTntJpl[75] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6999[76] https://sprotyv.mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/23/rosiyany-prodovzhuyut-rozselyaty-svoyih-vijskovyh-u-shkolah/[77] https://sprotyv.mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/23/rosiyany-prodovzhuyut-rozselyaty-svoyih-vijskovyh-u-shkolah/[78] https://sprotyv.mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/23/rosiyany-prodovzhuyut-rozselyaty-svoyih-vijskovyh-u-shkolah/[79] https://t.me/andriyshTime/4519[80] https://twitter.com/nexta_tv/status/1594109486544715776?s=20&t=BUww2LiXR69FMawsyn0PdA; https://sprotyv.mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/23/v-melitopoli-misczevi-obmalyuvaly-farboyu-shhojno-vstanovlenyj-okupantamy-pamyatnyk/[81] https://sprotyv.mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/23/v-melitopoli-misczevi-obmalyuvaly-farboyu-shhojno-vstanovlenyj-okupantamy-pamyatnyk/[82] https://t.me/BalitskyEV/524[83] https://t.me/pushilindenis/2927; https://t.me/pushilindenis/2927 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76627; 23.https://www.facebook.com/DPSUkraine/posts/pfbid02TNKetKdGUtZwjmzL7sS4QVfNmzxyV3q4SMUhTi1DdcWTEhygK8uZReaPsQ1KV3BGl; https://t.me/mod_russia/21991 ; https://t.me/rybar/41418; https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1595470688890257408?s=20&t=0aB132A8HN3ExDVc2rgOFA[84] https://meduza [dot] io/news/2022/11/23/ukraina-i-rossiya-obmenyalis-voennoplennymi-v-ukrainu-vernulis-36-chelovek-v-rossiyu-35 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
  Iran Crisis Update, November 22Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Johanna Moore, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 22, 5:00 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Contributor: Riley SimonNote: CTP will not publish a daily Iran Crisis Update on November 24 for the Thanksgiving holiday. CTP will resume daily publishing on November 25.Regime officials close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have expressed openness to political reform to placate protesters, although it is unlikely that any such reform would fundamentally change the regime’s behavior or nature. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani discussed implementing unspecified “liberalizing measures” with reformist leaders, including members of the Khomeini and Rafsanjani families, in exchange for help quelling protests in late October, according to the Wall Street Journal.[1] Ali Reza Panahian—a cleric close to Khamenei and his son, Mojtaba—called for greater transparency and popular participation in government on November 22 as well.[2] It is unclear to what exactly Shamkhani and Panahian were referring, but these reports suggest that at least some in Iran’s political establishment are considering some semblance of reform to address the ongoing protests. Any such change would likely be limited and would not curtail the activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which reports directly to the supreme leader.Public remarks from Hassan Khomeini—the reformist grandson of Ruhollah Khomeini—on November 7 may have been a byproduct of Shamkhani’s appeal to the reformist leaders. Khomeini called for a “majority-based democracy” and indirectly criticized the Guardian Council—the state body constitutionally responsible for approving and vetting electoral candidates—in his remarks.[3] Khomeini also denounced violence and condemned the role of foreign actors in stoking protests. The Islamic Republic News Agency—a Raisi administration mouthpiece—circulated Khomeini’s remarks, as CTP previously reported.[4]Protest activity decreased across Iran on November 22 as the Persian calendar month Aban ended. Protest coordinators and organizations had previously called on protesters to demonstrate throughout Aban, which ended on November 21, to commemorate the three-year anniversary of the regime’s crackdown on the Bloody Aban protest wave in November 2019.[5] The reduced turnout on November 22 is therefore unsurprising and does not indicate that this protest wave is yet close to over. Some social media users have begun calling for protests on November 24.[6]The Iraqi central government may be coordinating with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to partially address Iranian complaints about Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al Sudani announced that the Iraqi central government is considering deploying forces to border regions in response to Iranian drone and missile attacks into Iraqi Kurdistan on November 22.[7] Iraqi central government and KRG officials discussed the recent Iranian and Turkish strikes into Iraqi territory and border security on November 22.[8] Iranian political and security leaders have repeatedly demanded that Iraqi authorities disarm Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan in recent weeks.[9]Key TakeawaysRegime officials close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have expressed openness to political reform to placate protesters, although it is unlikely that any such reform would fundamentally change the regime’s behavior or nature.The Iraqi central government may be coordinating with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to partially address Iranian complaints about Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan.Protest activity decreased across Iran as the Persian calendar month Aban ended, but at least 14 protests took place in 10 cities across eight provinces.IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Ali Fadavi expressed implicit support for the regime using more brutality in its protest crackdown on November 21.The IRGC Ground Forces conducted a drone and missile attack on anti-regime Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan for the second consecutive day on November 22.Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least 14 protests took place in 10 cities across eight provinces on November 22. CTP assesses with high to moderate confidence that protests occurred in:Note: CTP has revised how it presents protest data to make it easier for readers to review. We are identifying different properties, such as size, for each recorded protest. We define small protests as fewer than 100 individuals, medium protests as between 100 and 1,000, and large protests as over one thousand. CTP will continue revising this approach to optimize how we present information in the most accurate and accessible way possible.Bushehr City, Bushehr Province[10]Crowd Size: Small, energy workersProtester Activity: Strikes and protestsMohr, Fars Province[11]Crowd Size: Small to mediumAndimeshk, Khuzestan Province[12]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Activity: Fires in street, uncorroborated reports that protesters set fire to Andimeshk municipality building.Regime Repression: Plainclothes officers shot at protestersDezfoul, Khuzestan Province[13]Crowd Size: SmallNotes: Shots of gunfire or teargas, unclear who was shooting.Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province[14]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Kurdistan University StudentsRegime Violence: Reports of security personnel shooting at Sanandaj residentsShahr-e Rey, Tehran Province[15]Crowd Size: SmallTehran City, Tehran Province[16]Crowd Size: Medium (encompassing Basij elements deployed for protest suppression)Regime Repression: Unspecified Basij involvementTehran City, Tehran Province[17]Crowd Size: SmallDemographic: Tehran University StudentsTehran City, Tehran Province[18]Crowd Size: Small to mediumProtester Activity: Blocked streetsTehran City, Tehran Province[19]Crowd Size: MediumDemographic: Motor workers, strikes and protestsCTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in the locations below.Karaj, Alborz Province[20]Crowd Size: UndeterminedPodol, Hormozgan Province[21]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Activity: Fires in streetZahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[22]Crowd Size: UndeterminedRegime Repression: Audible sounds of gunfireNotes: No footage of protesters shown, but fire and sound of gunfire in a Zahedan street indicate possible protest activityIRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Ali Fadavi expressed implicit support for the regime using more brutality in its protest crackdown on November 21.[23] Fadavi stated that the regime restrained itself in responding to the protests and could have ended them in six days. Fadavi noted that around 60 security personnel have died in the protests. Fadavi’s remark is consistent with reporting from open-source analysts who estimate that 58 security personnel have died.[24] Fadavi’s remarks follow reports of disagreements within the regime over the protest crackdown, as CTP previously reported.[25]Former IRGC Intelligence Organization Chief Hossein Taeb accused the West of plotting to overthrow the regime on November 22.[26] Taeb has been an adviser to IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami since Supreme Leader Khamenei dismissed Taeb as IRGC Intelligence Organization chief in June 2022.[27] Taeb has historically maintained close ties to Mojtaba Khamenei.[28] Taeb has become an increasingly public-facing figure since his removal, regularly making public statements criticizing the US and Israel, as CTP previously reported.[29] Taeb may seek to use his public image to bolster his efforts at securing a new senior position within the Iranian security establishment. Taeb could even seek to replace SNSC Secretary Shamkhani if the reports about Shamkhani’s dismissal are true, although Taeb’s chances at getting this position at present seem very low.[30]President Ebrahim Raisi accepted the resignation of Rostam Ghassemi as roads and urban development minister on November 22.[31] Ghassemi ostensibly resigned due to his poor health. Ghassemi has faced several public controversies including corruption charges in recent weeks, which may have prompted his removal.[32] Photos have circulated online depicting Ghassemi with an unveiled woman in Malaysia in 2011 as well, fueling accusations of hypocrisy given the regime crackdown on anti-hijab demonstrations.Iranian Kurdish human rights organization Hengaw reported that IRGC elements attacked and ransacked residents’ homes in Boukan, West Azerbaijan Province in the early hours of November 23.[33] CTP cannot verify these reports.Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsThe IRGC Ground Forces conducted a drone and missile attack on anti-regime Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan for the second consecutive day on November 22. The IRGC reportedly struck targets in Kirkuk Province.[34] IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pak Pour affirmed that the IRGC will continue attacking until these Kurdish groups no longer threaten the regime on November 22.[35][1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-protests-government-mahsa-amini-11669137860[2] https://www.tabnak dot ir/fa/news/1151552[3] https://www.bayanfarda dot ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%AD%DA%A9%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-8/3226-%D9%87%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%AF%DB%8C-%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%AA%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88%D9%82%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D8%AE%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D9%87%D9%85-%D9%86%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%85-%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%AE%D9%88%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%AE%D8%AA%D9%87-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%82-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%84%D8%AA-%D8%AE%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%B1-%DA%AF%D9%81%D8%AA-%D9%88%DA%AF%D9%88-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%AF%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%88%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%B4-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%87-%DA%AF%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF-%D9%87%D9%85%D9%87-%DA%86%DB%8C%D8%B2-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%B3%D8%A8%DA%A9-%D8%B2%D9%86%D8%AF%DA%AF%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%A7-%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B9-%D9%BE%D9%88%D8%B4%D8%B4-%D8%AA%D8%BA%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA[4] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-7#_edncd8c06c0c182021ee1c9b9ed35961c7a2[5] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-17[6] https://twitter.com/OutFarsiiiiiii/status/1595075632509374464[7] https://shafaq dot com/ar/%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A9/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A-%D9%8A%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86-%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%B6%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B6%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%88%D9%8A%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%AB-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%B4%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%B3-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%AF[8] https://gov dot krd/mopa-en/activities/news-and-press-releases/2022/november/krg-and-iraqi-government-discuss-border-security/[9] www.mehrnews dot com/news/5638023[10] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595081087411273732[11] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595105743753347073; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595105329825693702[12] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595114250212896769?s=20&t=vPW_kUkLOctFKbmb2xlVzA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595119628812193792?s=20&t=vPW_kUkLOctFKbmb2xlVzA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595106708116090880?s=20&t=vPW_kUkLOctFKbmb2xlVzA; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595123197199806464?s=20&t=vPW_kUkLOctFKbmb2xlVzA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595114250212896769?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA[13] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595123960630255616?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA; https://twitter.com/cheragh_aseman/status/1595171052392484888?s=20&t=NCOyOrbPlduKrJjIL0r86g; https://twitter.com/javanan_Kh/status/1595162652757876737?s=20&t=NCOyOrbPlduKrJjIL0r86g[14] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595056764994850818; https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1595159599149355008?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA[15] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595144167424155649?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595144786255949824?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA[16] https://twitter.com/Mohalimoh79/status/1595096088142385152; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595077289175584774?s=20&t=Tm8Jb8SaJO50C_7yfe4sjA; https://twitter.com/MAminAlam/status/1595048438076477440[17] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1595018449561927680?s=20&t=hbaFFTcpZCldDsMkhkO67A[18] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595097456014151680; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595097955941376000?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595179031493808133?s=20&t=KfI8bosD4KqnrlOJDjBVNQ[19] https://twitter.com/ManotoNews/status/1595054343795138563; https://twitter.com/ICHRI/status/1595080113120759808?s=20&t=dzVWJqqhuIPmkNrp0n7yLw; https://twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1594964227546120195?s=20&t=dzVWJqqhuIPmkNrp0n7yLw[20] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595108075606016000?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA; https://twitter.com/IranIntlbrk/status/1595112858550951936?s=20&t=KfI8bosD4KqnrlOJDjBVNQ[21] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1595152455431770117?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA[22] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1595108251225690112?s=20&t=6rkqd9eidsKc6fDbpF_obA; https://twitter.com/IranIntl/status/1595175070573670400?s=20&t=NCOyOrbPlduKrJjIL0r86g[23] https://www.jamaran.news/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%86%D8%B4%D8%B1-59/1574852-%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B4%DB%8C%D9%86-%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%DA%A9%D9%84-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AB-%D8%A7%D8%AE%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%B4%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%AF%DB%8C%D9%85-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%A7%DA%AF%D8%B1-%D9%81%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%A8-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%86%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B2-%D9%87%D9%85-%D9%86%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%B4%DB%8C%D8%AF[24] https://twitter.com/Alfoneh/status/1594853537137459201[25] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-18; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-16[26] https://defapress dot ir/fa/news/557447[27] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/23/world/middleeast/iran-revolutionary-guards-intelligence-chief-hossein-taeb.html[28] https://www.radiofarda.com/a/30119166.html[29] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-10#_edn572685105675102fe1f4b933ee0f9f2422[30] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-18[31] www.president dot ir/fa/140905[32] https://www.radiofarda.com/a/32144148.html[33] https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1595166152082481153?s=20&t=_36xwM8_lqUwHte9ffQSvg[34] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/09/01/2808396/[35] www.mehrnews dot com/news/5638023  

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Iran]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
Kateryna Stepanenko, Riley Bailey, Karolina Hird, Madison Williams, Yekaterina Klepanchuk, Nicholas Carl, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 22, 8:30 ETClick here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.The Kremlin appears to be setting information conditions for a false-flag attack in Belgorod Oblast, Russia, likely in an effort to regain public support for the war in Ukraine. Kremlin propagandists have begun hypothesizing that Ukrainian forces seek to invade Belgorod Oblast, and other Russian sources noted that Russian forces need to regain control over Kupyansk, Kharkiv Oblast, to minimize the threat of a Ukrainian attack.[1] These claims have long circulated within the milblogger community, which had criticized the Russian military command for abandoning buffer positions in Vovchansk in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast following the Russian withdrawal from the region in September.[2] Russian milbloggers have also intensified their calls for Russia to regain liberated territories in Kharkiv Oblast on November 22, stating that such preemptive measures will stop Ukrainians from carrying out assault operations in the Kupyansk and Vovchansk directions.[3] Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov also published footage showcasing the construction of the Zasechnaya Line fortifications on the Ukraine-Belgorod Oblast border.[4] Wagner Group financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin clarified that Wagner is building the Zasechnaya Line after having changed its name from Wagner Line because “many people in [Russia] do not like the activity of private military company Wagner.”[5] Private military companies are illegal in Russia.Russian claims of an imminent Ukrainian attack on Belgorod Oblast are absurd and only aim to scare the general public to support the war. Ukraine has no strategic interest in invading Russia and no ability to do so at such a scale. Ukrainian forces are continuing to liberate occupied settlements in western Luhansk Oblast following their victory in northern Kharkiv Oblast.[6] Support for Russia’s nonsensical invasion is declining among Russian residents of border regions and the rest of the country as a result of mobilization and military failures. Russian opposition outlets reported that relatives of mobilized men have ignited protests in 15 Russian regions since the end of October, with the most notable ones taking place in regions bordering Ukraine.[7] A Russian opposition outlet, Meduza, citing two unnamed sources close to the Kremlin, reported that the Russian Presidential Administration carried out an internal survey in different regions where many expressed apathy toward the war.[8] While ISW cannot independently verify Meduza’s report, emerging calls for demobilization among relatives of mobilized men suggest that Russian propaganda is ineffective in countering the real-life consequences of the war on the society.[9]These ridiculous speculations about a fantastical Ukrainian invasion of Russia may also be part of the Kremlin’s effort to acknowledge and appease the Russian pro-war nationalist community. Russian milbloggers have repeatedly accused the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) of failing to defend Russia, including the newly annexed territories.[10] The Kremlin, however, will unlikely be able to reinvade Kharkiv Oblast as demanded by these nationalist figures.Prigozhin is also using fearmongering about a fictitious Ukrainian invasion threat and the construction of the Zasechnaya Line to solidify his power in Russian border regions and Russia. Belgorod Oblast officials previously halted the construction of the Wagner Line, and the line’s rebranding alongside other Prigozhin projects in St. Petersburg and Kursk Oblast signifies that he will continue to establish himself in Russia while ostensibly supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.[11]The Russian military has significantly depleted its arsenal of high-precision missiles but will likely still be able to attack Ukrainian critical infrastructure at scale in the near term. Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov released figures on November 22 detailing that the Russian military has only 119 Iskanders missiles, 13 percent of its initial February 2022 arsenal.[12] Reznikov’s figures also show that Russian forces have significantly depleted other key high-precision weapons systems with only 229 Kalibr missiles (45 percent of the initial February 2022 stock), 150 Kh-155 missiles (50 percent of the initial February 2022 stock), and 120 Kh-22/32 missiles (32 percent of the initial February 2022 stock) remaining. Reznikov’s figures show that Russian forces have substantially depleted stocks of 3M-55 “Onyx”, S-300, Kh-101, Kh-35, and Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles as well.[13]Ukrenergo head Volodymyr Kudrytsky stated on November 22 that Russian forces have damaged almost all thermal power plants, large hydropower plants, and Ukrenergo hub substations in Ukraine.[14] Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated on November 18 that more than half of the Ukrainian power grid has failed as a result of Russian missile strikes.[15] DTEK CEO Maxim Tymchenko urged Ukrainians to leave the country, if possible, on November 19 to ease demand on the Ukrainian power grid, and YASNO CEO Serhiy Kovalenko stated on November 21 that regular power outages will likely last at least until the end of March 2023.[16] Russian forces will likely be able to continue to reduce the overall capacity of Ukrainian critical infrastructure in the near term given the current state of the Ukrainian power grid. The depletion of the Russian military’s high-precision missile arsenal will likely prevent it from conducting missile strikes at a high pace, however. ISW continues to assess that the Russian military will fail to achieve its goal of degrading the Ukrainian will to fight through its coordinated campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure.The Russian military is likely experiencing problems in replenishing its arsenal of high-precision weapons systems. Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesperson Yuriy Ignat stated on November 21 that Russia is experiencing problems with the supply of Iranian missiles to the Russian Federation.[17] Ignat speculated that diplomatic resources, negotiations, or other countries’ influence may have impacted Iran’s ability or willingness to supply Russia with ballistic missiles.[18] ISW has previously assessed that Russia is increasingly dependent on Iran for the provision of high-precision weapons systems.[19] Ignat also reported that Russia lacks the necessary components produced abroad to support the manufacturing of the number of missiles it needs for its campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure.[20] Reznikov stated that Russia manufactured 120 Kalibr and Kh-101 missiles and 360 Kh-35 missiles since February 2022, allowing the Russian military to partially offset the heavy use of these weapons systems in massive strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure.[21] Russia likely significantly strained the existing capacity of its military industry in producing these missiles.Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko has traveled to Iran to discuss economic cooperation and possibly security ties. Golovchenko met with Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and will likely meet Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials in the coming days.[22] Golovchenko’s visit to Tehran follows the Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence reporting on November 17 that Iran may help Belarus produce artillery shells.[23]Russian military movements suggest that Russian forces are likely reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhia and western Donetsk oblasts. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 22 that Chechen and Wagner Group formations deployed to Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast, and that Russian forces are regrouping individual units in the area of Molchansk, Zaporizhia Oblast (just northeast of Melitopol).[24] Social media sources posted images on November 21 showing Russian trucks and vehicles in Melitopol moving from the south to the north throughout November.[25] Geolocated images show Russian military vehicles moving through Bezimenne and Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast carrying a notable amount of military equipment.[26] ISW has previously assessed that Russian forces have begun reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhia Oblast with personnel from Kherson Oblast and mobilized personnel.[27] Russian forces may be reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhia and western Donetsk oblasts to prepare for perceived threats of future Ukrainian operations or to support the effort to restart the Donetsk offensive.Key TakeawaysThe Kremlin may be setting information conditions for a false-flag attack in Belgorod Oblast.The Russian military has significantly depleted its arsenal of high-precision missiles but will likely still threaten Ukrainian infrastructure.The Russian military is likely struggling to replenish its arsenal of high-precision weapons systems.The Belarusian prime minister traveled to Iran to discuss economic cooperation and possible security ties.Russian military movements suggest that Russian forces are likely reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhia and western Donetsk oblasts.Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut and Avdiivka.Crimean occupation officials demonstrated heightened unease—likely over Ukrainian strikes on Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in the peninsula and ongoing military operations on the Kinburn Spit.The Kremlin continues to deflect concerns about mobilization onto the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).Russian sources continue to tout the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Eastern UkraineRussian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and one supporting effort);Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk OblastRussian Supporting Effort—Southern AxisRussian Mobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasUkrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line on November 22. Ukrainian officials reported that bad weather continues to slow down Russian operations on the Svatove-Kreminna line.[28] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian artillery units repelled Ukrainian forces attempting to advance in the direction of Novoselivske (23km northwest of Svatove).[29] Ukrainian Luhansk Oblast Administration stated that Russian forces conducted defensive operations and continued artillery fire in the areas of  Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka, Ploshchanka, and Makiivka, all west of the N26 and R66 highways.[30] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian assault near Stelmakhivka (16km northwest of Svatove), while the Russian MoD claimed that Russian forces stopped a Ukrainian attempt to seize the settlement.[31] Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Deputy Interior Minister Vitaly Kiselev shared video footage purporting to show the aftermath of a Ukrainian attempted offensive near Orlianka (22km east of Kupyansk).[32] A Russian source claimed that Russian forces repelled a Ukrainian assault on Kuzemivka (13km northwest of Svatove), and Ukrainian attacks in the direction of Holykove (17km north of Kreminna) and Chervonopopivka (6km northwest of Kreminna).[33]  The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued routine indirect fire along the line of contact in eastern Kharkiv and western Luhansk oblasts.[34]Ukrainian forces continued to repel Russian assaults west of Lysychansk. Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai reported that Ukrainian forces repel Russian attacks on Bilohorivka (15km northwest of Lysychansk) daily.[35]  A Russian source claimed that Russian forces are highly active in the vicinity of Verkhnokamianka (17km southwest of Lysychansk) and stated that Ukrainian forces are firing artillery at Russian equipment in this area.[36]Russian Main Effort—Eastern UkraineRussian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions on November 22. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults on Bakhmut; within 30km northeast of Bakhmut near Spirne, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, and Soledar; and within 4km south of Bakhmut near Opytne.[37] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults within 8km northeast of Avdiivka near Kamianka and Vesele, and within 37km southwest of Avdiivka near Pervomaiske, Krasnohorivka, Marinka, and Novomykhailivka.[38] The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) People’s Militia posted a video on November 22 purporting to show the 100th Brigade of the DNR People’s Militia conducting an assault near Ukrainian positions within 16km southwest of Avdiivka, near Nevelske.[39] Several Russian sources claimed that Russian forces made advances in Marinka and that Ukrainian forces suffered heavy losses and are slowly retreating from positions in the city.[40] Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces have also cut two of three supply roads into Marinka.[41] A Russian source claimed on November 21 that Russian aviation regularly strikes the positions of Ukrainian forces in Marinka.[42] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian advances in the area of Marinka are slow because the surrounding landscape is mainly comprised of open fields with little cover.[43]Russian forces conducted defensive operations in western Donetsk on November 22. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are defending captured lines in western Donetsk Oblast.[44] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian counterattacks on Russian positions in Pavlivka (53km southwest of Donetsk City) on November 20 and 21.[45]  A Georgia-based open-source intelligence group suggested that Russian forces may be waiting for drier weather to restart offensive operations in the directions of Hulyaipole, Vuhledar, and Marinka.[46] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued routine indirect fire along the line of contact in eastern Zaporizhia and Donetsk oblasts.[47]Supporting Effort—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)Note: ISW will report on activities in Kherson Oblast as part of the Southern Axis in this and subsequent updates. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in right-bank Kherson Oblast has accomplished its stated objectives, so ISW will not present a Southern Ukraine counteroffensive section until Ukrainian forces resume counteroffensives in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continued conducting defensive measures and establishing fortifications in Kherson Oblast south of the Dnipro River on November 22. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces also continued to shell Ukrainian positions on the right (west) bank of the Dnipro River.[48] A Russian source claimed that Russian artillery repelled a Ukrainian reconnaissance group that attempted to cross the Dnipro River by boat, but did not provide any evidence for this claim.[49] Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security also reported that Ukrainian forces are continuing to carry out unspecified operations on the  Kinburn Spit, but specified that Russian forces are still holding positions at the spit.[50] Russian forces continued routine shelling in Southern Ukraine on November 22.[51]The Russian MoD continued to accuse Ukraine of provoking a man-made disaster at Zaporizhzia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) on November 22.  The Russian MOD accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the ZNPP on November 21, stating that Ukraine threatened to stage a catastrophe at the ZNPP.[52] The Russian MoD and another Russian source claimed that Russian forces destroyed the Ukrainian artillery systems in Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, that were responsible for the shelling of ZNPP.[53] Dnipropetrovsk Oblast officials reported that Russian forces shelled Marhanets and surrounding settlements from the direction of Enerhodar on November 22.[54] ISW has previously assessed that these accusations are likely a continuation of Russian information and false-flag operations to consolidate control of the plant and an effort to portray Russian control of ZNPP as an essential condition for avoiding a man-made nuclear or radiological disaster.[55] Some Russian sources speculated that Russian occupation authorities will hand over the ZNPP to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Ukrainian authorities due to the perceived increased instability at ZNPP.[56] The Kremlin will likely continue to assert control over the ZNPP as a tool for international leverage, however. Crimean occupation officials demonstrated heightened unease on November 22, likely over Ukrainian strikes on Russian GLOCs on the peninsula and ongoing military operations on the Kinburn Spit. Russian sources shared footage of Russian air defenses activating on November 22, claiming that Russian forces shot down multiple Ukrainian drones over Crimea.[57] Crimea occupation head Sergey Aksyonov subsequently announced that Crimea is raising its terrorist threat level to high (yellow) until at least December 7.[58] Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian authorities are preparing for an evacuation of administration officials and military equipment in Armyansk (about 100km southeast of Kherson City) due to the threat of Ukrainian strikes on northern Crimea.[59] A milblogger even claimed that he helped conduct the evacuation, while another milblogger claimed that women and children are already evacuating from Armyansk.[60] Aksyonov denied evacuation claims, and some milbloggers claimed that Armyansk occupation authorities conducted evacuation exercises.[61] ISW is unable to confirm the veracity of these claims. The Ukrainian Resistance Center also reported that Russian forces are planning to expand a road on the Arabat Spit (45km from Dzhankoy) to transfer military equipment in an effort to relocate the GLOC from Armyansk.[62] ISW assesses that Ukrainian forces are unable to conduct an immediate attack on Armyansk, but these claims likely indicate that Russian authorities are exhibiting a level of worry close to panic.Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)The Kremlin continues to deflect mobilization concerns onto the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD). Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated on November 22 that the Kremlin is not discussing the possibility of a new mobilization wave but noted that he is “unable to speak for the Russian MoD.”[63] Lower-end Kremlin officials are also beginning to address the Kremlin regarding the duration of mobilization and its problems. A member of the Yabloko party of the Karelia legislative assembly, Emilia Slabunova, recorded a video appeal with another parliamentarian demanding that Russian President Vladimir Putin issue a decree legally announcing the end of mobilization.[64] Yabloko members added that Russian officials are continuing to mobilize men regardless of Putin’s, the Russian MoD’s, and Peskov’s announcements regarding the end of mobilization. Putin is unlikely to issue such an order, however, since ending the mobilization period officially would require demobilizing servicemen in accordance with the Russian mobilization law.[65] Putin is also unlikely to sign a decree that specifies that Russia will not mobilize additional men while maintaining already-mobilized men on the frontlines because the Kremlin is interested in continuing its crypto mobilization campaign.Russian recruitment officials are continuing to carry out crypto mobilization procedures in Russia and occupied Ukrainian territories. Wagner Group financier Yevheny Prigozhin subtly implied that he “was near” Kuzbass, Kemerovo Oblast, when responding to a question about prisoner recruitment in the region.[66] Prigozhin later shared a video response reportedly from Kuzbass Wagner recruits claiming that they are currently undergoing training.[67] Zaporizhia Oblast occupation head Yevgeniy Balitsky published footage of the ”Sudoplatov” volunteer battalion in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast that had reportedly recruited residents of Zaporizhia and Kherson oblasts, Crimea, the Urals, and unspecified Russian regions.[68]The Kremlin continues its efforts to lure more men into service by promising unsustainable financial incentives that will have a long-term effect on the Russian economy. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin stated that participation in the “special military operation” in Ukraine counts as double the length of service, which will double the normal pension payments for veterans.[69] The Kremlin will likely face significant long-term economic challenges if it decides to uphold its pension provisions in the future, while consistently failing to pay Russian servicemen in the present. Russian sources reported that mobilized men from Sverdlovsk Oblast continued to complain of the lack of monthly payments.[70] A pro-Kremlin source shared an account of a wife of a contract serviceman from Smolensk Oblast noting that her husband had not received his one-time enlistment bonus.[71]Russian Armed Forces are unable to properly train or provide for all mobilized men, triggering social tensions within Russian society. Mishustin announced on November 22 that the Russian Coordination Council approved the simplified procurement of war supplies for nine security services including Rosgvardia, the Federal Penitentiary Service, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.[72] While this provision aims to prioritize security services in repairing military equipment or allow for faster procurement of weapons, it is unlikely to resolve supply shortages triggered by Western sanctions and Russian industrial-military complex problems. Nizhny Novgorod Oblast’s Security Department Head Natalia Cherepanova stated that mobilized men from Nizhny Novgorod stationed in Kursk Oblast do not have enough equipment to enter the combat zone.[73] Samara Oblast airsoft instructors also stepped in to train mobilized men.[74] A Russia-based Council of Mothers and Wives movement demanded a meeting with Putin over mobilization and conscription concerns and demanded demobilization.[75]The Russian Armed Forces are continuing to suffer losses among personnel due to poor training, lack of equipment, and diminishing morale. A Russian investigative outlet, 7x7 – Horizontal Russia, reported that at least 39 mobilized Russian men have died before reaching the frontlines due to health problems and suicide.[76] Other opposition outlets, citing Primorsky Krai mobilized men, stated that only 19 men out of 120 belonging to the 155th Separate Guards Marine Brigade survived the battle for Pavlivka.[77] The Guardian reported that Kherson City locals also noted that Russian forces constantly burned dead Russian servicemen at a landfill, which has likely had negative impacts on Russian morale.[78] Mobilized servicemen continued to show poor discipline as video footage from Yurga, Kemerovo Oblast showed mobilized men fighting with locals at a cafe.[79]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied and annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian civilians into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems)Russian occupation officials continued measures to strengthen law enforcement and repress local populations of occupied areas on November 22. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian forces in the Melitopol area of Zaporizhia Oblast are searching private garages on the grounds of searching for partisan affiliation and that Russian officials in Luhansk Oblast are arbitrarily detaining citizens under suspicion of harboring pro-Ukrainian sympathies.[80] The Ukrainian Resistance Center also reported that Russian officials seek to create a “police state” in occupied Ukraine and noted that over 52,000 Russian law enforcement personnel are now on occupied territory, with more on the way.[81] This figure is likely reflective of continued anxiety amongst occupation officials regarding the threat of Ukrainian counteroffensive advances and partisan challenges to occupation regimes.Russian sources continue to tout the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families on November 22. A Russian milblogger circulated the fifth part of a Russian documentary series following the adoption of three children from Snizhne, Donetsk Oblast into a Russian family.[82] As ISW previously noted, This documentary series being circulated by Russian sources clearly depicts Ukrainian children being adopted into Russian families, which may constitute a violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and be part of a wider ethnic cleansing campaign.[83] This documentary campaign is likely intended to propagate informational conditions to normalize the forced assimilation of Ukrainian children into Russian society.Russian politicians continue to foster relationships with occupied areas of Ukraine to oversee the bureaucratic, administrative, and economic assimilation of these areas into the Russian Federation. Russian Deputy Prime Minister for Construction and Regional Development met with Kherson Oblast occupation Head Vladimir Saldo on November 22 to discuss the restoration of infrastructure, roads, and the economy in occupied Kherson Oblast.[84] First Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Administration Sergei Kiriyenko met with Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Head Denis Pushilin to visit state institutions in occupied Donetsk Oblast.[85] Occupation officials likely hope to leverage relationships with Russian politicians to lend legitimacy to their administrative efforts.Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.   [1] https://t.me/readovkanews/47438[2] https://t.me/readovkanews/47438; https://t.me/notes_veterans/6516 ; https://t.me/rybar/41120  [3] https://t.me/notes_veterans/6738; https://t.me/notes_veterans/6736; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70973; https://t.me/readovkanews/47438[4] https://t.me/vvgladkov/1323[5] https://t.me/concordgroup_official/60[6] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/11/20/u-luganskij-oblasti-12-naselenyh-punktiv-pid-ukrayinskym-praporom-sergij-cherevatyj/  [7] https://t.me/svobodnieslova/946 ; https://verstka(dot)media/protesty-rodstvennikov-mobilizovannyh-karta/  [8] https://meduza.io/feature/2022/11/22/ravnodushie-i-apatiya-otstante-ot-nas-ne-lezte-k-nam -[9] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-21[10] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-24; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-2; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-10[11] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-22; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-5[12] https://twitter.com/oleksiireznikov/status/1594998365170896896[13] https://twitter.com/oleksiireznikov/status/1594998365170896896[14] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuK0QhNRr_w   [15] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuK0QhNRr_w   [16] https://www.facebook.com/1784199130/posts/pfbid0RGt3ohyqtQsF73vuMjgkCF6mSZvEEm4RUS5QVcweH5XqKajF1JzQp5PmVxat3GmKl ; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63687037   [17] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/11/21/koly-rosiya-otrymaye-iranski-balistychni-rakety-ta-pochne-masovanu-ataku/[18] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/11/21/koly-rosiya-otrymaye-iranski-balistychni-rakety-ta-pochne-masovanu-ataku/[19] https://isw.pub/UkrWar110122[20] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/11/21/koly-rosiya-otrymaye-iranski-balistychni-rakety-ta-pochne-masovanu-ataku/[21] https://twitter.com/oleksiireznikov/status/1594998365170896896   [22] https://www.mehrnews dot com/news/5638021[23] https://www.jpost.com/international/article-722853; https://gur.gov.ua/content/v-bilorusi-planuiut-nalahodyty-vyrobnytstvo-snariadiv-dlia-stvolnoi-artylerii-ta-rszv.html[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02CThsnZkSjw15KC5yaeDVWU72vDevZ8RrGk5LUpFSqsJn4YJXRD1PDqYBnwujwJxil[25] https://twitter.com/tiamat007/status/1594734572654268417  ; https://twitter.com/tiamat007/status/1594735013698097152  ; https://twitter.com/tiamat007/status/1594735499922575363  ; https://twitter.com/tiamat007/status/1594735926239969281  ; https://twitter.com/tiamat007/status/1594737376664117248  ; https://twitter.com/tiamat007/status/1594737751143981057[26] https://twitter.com/tiamat007/status/1594738711769780226 ; https://twitter.com/JoshuaKoontz__/status/1594746792335261706[27] https://isw.pub/UkrWar111922[28] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6995[29] https://t.me/mod_russia/21950[30] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6990[31]  https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0xoPL6yWRaXtp62WbhtrsPSea2GaGNB1c8Y3M7WJS6d5qNKyAPH8wqcXuF8MtaugPl?__cft__[0]=AZWyFtvfb37VAktB8ydng3gaqIniqwQe1BooyOmis1d17mQia8-ECpizS1rIzgBeqiAlp3bsCKEiwtq4ETj43UlV6oMAGTeyjUHo9hxdfjKcEsLAQvjFv9HfjJX1sq8gvXIrh7xnWgIQgugGl_Mii3amCJKDfx4kWEiqzE0a8Ihzb6j_M3262ud5u1fL6REV_2vng2UeTpviIjQHyEdNpSxq&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R ; https://t.me/mod_russia/21950[32] https://t.me/kommunist/13467[33] https://t.me/readovkanews/47412[34] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02CThsnZkSjw15KC5yaeDVWU72vDevZ8RrGk5LUpFSqsJn4YJXRD1PDqYBnwujwJxil ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0xoPL6yWRaXtp62WbhtrsPSea2GaGNB1c8Y3M7WJS6d5qNKyAPH8wqcXuF8MtaugPl?__cft__[0]=AZWyFtvfb37VAktB8ydng3gaqIniqwQe1BooyOmis1d17mQia8-ECpizS1rIzgBeqiAlp3bsCKEiwtq4ETj43UlV6oMAGTeyjUHo9hxdfjKcEsLAQvjFv9HfjJX1sq8gvXIrh7xnWgIQgugGl_Mii3amCJKDfx4kWEiqzE0a8Ihzb6j_M3262ud5u1fL6REV_2vng2UeTpviIjQHyEdNpSxq&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[35] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6995 ;[36] https://notes.citeam.org/ru-dispatch-nov-18-21 ; https://t.me/cit_backup/1211[37] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0xoPL6yWRaXtp62WbhtrsPSea2GaGNB1c8Y3M7WJS6d5qNKyAPH8wqcXuF8MtaugPl?__cft__[0]=AZWyFtvfb37VAktB8ydng3gaqIniqwQe1BooyOmis1d17mQia8-ECpizS1rIzgBeqiAlp3bsCKEiwtq4ETj43UlV6oMAGTeyjUHo9hxdfjKcEsLAQvjFv9HfjJX1sq8gvXIrh7xnWgIQgugGl_Mii3amCJKDfx4kWEiqzE0a8Ihzb6j_M3262ud5u1fL6REV_2vng2UeTpviIjQHyEdNpSxq&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R [38] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0xoPL6yWRaXtp62WbhtrsPSea2GaGNB1c8Y3M7WJS6d5qNKyAPH8wqcXuF8MtaugPl?__cft__[0]=AZWyFtvfb37VAktB8ydng3gaqIniqwQe1BooyOmis1d17mQia8-ECpizS1rIzgBeqiAlp3bsCKEiwtq4ETj43UlV6oMAGTeyjUHo9hxdfjKcEsLAQvjFv9HfjJX1sq8gvXIrh7xnWgIQgugGl_Mii3amCJKDfx4kWEiqzE0a8Ihzb6j_M3262ud5u1fL6REV_2vng2UeTpviIjQHyEdNpSxq&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[39] https://t.me/nm_dnr/9444   [40] https://t.me/kommunist/13456 ; https://t.me/ThisisfactZ/1483 ; https://t.me/readovkanews/47412 ; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/42907 ; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70989[41] https://t.me/ThisisfactZ/1483 ; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70989[42] https://t.me/readovkanews/47412[43] https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70989[44] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0xoPL6yWRaXtp62WbhtrsPSea2GaGNB1c8Y3M7WJS6d5qNKyAPH8wqcXuF8MtaugPl?__cft__[0]=AZWyFtvfb37VAktB8ydng3gaqIniqwQe1BooyOmis1d17mQia8-ECpizS1rIzgBeqiAlp3bsCKEiwtq4ETj43UlV6oMAGTeyjUHo9hxdfjKcEsLAQvjFv9HfjJX1sq8gvXIrh7xnWgIQgugGl_Mii3amCJKDfx4kWEiqzE0a8Ihzb6j_M3262ud5u1fL6REV_2vng2UeTpviIjQHyEdNpSxq&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[45] https://t.me/milchronicles/1328[46] https://t.me/cit_backup/1213 ; https://notes.citeam.org/ru-dispatch-nov-18-21#cCVx[47] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02CThsnZkSjw15KC5yaeDVWU72vDevZ8RrGk5LUpFSqsJn4YJXRD1PDqYBnwujwJxil ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0xoPL6yWRaXtp62WbhtrsPSea2GaGNB1c8Y3M7WJS6d5qNKyAPH8wqcXuF8MtaugPl?__cft__[0]=AZWyFtvfb37VAktB8ydng3gaqIniqwQe1BooyOmis1d17mQia8-ECpizS1rIzgBeqiAlp3bsCKEiwtq4ETj43UlV6oMAGTeyjUHo9hxdfjKcEsLAQvjFv9HfjJX1sq8gvXIrh7xnWgIQgugGl_Mii3amCJKDfx4kWEiqzE0a8Ihzb6j_M3262ud5u1fL6REV_2vng2UeTpviIjQHyEdNpSxq&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[48] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02CThsnZkSjw15KC5yaeDVWU72vDevZ8RrGk5LUpFSqsJn4YJXRD1PDqYBnwujwJxil; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0xoPL6yWRaXtp62WbhtrsPSea2GaGNB1c8Y3M7WJS6d5qNKyAPH8wqcXuF8MtaugPl?__cft__[0]=AZWyFtvfb37VAktB8ydng3gaqIniqwQe1BooyOmis1d17mQia8-ECpizS1rIzgBeqiAlp3bsCKEiwtq4ETj43UlV6oMAGTeyjUHo9hxdfjKcEsLAQvjFv9HfjJX1sq8gvXIrh7xnWgIQgugGl_Mii3amCJKDfx4kWEiqzE0a8Ihzb6j_M3262ud5u1fL6REV_2vng2UeTpviIjQHyEdNpSxq&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[49] https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70930[50] https://t.me/spravdi/21311[51] https://t.me/starukhofficial/4248; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14878 https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23229 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76439;; https://t.me/spravdi/21321; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14873 ; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14877 [52] https://t.me/mod_russia/21950 [53] https://t.me/russkiy_opolchenec/35041; https://t.me/mod_russia/21950 [54] https://t.me/vilkul/2282 ; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2517 ; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1488; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1487 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76416 [55] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-21[56] https://t.me/stranaua/76306  ; https://t.me/rybar/41379[57] https://t.me/rybar/41390; https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1595092985993388033?s=20&t=8z25p2YP0gG0bG9YzODubw; https://t.me/rybar/41391; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/42934; https://t.me/milinfolive/93647; https://t.me/milinfolive/93648; https://t.me/milinfolive/93649; https://t.me/milinfolive/93650[58] https://t.me/Aksenov82/1736; https://t.me/rybar/41390; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/42934; https://t.me/milinfolive/93647[59] https://t.me/RSaponkov/4024; https://t.me/RSaponkov/4023; https://t.me/separ_13/5296 ; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1595010376185401344; https://t.me/milinfolive/93630 [60] https://t.me/RSaponkov/4023; https://t.me/separ_13/5296 ; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1595010376185401344[61] https://t.me/zhivoff/7244; https://t.me/readovkanews/47426; https://t.me/wargonzo/9392  [62] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/21/rosiyany-buduyut-dorogu-na-arabatskij-strilczi-dlya-perekydannya-tehniky/ [63] https://t.me/rbc_news/63265[64] https://t.me/Slabunova/1103 ; https://meduza.io/news/2022/11/22/v-karelii-deputaty-ot-yabloka-prizvali-putina-izdat-ukaz-o-zavershenii-mobilizatsii[65] https://meduza dot io/cards/tak-zavershena-mobilizatsiya-v-rossii-ili-vse-taki-net[66] https://t.me/concordgroup_official/58[67] https://t.me/concordgroup_official/59 [68] https://t.me/BalitskyEV/515[69] https://www dot interfax dot ru/russia/873626[70] https://t.me/itsmycity/23652[71] https://t.me/readovkanews/47441  [72] https://www.rbc dot ru/rbcfreenews/637cb1fe9a79477e578d5fee?from=newsfeed?utm_source=telegram&utm_medium=messenger[73] https://t.me/newsnn/11032[74] https://zona dot media/article/2022/11/21/airsoft[75] https://t.me/SOVETMATERI/950 ; https://meduza.io/feature/2022/11/22/vy-muzhchina-ili-kto-sovet-materey-i-zhen-mobilizovannyh-i-srochnikov-potreboval-chtoby-putin-lichno-vstretilsya-s-nimi -[76] https://t.me/horizontal_russia/17171[77] https://t.me/sotaproject/49831[78] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1594789591046840320?s=20&t=FZYqq2f0FyefE54NvXVT0w; https://www dot theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/21/russians-accused-of-burning-bodies-at-kherson-landfill ; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29586[79] https://t.me/bazabazon/14569  [80] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/22/pid-melitopolem-okupanty-vlashtuvaly-rejd-po-garazhah-shukayut-pidpillya/; https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/22/rosiyany-zatrymaly-30-meshkancziv-bilovodska-za-pidtrymku-zsu/[81] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/22/rosiyany-stvoryuyut-na-tot-policzejsku-derzhavu/[82] https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/42929[83] https://isw.pub/UkrWar111222; https://isw.pub/UkrWar111622; https://isw.pub/UkrWar102622; https://isw.pub/RusCampaignOct15[84] https://t.me/mkhusnullin/690[85] https://t.me/readovkanews/47406 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
 Nicholas Carl, Zachary Coles, Johanna Moore, Dana Alexander Gray, Amin Soltani, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 21, 5:00 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Correction: CTP has edited this text to correct two errors. A previous version of this update reported that security forces used nerve gas against protesters in Javanroud. They used hexachloroethane, according to social media reports, and CTP has adjusted the text to reflect this reporting. A previous version of this update also incorrectly reported old protests in Ghorveh and Tehran as happening on November 21. We have removed these protest entries from this day’s update and map.The Iranian regime has adopted what increasingly resembles a counter-insurgency approach rather than a counter-protest one to manage the ongoing unrest. Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)-affiliated Tasnim News Agency reported that IRGC Ground Forces are clearing some cities in West Azerbaijan Province, including Boukan, Mahabad, Oshnaviyeh, Piranshahr, and other unnamed locations, of anti-regime elements on November 21.[1] These IRGC military units are likely using extreme force and indiscriminately killing civilians to quell protests. Security forces are conducting a brutal crackdown in Javanroud, Kermanshah Province as well. Security forces have isolated Javanroud, blocking major roads into the city, and shot live ammunition and the chemical compound hexachloroethane at protesters, according to social media reports.[2] The closure of these major roads will impede most travel into and out of Javanroud given the rugged terrain surrounding the city. The IRGC Ground Forces 4th Ansar ol Rasoul Operational Brigade is headquartered in Javanroud and could support the regime crackdown there and in nearby locations.[3] This increasing regime brutality accords with CTP’s previous assessment that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has likely greenlit the security forces to intensify their crackdown.[4] The regime has likely lost control of parts of northwestern Iran at least temporarily. The deployment of the IRGC Ground Forces indicates the Iranian political and security leaders consider the protests an increasingly serious threat to regime survival. Tasnim News Agency reported that security forces managed to restore order to Piranshahr (although this claim could be exaggerated) but admitted that anti-regime elements are continuing to operate around the peripheries of the city.[5] The regime maintains a significant presence of Artesh and IRGC units in northwestern Iran; failure to control this region suggests that the regime may face even greater challenges in other locations throughout the country. The regime may face a particularly acute challenge in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, where anti-regime militancy and protests have increased in recent weeks.[6]The regime has expanded its internet and telecommunications disruptions, limiting the amount of open-source information available on the situations in northwestern and western Iran. Netblocks and journalists reported major internet disruptions, especially around Kurdistan Province, on November 21.[7] CTP nevertheless recorded at least 16 protests in 12 cities in eight provinces on November 21, and the actual number is likely greater.Parliamentarian Jalal Mahmoud Zadeh called for an investigation into the regime crackdown in Mahabad on November 21—the latest dissent by a lawmaker representing a location in which the regime has conducted a brutal crackdown.[8] The parliamentarians representing Saghez, Kurdistan Province and Chabahar, Sistan and Baluchistan Province have previously criticized the regime crackdown, as CTP has reported.[9]Iranian ambassador to Iraq Mohammad Kazem Al-e Sadegh issued an ultimatum with a deadline in 10 days for Iraq to disarm Kurdish militant groups or face unspecified consequences on November 21. Iranian and Turkish military forces will likely intensify their attacks against Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan and northern Syria in the coming days. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on November 21 that his Defense Ministry is evaluating resources needed for a ground invasion into Iraq and Syria.[10]The Iraqi government lacks the political will and capability to fulfill Iran’s demands, as CTP has previously assessed.[11] Kurdish political blocs have called for a special Parliamentary session on November 22 to address Iranian and Turkish airstrikes into Iraqi Kurdistan and have called on the international community to provide air defense systems to protect against future threats.[12] Pro-Iranian political blocs in Baghdad are reportedly attempting to prevent the session from taking place.[13]Key TakeawaysThe Iranian regime has adopted what increasingly resembles a counter-insurgency approach rather than a counter-protest one to manage the ongoing unrest.The regime has expanded its internet and telecommunications disruptions, limiting the amount of open-source information available on the situations in northwestern and western Iran.Parliamentarian Jalal Mahmoud Zadeh called for an investigation into the regime crackdown in Mahabad on November 21—the latest dissent by a lawmaker representing a location in which the regime has conducted a brutal crackdown.Iranian ambassador to Iraq Mohammad Kazem Al-e Sadegh issued an ultimatum with a deadline in 10 days for Iraq to disarm Kurdish militant groups or face unspecified consequences.At least 16 protests took place in 12 cities across eight provinces.LEC Fars Provincial Commander Brigadier General Roham Bakhsh Habibi announced the arrest of eight members of the Shiraz Neighborhood Youth.Several dozen Sunni clerics and religious leaders in Kurdistan Province issued a video statement expressing support for the protesters.Supreme Leader Military Adviser IRGC Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi warned that protests will continue unless the regime addresses the people’s frustrations.Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least 12 protests took place in 11 cities across eight provinces on November 21. Substantially more protests likely occurred than the 16 listed below, but regime internet and telecommunication disruptions have inhibited the flow of information out of Iranian cities. CTP assesses with moderate to high confidence that protests occurred in the locations below.Note: CTP has revised how it presents protest data to make it easier for readers to review. We are identifying different properties, such as size, for each recorded protest. We define small protests as fewer than 100 individuals, medium protests as between 100 and 1,000, and large protests as over one thousand. CTP will continue revising this approach to optimize how we present information in the most accurate and accessible way possible.Karaj, Alborz Province[14]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Militant Activity: Fires in the streetChants: PoliticalJavanroud, Kermanshah Province[15]Crowd Size: MediumNotes: Protesters gathered outside a local hospital containing protesters injured by regime forces during November 21 demonstrations.Javanroud, Kermanshah Province[16]Crowd Size: SmallRegime Repression: Live ammunition against protesters, casualtiesProtester Militant Activity: Unarmed clashesNotes: Security forces likely used hexachloroethane, a gas known to cause respiratory distress and vomiting, against protesters.Kermanshah City, Kermanshah Province[17]Crowd Size: MediumRegime Repression: Live ammunition against protestersChants: PoliticalMourners: For protest martyr Sina Naderi’s 40-day commemoration ceremonyMashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province[18]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Militant Activity: Unarmed clashes with security forcesNotes: Individuals depicted in the footage likely are protesters. They may alternatively be counterprotesters or plainclothes security forces.Izeh, Khuzestan Province[19]Crowd Size: MediumMourners: For protest martyr Ali Moulai’s commemoration ceremonyAbadan, Khuzestan Province[20]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Militant Activity: Fires in the streetChants: PoliticalSanandaj, Kurdistan Province[21]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Militant Activity: Fires in the streetChants: PoliticalDemographic: University studentsMarivan, Kurdistan Province[22]Crowd Size: SmallProtester Militant Activity: Fires in the streetTehran City, Tehran Province[23]Crowd Size: SmallChants: PoliticalPiranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province[24]Crowd Size: MediumRegime Repression: Live ammunition against protestersProtester Militant Activity: Unarmed clashesChants: PoliticalNotes: Crowd size may be much greater, but no footage is available to verify this assessment.Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province[25]Crowd Size: SmallRegime Repression: Live ammunition against protesters, tear gas, casualtiesChants: PoliticalNotes: Crowd size may be much greater, but no footage is available to verify this assessment.CTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in the locations below.Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province[26]Notes: Footage from social media does not depict any direct evidence of protests, but fires on the street indicate possible protest activity.President Ebrahim Raisi and his cabinet approved the nomination of Alireza Fakhari as Tehran provincial governor on November 20.[27] Fakhari is an IRGC officer who has held several government positions and was a senior official in the Khatam ol Anbia Construction Headquarters —the IRGC’s civil engineering and construction firm. Raisi has appointed numerous IRGC officers to senior positions in the cabinet and to local governments since taking office in August 2021.[28] Fakhari replaced Mohsen Mansour, whom Raisi appointed as executive vice president on November 1.[29] These appointments may be enabling greater IRGC influence over the protest crackdown.[30] Provincial governors are part of the provincial security councils, which oversee domestic security in their jurisdictions.Social media rumors claimed on November 20 that low-level IRGC and LEC security personnel throughout Iran have expressed concerns about the safety of themselves and their families amid mounting security forces casualties.[31] CTP cannot verify these rumors. They are plausible, however, given the increased rate at which security personnel are dying and being injured. Unidentified gunmen most recently shot and killed one LEC personnel and injured another around Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province on November 21.[32]LEC Fars Provincial Commander Brigadier General Roham Bakhsh Habibi announced the arrest of eight members of the Shiraz Neighborhood Youth on November 21.[33] Bakhsh Habibi accused the group of directing and stoking protests, making explosives, and cooperating with anti-regime group Mojahedin-e Khalq. These arrests demonstrate further that at least some of the neighborhood youth groups have a local presence. Iranian state media previously reported on November 17 that the IRGC Intelligence Organization arrested over 25 members of the Oroumiyeh Neighborhood Youth.[34] There are many different social media accounts that identify as the Shiraz Neighborhood Youth, making it difficult to determine whether the arrests have impcated the group’s operations.Several dozen Sunni clerics and religious leaders in Kurdistan Province issued a video statement on November 21 expressing support for the protesters.[35] The individuals called for a public referendum on the Islamic Republic. The clerics showed their faces allowing their easy identification and risking regime punishment for their actions. Prominent Sunni cleric Moulana Abdol Hamid, who has incited protests in Sistan and Baluchistan Province in recent weeks, may have inspired these Sunni clerics and religious leaders. Abdol Hamid similarly called for a referendum on the Islamic Republic on November 4.[36] The video statement may indicate that Abdol Hamid’s rhetoric is resonating even with Iranian Sunnis outside of Sistan and Baluchistan Province.Supreme Leader Military Adviser IRGC Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi stated that protests will continue unless the regime addresses the people’s frustrations on November 21.[37] Safavi made these remarks while speaking at the Imam Hossein University—one of the IRGC’s most prominent military universities. Safavi’s comments are somewhat surprising given that one might expect him to use harsher rhetoric speaking to fellow guardsmen while the regime intensifies its crackdown. Iranian political and security leaders may increasingly blame the Raisi administration if it cannot improve the economy. Safavi may be reflecting the supreme leader’s position, or what he believes the supreme leader’s position to be.The national Iranian men’s soccer team refused to sing the Iranian national anthem before their opening FIFA World Cup match on November 21.[38] Their silence was resonant and well-publicized given the popularity of soccer in Iran, despite Iranian state media not airing the players standing quietly. This act was especially humiliating to the regime given the location of the World Cup in Qatar—a country that has tried to balance its relations between Iran and other Arab states throughout the Middle East. Some social media accounts have claimed that Qatari security officers detained some World Cup attendants protesting against the Islamic Republic.[39]Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsThere was nothing significant to report today.[1] http://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/30/2807929; http://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/30/2807489[2] https://www.iranintl.com/en/202211215741; https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1594694215639900161?s=20&t=kdLgV-afZCLyubv9zE89iQ; https://twitter.com/justinhogo/status/1594664727518801920?s=20&t=kdLgV-afZCLyubv9zE89iQ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594666253507256320?s=20&t=kdLgV-afZCLyubv9zE89iQ; https://twitter.com/factnameh/status/1594720071523278848[3] https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Irans-Reserve-of-Last-Resort.pdf[4] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-20[5] http://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/30/2807929[6] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-11[7] https://twitter.com/netblocks/status/1594742753656717319; https://twitter.com/KhosroKalbasi/status/1594727562969845763[8] https://www.etemadonline dot com/بخش-سیاسی-9/583452-مهاباد-مناطق-کردنشین-اعتراضات-نیروهای-امنیتی-کردستان[9] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-10[10] https://www(dot)rudaw.net/english/middleeast/21112022; https://www(dot)irna.ir/news/84949578/%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B2%D9%85%DB%8C%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82-%D9%88-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%B1%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85[11] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-18[12] https://shafaq(dot)com/ar/%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A9/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%AF-%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B5%D9%81-%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85-%D9%83%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86https://twitter.com/Iraqimofa/status/1594718531824017408https://shafaq(dot)com/ar/%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A9/%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%B1%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%8A-%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%B4-%D8%BA%D8%AF%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D9%81%D8%B8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D9%80-%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%A9-%D9%85%D8%BA%D9%84%D9%82%D8%A9[13] https://twitter.com/truskesadeghi/status/1594674713917267974[14] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594777624643272704?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ[15] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594648240263045120?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ[16] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594669081990340608?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594664853590851585?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594633089992515584?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ[17] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594655487189884928?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ[18] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1594791251773382656?s=20&t=rUtbgX3Uj5ketFOZWiuXHg[19] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594761493564002304?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ[20] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1594800131160920065?s=20&t=rUtbgX3Uj5ketFOZWiuXHg[21] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594670005467066368?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1594737886418841601?s=20&t=rUtbgX3Uj5ketFOZWiuXHg[22] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594751168026132486?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ[23] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594714384844353536[24] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594634749733228546?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594633739694473216?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ[25] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594645470470709248?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594654718663528450?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594697880748662784?s=20&t=gf9PcIBtyc-8HkaDqH5apQ;[26] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1594800500431810561?s=20&t=rUtbgX3Uj5ketFOZWiuXHg[27] https://president dot ir/fa/140841[28] https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/iran-file/iran-file-meet-the-raisi-administration; https://www.iranintl.com/en/20211018354011[29] www.president dot ir/fa/140514[30] https://www.criticalthreats.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Whatever-it-takes-to-end-it.pdf[31] https://twitter.com/pouriazeraati/status/1594547881146564608[32] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/30/2807952[33] https://www.isna dot ir/news/1401083020772[34] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-17[35] https://www.instagram.com/p/ClOEW2RAN0_/[36] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-4[37] https://www.irna dot ir/news/84949089[38] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/iran-soccer-team-silent-national-anthem-world-cup-game-rcna58121[39] https://twitter.com/pouriazeraati/status/1594725244904046592  

[Author: ISWKF] [Category: Iran]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, Layne Philipson, Yekaterina Klepanchuk, Madison Williams, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 21, 7:45pm ETClick here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Two days of shelling caused widespread damage to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) on November 20 and 21. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated on November 21 that there are no immediate nuclear safety and security concerns and that the integrity of all six nuclear reactors and the spent and fresh fuel storage facilities remain uncompromised despite the intense shelling.[1] Russia and Ukraine both accused the other of conducting the artillery strikes on the ZNPP on November 20 and 21.[2] One Russian milblogger referenced a video of the shelling taken by Chechen forces and stated that it appeared the shelling came from positions in Russian-controlled territory south of the ZNPP, not Ukrainian-controlled territory north of the ZNPP.[3] Russian nuclear operator Rosatom Head Alexey Likhachev warned of a nuclear disaster at the ZNPP, and Russian milbloggers largely amplified his statements and called for the transfer of all Ukrainian nuclear power plants to Russian operation.[4] ISW has previously assessed that Russian forces have staged false flag attacks against the ZNPP and previously reported on Russian forces’ unlawful militarization of the ZNPP.[5] Artillery strikes themselves are unlikely to penetrate the containment units protecting each nuclear reactor and instead pose a greater threat to the spent nuclear fuel storage facilities, which could leak radioactive material and cause a radiological (as opposed to nuclear) disaster if compromised. The continued conflation of radiological and nuclear accidents and the constant discussion of the threat of disaster at the ZNPP is likely part of a wider Russian information operation meant to undermine Western support for Ukraine and frame Russian control of the plant as essential to avoid nuclear catastrophe in order to consolidate further operational and administrative control of Ukrainian nuclear assets and compel elements of the international community to recognize Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory at least obliquely.The Russian government is continuing to increase its control of the Russian information space as a Russian milblogger noted that Russian efforts to shape the information space “look like a kitten against a rhinoceros” compared with foreign “think tanks,” non-profit organizations, and “independent media.”[6] Russian news outlet Kommersant reported on November 21 that the Russian State Duma may consider a bill before the end of 2022 on the regulation of online “recommender” algorithms that would ultimately allow the government to turn off specific algorithms.[7] The bill is reportedly being developed by Duma Deputy on Information Policy Anton Gorelkin and will include the regulation of social media networks, online cinemas, search engines, and internet marketplaces.[8] Kommersant noted that this bill will require the owners of all sites and platforms to ensure the government’s ability to fully or partially block the participation of specific users and that these provisions appeared before the beginning of the war in October 2021 to specifically target Western outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube due to the risk of “social conflict.”[9] Certain Russian milbloggers responded to the speculation regarding the bill and noted that such recommender algorithms make it harder for nations to disperse propaganda due to the prevalence of accessible and personally tailored information available on the internet.[10]The Duma is likely considering this bill in an attempt to address a consistent point of neuralgia in the Kremlin’s ability to present and defend the war to domestic audiences and to establish a direct means of countering both internal and external sources of online dissent.The Russian Federal State Security Service (FSB) additionally took steps to codify control over the information space and signed a decree on November 4 that approved a list of military and military-technical activities, which if received by foreign sources, can be used against the security of the Russian Federation.[11] The decree essentially codifies types of information relating to Russian military operations that the FSB regards as threats to Russian security that are not technically classified as official state secrets and includes a broad list of provisions relating to informational coverage of the war such as “information on the assessment and forecasts of the development of the military-political, strategic (operational) situation,” and “information about the observance of rule of law and the moral and psychological climate” of Russian troops.[12] This decree represents an extended effort on the part of the FSB to broadly ban a wide range of information on the Russian military, which would ostensibly place tighter controls on discourse among Russian milbloggers and other such sources who frequently discuss and criticize tactical, operational, and strategic dimensions of the war in Ukraine.Both the proposed Duma bill and the FSB decree indicate that the Russian government is scrambling to take control of the information space as it is increasingly inundated by criticisms of the Russian military that are levied both internally and externally. Russian officials likely seek to consolidate censorship measures to crack down on the prevalence of foreign voices and domestic critiques by applying legislative pressure to fundamental algorithms and presenting a wide range of activities that can be considered detrimental to Russian state security.Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian special services are planning false flag attacks on Belarusian critical infrastructure in an attempt that would likely fail to pressure the Belarusian military to enter the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on November 20 that Russian special services are planning to conduct several false flag terrorist attacks on Belarusian critical infrastructure facilities, particularly on the “Ostrovets” Belarusian nuclear power plant.[13] GUR also reported that Russian special services will blame the attacks on Ukrainian and NATO member states to accelerate the Belarusian military’s involvement in Russia‘s war in Ukraine.[14] ISW has previously assessed that Belarus’ entry into the war remains highly unlikely due to the heavy domestic risk that involvement would pose to the survival of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime and that Russian and Belarusian highlight their bilateral defense cooperation to perpetuate an ongoing information operation that the Belarusian military will enter the war.[15] Potential false flag attacks remain unlikely to change the domestic factors that ISW continues to assess constrain Lukashenko’s willingness to enter the war on Russia’s behalf.A Ukrainian official acknowledged on November 21 that Ukrainian forces are conducting a military operation on the Kinburn Spit, a location which would allow Ukrainian forces to better conduct potential operations on the left (east) bank in Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian Southern Defense Forces spokesperson Natalia Humenyuk stated on November 21 that Ukrainian forces are conducting a military operation on the Kinburn Spit and called for operational silence to be respected.[16] Humenyuk emphasized that the Kinburn Spit is the last piece of territory that Russian forces occupy in Mykolaiv Oblast.[17] The Kinburn Spit is only 4km across the strait from Ochakiv and allows for control of the entrance to the Dnipro and Southern Bug rivers as well as the Mykolaiv and Kherson city ports. Russian forces used positions on the Kinburn Spit to conduct routine missile and artillery strikes on Ukrainian positions in Ochakiv, southern Mykolaiv Oblast, and other areas along the Ukrainian-controlled Black Sea Coast.[18] The Kinburn Spit is also out of the 25km range of 152mm artillery that Russian forces have accumulated on the left (east) bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. Control of the Kinburn Spit would allow Ukrainian forces to relieve Russian strikes on the Ukrainian-controlled Black Sea coast, increase naval activity in the area, and conduct potential operations to cross to the left (east) bank in Kherson Oblast under significantly less Russian artillery fire compared to a crossing of the Dnipro River.The November 18 video of a Russian soldier opening fire on a group of Ukrainian servicemen while Russian troops were surrendering has served as a catalyst for further division between the Kremlin and prominent voices in the Russian information space. As ISW reported on November 18, a video widely circulated on social media shows a Russian soldier fire on Ukrainian troops as Ukrainian soldiers were taking prisoners in Makiivka, Luhansk Oblast, resulting in the deaths of the Russian prisoners. Open-source analysts and later a New York Times independent investigation confirmed that the Russian serviceman was the first to open fire but did not offer conclusions about how the Russian prisoners died.[19] While Russian officials responded to the video by adamantly accusing Ukraine of war crimes and calling for an investigation into the identities of the Ukrainian soldiers, several Russian milbloggers capitalized on the content of the video to criticize the Russian military and mobilization practices. One milblogger noted that the Makiivka shooting video is a clear example of how mobilized recruits lack the basic morale and discipline to properly fight for their beliefs and claimed that it is ridiculous that so many Russian soldiers even surrendered to Ukrainian troops in the first place.[20] The divide between milbloggers criticizing the Makiivka shooting is emblematic of Russian military failures, and the Kremlin’s using it to further an information operation against the Ukrainian military may further fragment the information space.Key TakeawaysTwo days of shelling caused widespread damage to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.The Russian government is continuing to escalate control over the Russian information space.Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian special services are planning false flag attacks on Belarusian critical infrastructure in an attempt that would likely fail to pressure the Belarusian military to enter the war in Ukraine. ISW continues to assess that it is unlikely Belarusian forces will enter the war.A Ukrainian official acknowledged that Ukrainian forces are conducting a military operation on the Kinburn Spit, Mykolaiv Oblast.The November 18 video of a Russian soldier opening fire on a group of Ukrainian servicemen while Russian troops were surrendering has served as a catalyst for further division between the Kremlin and prominent voices in the Russian information space.Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in eastern Ukraine amid worsening weather conditions.Russian forces continued ground assaults near Bakhmut and Avdiivka.Russian forces continued conducting defensive measures and establishing fortifications in Kherson Oblast south of the Dnipro River as Ukrainian forces continued striking Russian force accumulations in southern Ukraine.Russian mobilized personnel continue to protest and desert as their relatives continue to publicly advocate against mobilization issues.Russian occupation authorities intensified filtration measures and the incorporation of occupied territory into Russia.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Eastern UkraineRussian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and one supporting effort)Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk OblastRussian Supporting Effort—Southern AxisRussian Mobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasUkrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)Weather slowed fighting along offensive lines in eastern Ukraine as Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on November 20 and 21. Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that heavy rain and muddy conditions in eastern Ukraine have nearly stopped Russian ground attacks, slowed but not stopped Ukrainian advances, and led to increased artillery fire on November 20 and 21.[21] The Russian MoD notably reported that Russian forces did not conduct any ground operations in the Kupyansk direction northwest of Svatove on November 20, likely due to Russian forces’ inability to handle deteriorating weather conditions.[22] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks in the Lyman and Kreminna-Lysychansk directions and destroyed Russian equipment near Syrotyne (about 25km southeast of Kreminna) on November 20 and 21.[23] Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) officials claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted missile attacks near Kreminna and in Alchevsk, Luhansk Oblast (about 75km southeast of Kreminna) on November 20 and 21.[24] The Russian MoD claimed that Russian forces destroyed Ukrainian command posts in Lyman and Shevchenkove (35km west of Kupyansk) and thwarted Ukrainian ground attacks near Kuzemivka (about 13km northwest of Svatove), Kreminna, and Kupyansk causing loss in Ukrainian manpower and equipment on November 21.[25] The Russian MoD also reported that Russian forces used artillery fire to push back Ukrainian forces in the Kolomyichykha direction and destroyed Ukrainian manpower and equipment in the Lyman direction on November 19, 20, and 21.[26] The Russian MoD notably did not report any significant operational gains on November 20 or 21. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued to shell settlements along the frontline from Kupyansk to south of Kreminna on November 20 and 21.[27]Russian forces continued to defend their positions along offensive lines and reinforce rear areas in Luhansk Oblast with demoralized troops from the Kherson withdrawal on November 20 and 21. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) reported that Russian forces continued to prioritize constructing defensive positions in eastern Ukraine.[28] Russian official sources claimed that Russian forces are “steadfastly holding the defense” along the Svatove-Kreminna line on November 20 and 21.[29] Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Russian forces also fortified defenses by building dragon’s teeth along the frontline in the Svatove direction and near Popasna, Luhansk (about 47km south of Kreminna).[30] UK MoD and Ukrainian official sources reported that Russian forces continued to reinforce rear areas in Luhansk Oblast with demoralized, ill-trained mobilized reservists who likely came from the Kherson withdrawal.[31] UK MoD also reported that the Russian offensive line in eastern Ukraine is likely a vulnerable operational flank for Russian forces.[32] LNR official Rodion Miroshnik reported on November 21 that the defense situation for Russian forces in Luhansk Oblast has “clearly deteriorated” over the past week.[33] The reports support ISW’s previous assessments that the Russian military is attempting to improve its defensive and offensive capabilities in eastern Ukraine by injecting mobilized troops from Kherson, but that the Russian military has failed to achieve any significant operational progress due low morale and lack of skilled personnel.[34]Russian Main Effort—Eastern UkraineRussian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut on November 20 and 21. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults on Bakhmut itself; within 30km northeast of Bakhmut near Spirne, Bilohorivka, Bakhmutske, Yakovlika, and Pidhorodne; and within 14km southwest of Bakhmut near Opytne, Klishchiivka, and Kurdiumivka on November 20 and 21.[35] Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) representative Andrei Marochko claimed on November 21 that Ukrainian forces had to switch to defensive operations after suffering significant losses in the Soledar and Bakhmut areas.[36] A Russian milblogger claimed on November 21 that Wagner Group units attacked Klishchiivka intending to cut the road southwest of Bakhmut and conducted an assault from the direction of Ivanhrad (4km south of Bakhmut).[37] The Russian milblogger claimed that there is fierce fighting on the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut itself.[38] Another Russian milblogger posted a video on November 21 purporting to show Russian forces firing incendiary munitions at Ukrainian forces near Berstove, Donetsk Oblast.[39] Protocol III of the Geneva Convention prohibits the use of air-delivered incendiary munitions against military targets within a concentration of civilians.[40]Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Avdiivka–Donetsk City area on November 20 and 21. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults within 36km southwest of Avdiivka near Marinka, Pervomaiske, and Novomykhailivka.[41] A Russian milblogger claimed on November 20 that Russian forces attacked Novomykhailivka and conducted other offensive operations in the direction of Pervomaiske, Vodyane, and Avdiivka.[42] Geolocated footage posted on November 20 shows tank battles between Russian and Ukrainian forces northeast of Novomykhailivka.[43] A Russian milblogger claimed on November 21 that Russian forces also entered the Marinka city center.[44] Russian milbloggers posted footage on November 21 showing the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) People’s Militia 11th Regiment dislodging Ukrainian forces from their positions in a sector of the M-30 highway between Vodyane and Pisky (9km southwest of Avdiivka).[45]Russian forces conducted defensive operations in western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia on November 20 and 21. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russia forces are on the defensive in the Zaporizhia and western Donetsk directions.[46] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces thwarted attempted Ukrainian counterattacks within 77km southwest of Donetsk City near Rivnopol, Slavne, Pavlivka, Vremivka, Novodarivka, and Volodymirivka on November 20 and 21.[47] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued routine indirect fire along the line of contact in eastern Zaporizhia and Donetsk oblasts on November 20 and 21.[48]Supporting Effort—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)Note: ISW will report on activities in Kherson Oblast as part of the Southern Axis in this and subsequent updates. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in right-bank Kherson Oblast has accomplished its stated objectives, so ISW will not present a Southern Ukraine counteroffensive section until Ukrainian forces resume counteroffensives in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continued conducting defensive measures and establishing fortifications in Kherson Oblast south of the Dnipro River on November 20 and 21. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command Spokesperson Nataliya Humenyuk reported on November 20 that Russian forces are not completely withdrawing from the west bank of the Dnipro River but instead conducting a dynamic maneuver to pull back from Ukrainian artillery range while maintaining their own capability to strike the right bank of the Dnipro River.[49] Humenyuk noted that Russian forces maintain a significant manpower and equipment concentration in eastern Kherson Oblast.[50] Ukrainian Kherson Oblast Military Advisor Serhiy Khlan stated on November 21 that Russian forces are building second and third lines of defense and storing military equipment in densely populated areas.[51] Khlan stated that Russian forces transferred mobilized personnel closer to the east (left) bank of the river and pulled back their combat-ready units, likely referring to Russian Airborne elements, further east.[52] The Ukrainian General Staff stated on November 20 and 21 that Russian forces conducted positional defensive measures in this area, continued equipping fortifications, and established an echeloned defense system.[53] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed on November 21 that Russian forces prevented a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group from crossing the Dnipro River near Dniprovske, 10km southwest of Kherson City.[54] ISW is unable to confirm the veracity of the Russian MoD’s claim. Russian and Ukrainian sources stated that Russian forces continued to shell areas on the west (right) bank of the Dnipro River, including Kherson City, Antonivka, and Chornobaivka on November 20 and 21.[55] Khlan stated on November 19 that Russian forces struck a humanitarian distribution point in Bilozerka, 10km west of Kherson City.[56]Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian force and equipment concentrations in southern Ukraine on November 20–21. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 20 that Ukrainian forces struck Russian manpower concentrations near Polohy, Kamianka, Mykhailivka, and Enerhodar, Zaporizhia Oblast, wounding over 100 Russian soldiers and destroying 20 pieces of military equipment and two ammunition depots.[57] Ukrainian Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov stated that three explosions occurred at a Russian base on the northwestern outskirts of Melitopol in Vesele and implied that Ukrainian forces struck the base.[58] Ukrainian sources reported that there were explosions, possibly from Ukrainian strikes, in Skadovsk, Novotroitske, Chaplynka, Askaniia-Nova, Rubinavka, Mala Lepetykha, Kakovkha, and Hornostaivka — all in eastern Kherson Oblast.[59] The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces in unspecified areas continue to suffer losses and transported 100 wounded soldiers to a hospital in Skadovsk.[60]Russian forces continued routine shelling west of Hulyaipole and in Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts on November 20–21.[61] The Ukrainian Zaporizhia Oblast Military Administration stated that Russian forces struck Zaporizhzhia City with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, and the Russian MoD claimed that Russian forces struck the Motor Sich Plant in the city on November 20.[62] Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces shelled Nikopol and Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[63] Russian sources, including Zaporizhia Oblast occupation official Vladimir Rogov and mainstream media outlets like TASS and RT, expressed or amplified concerns of a continued Ukrainian military buildup near Orikhiv, Zaporizhia Oblast for a possible offensive.[64]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian officials continue efforts to crack down on protests and desertions of mobilized personnel. Ukrainian and Russian sources reported video footage on November 20 of Russian military police arresting two mobilized men before their peers in Belgorod Oblast for refusing to comply with orders to leave for the combat zone.[65] A Russian source reported that mobilized personnel from Yaroslavl, Yaroslavl Oblast, refused to attend trainings due to dissatisfaction with their command.[66] A Russian source reported that Russian forces detained a member of the 138th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade of the 6th Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District after reports emerged of inadequate training and poor conditions within the brigade.[67] The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) released an audio intercept on November 20 in which a recently mobilized Russian soldier of the 1st Army Corps (forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic) related that members of his unit refused to return to the frontline after military leadership kept the unit at frontline positions for more than two weeks.[68] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are setting up additional checkpoints to identify and detain deserters in the Luhansk Oblast.[69] Independent Russian media outlet ASTRA related the story of a mobilized man whom Russian authorities held in a basement in Donetsk Oblast and threatened with execution for refusing to fight.[70] ISW has previously reported on multiple holding cells scattered throughout the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts for Russian deserters.[71] Multiple Russian sources expressed a hardened attitude toward reports of detained mobilized personnel, stating that similar consequences must follow all who protest — across all ranks.[72]Relatives of mobilized personnel and activists continue to present issues regarding the partial mobilization to Russian officials, with mixed results. Independent Russian media outlet SOTA reported that relatives of mobilized personnel from Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, met with Syktyvkar authorities to discuss poor conditions at the front and that authorities responded to the families by asking them to stop asking “muddy questions” about which Western media may report.[73] Multiple sources reported that relatives of mobilized personnel aged 50 and older recorded an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking for their return home, since mobilization for those over 50 applies to senior officers only.[74] A Russian source reported that relatives of mobilized personnel from Tatarstan complained that regional soldiers deployed to the front lines without proper training.[75] SOTA reported that the Council of Mothers and Wives of Military Personnel in Moscow held a press conference demanding normal training conditions for mobilized personnel and asked authorities to address supply and command issues.[76] Independent Latvia-based Russian-language media outlet Meduza reported that authorities detained Yabloko Party activist Maria Volokh at an anti-war rally in Moscow on November 21.[77] She likely faces more fines for discrediting the Russian forces.Russian officials continue mobilization efforts across occupied territory in Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 21 that Russian officials are enacting covert mobilization measures in Russian-occupied Crimea to address non-fulfillment of mobilization goals.[78] Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Refat Chubaro reported that Russian forces are distributing conscription notices to Crimean Tatar men of military age; and that based on conscription lists, Russian forces are carrying out a total cleansing of Crimean Tatar men born between 1995–2004.[79] Notably, Russia has historically heavily marginalized the Crimean Tatar community and is therefore likely to face stiff resistance in mobilizing Tatar men. [80] Russian sources reported that Vladimir Putin signed a decree on November 21 giving volunteers wounded while serving in Ukraine the status of “combat invalid.”[81] Russian sources also reported that Arkhangelsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast, authorities are handing out mobilization orders and that men are mobilizing in Omsk, Omsk Oblast.[82] Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) occupation officials posted video footage on November 21 urging eligible residents to join the LNR 2nd Army Corps.[83] Russian sources reported that Alexander Sapozhnikov, Mayor of Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai, resigned his position and announced his decision to go to the combat zone in Ukraine as a paratrooper.[84]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied and annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian civilians into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems)Russian occupation officials and forces continued to intensify filtration measures in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine on November 20 and 21. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 21 that Russian occupation officials are forcibly relocating residents of Bilovodsk, Luhansk Oblast, to Luhansk City.[85] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on NOV 20 that Russian forces transported 500 occupation officials and their families from occupied settlements in Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts to Russian-held Sevastopol, Crimea.[86] The Ukrainian Resistance Center also stated on November 20 that Russian forces transported 50 Russian citizens serving in the occupation administrations to Skadovsk, Kherson Oblast.[87]Russian officials continue efforts to deport children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia. Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) head Leonid Pasechnik claimed on November 20 that occupation officials sent Ukrainian children from Kirovsk, Pervomaisk, and Alchevsk, Luhansk Oblast, to Sochi, Krasnodar Krai.[88] Pasechnik also stated on November 20 that his administration continues to send the families of deceased Russian servicemen under the guise of “rest and rehabilitation” to unspecified areas in the Russian Federation.[89] ISW has previously assessed that the deportation and forced adoption of Ukrainian children likely amounts to a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign, in addition to an apparent violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.[90]Russian forces and occupation officials continued to endanger residents in occupied territories and subject them to coercive measures on November 20-21. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on November 21 that Ukrainian partisans are reporting that Russian forces are seizing private residences in occupied territories under the pretext of nationalization and noted that Russian occupation officials are forming “notarial districts” in temporarily-occupied territories for registering and de-registering Ukrainian property, notably to legalize the theft of Ukrainian property.[91] The Ukrainian Resistance reported on November 20–21 that Russian forces continued to house military equipment in hospitals, residential buildings, and the backyards of private homes and educational facilities.[92]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. 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https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-4; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-6[6] https://t.me/specnaz_com/5324[7] https://www.kommersant dot ru/amp/5679541[8] https://www.kommersant dot ru/amp/5679541[9] https://www.kommersant dot ru/amp/5679541[10] https://t.me/specnaz_com/5324; https://t.me/grey_zone/15869; https://t.me/russ_orientalist/12572[11] https://rg dot ru/documents/2022/11/18/fsb-prikaz547-site-dok.html[12] https://rg.ru/documents/2022/11/18/fsb-prikaz547-site-dok.html[13] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/rosiiski-spetssluzhby-planuiut-provokatsii-na-biloruskykh-obiektakh-krytychnoi-infrastruktury-zokrema-na-biloruskii-aes.html; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/10758[14] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/rosiiski-spetssluzhby-planuiut-provokatsii-na-biloruskykh-obiektakh-krytychnoi-infrastruktury-zokrema-na-biloruskii-aes.html; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/10758[15] https://isw.pub/UkrWar110222 ; https://isw.pub/RusCampaignOct18 ; https://isw.pub/RusCampaignOct14[16] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5vvrb1YsqU[17] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5vvrb1YsqU[18] https://isw.pub/RusCampaignOct16[19] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/20/world/europe/russian-soldiers-shot-ukraine.html[20] https://t.me/notes_veterans/6718; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/19945; https://t.me/notes_veterans/6718; https://t.me/notes_veterans/6704[21] https://t.me/mod_russia/21888; https://t.me/miroshnik_r/9642; https://suspilne dot media/321128-rosiani-zmensili-ataki-cerez-negodu-ale-kilkist-obstriliv-velika-zelenskij/; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10014[22] https://t.me/mod_russia/21888[23] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02vwp3hev42TuhzQE5EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02R7VFR4B4cgRQ3heLVstnHvW3vWDj1zgrjXyCkJ4nWTSLJ9Wm9HcHCnsFFF8BWSpcl?__cft__[0]=AZXoT4oNUZL7SX9sU0ggDG1KBD1MxPmqzx6VBo4UHNlI0foEjFD8aynHRaH3BPwqBlIOt4c67yNby5rK4aVQLaeaUFSwiJe-fAjtKm2NF1n0IZWUjhLefITIqfx525uJCClWq8TqqqAG2SK3kUUgs25wTmqO_SbyHqaHdTe7fy-N_t_THStZpaiqSAKFNZiu88V64OQ5PXGoooWm4XobOp1W&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[24] https://t.me/millnr/9764; https://t.me/millnr/9768; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/19949; https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/12261; https://t.me/kommunist/13396; https://t.me/miroshnik_r/9639; https://t.me/millnr/9764[25] https://t.me/mod_russia/21914; https://t.me/kommunist/13447; https://t.me/russkiy_opolchenec/35029; https://t.me/mod_russia/21914; https://t.me/mod_russia/21888; https://t.me/razved_dozor/2963 ; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70903 ; https://t.me/mod_russia/21888[26] https://t.me/mod_russia/21888 ; https://t.me/mod_russia/21888[27] https://t.me/miroshnik_r/9642; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02DUMJvAQKSANUkf8uE7JijGLGoyLs8CM6L5RmbjBtVgADgHy7xvQD7VA5HE8Gn81il?__cft__[0]=AZXQGHzeAT3fbmvhxvcxirs7ELVFgkGsxWLgL3OrlfW6lmAEuTD09Itvq04FYbQ8LtHsjSugJXSJlzuYvA6wTIhASL2auAOVtEzCUhGGYjGIuuonc9aDDuCt-Wu9TyfZcBKJZXsQdMA7MY0ZJg9UUqBSwiszZbogQU6woIt-iUGCrfXezBZBbw1Tcftc137VTcNiSisSjn8uu1Sp-lUSE_Cf&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02vwp3hev42TuhzQE5EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl; https://t.me/stranaua/76243 ; https://t.me/millnr/9764;[28] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1594575719454998528?s=20&t=ztz0VNzMh3DkLc0JdVejMg[29] https://t.me/kommunist/13438; https://t.me/epoddubny/13761; https://t.me/sashakots/37261[30] https://t.me/stranaua/76329 ; https://twitter.com/GeoConfirmed/status/1594405522643501059https://twitter.com/tiamat007/status/1593643752211550208[31] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1594575719454998528?s=20&t=ztz0VNzMh3DkLc0JdVejMg; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6964; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02vwp3hev42TuhzQE5EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-19[32] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1594575719454998528?s=20&t=ztz0VNzMh3DkLc0JdVejMg[33] https://t.me/miroshnik_r/9642[34] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-17; 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https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02DUMJvAQKSANUkf8uE7JijGLGoyLs8CM6L5RmbjBtVgADgHy7xvQD7VA5HE8Gn81il?__cft__[0]=AZXQGHzeAT3fbmvhxvcxirs7ELVFgkGsxWLgL3OrlfW6lmAEuTD09Itvq04FYbQ8LtHsjSugJXSJlzuYvA6wTIhASL2auAOVtEzCUhGGYjGIuuonc9aDDuCt-Wu9TyfZcBKJZXsQdMA7MY0ZJg9UUqBSwiszZbogQU6woIt-iUGCrfXezBZBbw1Tcftc137VTcNiSisSjn8uu1Sp-lUSE_Cf&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02R7VFR4B4cgRQ3heLVstnHvW3vWDj1zgrjXyCkJ4nWTSLJ9Wm9HcHCnsFFF8BWSpcl?__cft__[0]=AZXoT4oNUZL7SX9sU0ggDG1KBD1MxPmqzx6VBo4UHNlI0foEjFD8aynHRaH3BPwqBlIOt4c67yNby5rK4aVQLaeaUFSwiJe-fAjtKm2NF1n0IZWUjhLefITIqfx525uJCClWq8TqqqAG2SK3kUUgs25wTmqO_SbyHqaHdTe7fy-N_t_THStZpaiqSAKFNZiu88V64OQ5PXGoooWm4XobOp1W&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[54] https://t.me/mod_russia/21914[55] https://t.me/dva_majors/5835; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02vwp3hev42TuhzQE5EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l; https://t.me/wargonzo/9357; https://t.me/rybar/41333; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02DUMJvAQKSANUkf8uE7JijGLGoyLs8CM6L5RmbjBtVgADgHy7xvQD7VA5HE8Gn81il?__cft__[0]=AZXQGHzeAT3fbmvhxvcxirs7ELVFgkGsxWLgL3OrlfW6lmAEuTD09Itvq04FYbQ8LtHsjSugJXSJlzuYvA6wTIhASL2auAOVtEzCUhGGYjGIuuonc9aDDuCt-Wu9TyfZcBKJZXsQdMA7MY0ZJg9UUqBSwiszZbogQU6woIt-iUGCrfXezBZBbw1Tcftc137VTcNiSisSjn8uu1Sp-lUSE_Cf&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29508; https://t.me/wargonzo/9368 ; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0QS4eFsyV4qERnUC1wHWmuxP8wXAagxLtnvApp4S1BYTjCCLK8MWSh4fhoLXC4qbNl?__cft__[0]=AZW2a2YIqYGjgIzHR3RAOEfKZcGs3gySXf7VGen8H0b2zdqQ-yDxBAQbKd1XhjmRtQz6Tma3Vrr0Bvx4HwDqzAaJWkFBk6EAGQBiwg15QiyhWtR5iDdrOLs6mCt0h9XbJV9-tf1utRzO89WyQMD1Sr6fgg9k8kLkkAx-fwb5HersLg&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://t.me/SobolevskyiYurii/704; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/1925[56] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0263QZVxwSQg2irFd297snMEKWsDzSJ7FM43uk8zzGtq5er6bzXJT9KhH6LMCwKPZWl[57] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l[58] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/914[59] https://t.me/hueviyherson/29556 ; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29558 ; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29555 ; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29554 ; https://t.me/stranaua/76300; https://twitter.com/Tendar/status/1594726002080583684?s=20&t=dcafgMQlHzFdefX1nM_6ug[60] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l[61] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02vwp3hev42TuhzQE5EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14824; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14822; https://t.me/wargonzo/9368[62] https://t.me/mod_russia/21888; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14840[63] https://t.me/rybar/41333; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1459; https://t.me/vilkul/2275; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2492; https://t.me/rybar/41350; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2509 ; https://t.me/spravdi/21229[64] https://t.me/dva_majors/5835; https://t.me/readovkanews/47284; https://t.me/vrogov/6164; https://t.me/wargonzo/9368; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70858 ; https://t.me/rt_russian/137496; https://t.me/russkiy_opolchenec/35028; https://tass dot ru/armiya-i-opk/16379691[65] https://t.me/notes_veterans/6704 ; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/23112 ; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1594656239954296832?s=20&t=jb9SxilUwh3qLmMSjPwBqg; https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1594641473814908929?s=20&t=jb9SxilUwh3qLmMSjPwBqg[66] https://t.me/istories_media/1749[67] https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12763; https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12764[68] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/ia-emu-hovoriu-ia-na-ui-vozvrashchatsia-ne-budu-poshyol-ty-na-ui-e-at-komandyru-ponial.html[69] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02vwp3hev42TuhzQE5EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl[70] https://t.me/astrapress/16135; https ://telegra.ph/Pervoe-intervyu-osvobozhdyonnogo-iz-podvala-DNR-mobilizovannogo-rossiyanina-otkazavshegosya-voevat-11-20; https ://telegra.ph/My-rasstrelyaem-vas-i-skinem-v-odnu-yamu-a-rodstvennikam-soobshchim-chto-vy-bez-vesti-propali-11-09; http s://telegra.ph/Otkazavshihsya-voevat-rossiyan-uderzhivayut-v-podvalah-LDNR-11-09; https://t.me/astrapress/14986; https://t.me/astrapress/14563; https://t.me/astrapress/14640[71] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-17[72] https://t.me/Sladkov_plus/6705 ; https://t.me/notes_veterans/6718[73] https://t.me/sotaproject/49778[74] https://t.me/astrapress/16125; https://t.me/pushilindenis/2913[75] https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12763[76] https://t.me/sotaproject/49787[77] https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/21/politsiya-zaderzhala-aktivistku-mariyu-voloh-za-antivoennuyu-aktsiyu-u-minoborony-rf[78] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02DUMJvAQKSANUkf8uE7JijGLGoyLs8CM6L5RmbjBtVgADgHy7xvQD7VA5HE8Gn81il?__cft__[0]=AZXQGHzeAT3fbmvhxvcxirs7ELVFgkGsxWLgL3OrlfW6lmAEuTD09Itvq04FYbQ8LtHsjSugJXSJlzuYvA6wTIhASL2auAOVtEzCUhGGYjGIuuonc9aDDuCt-Wu9TyfZcBKJZXsQdMA7MY0ZJg9UUqBSwiszZbogQU6woIt-iUGCrfXezBZBbw1Tcftc137VTcNiSisSjn8uu1Sp-lUSE_Cf&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[79] https://t.me/chubarov_refat/1072[80] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02vwp3hev42TuhzQE5EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl[81] https://t.me/kommunist/13446; http://publication dot pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202211210035?index=0&rangeSize=1[82] https://t.me/mobilizationnews/4280 ; https://twitter.com/markito0171/status/1594622063934947329[83] https://t.me/millnr/9763[84] https://t.me/a_sapozhnikov_chita/3219; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/21/glava-administratsii-chity-ushel-v-otstavku-chtoby-poehat-na-voynu; https://t.me/stranaua/76321 ; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70896[85] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02R7VFR4B4cgRQ3heLVstnHvW3vWDj1zgrjXyCkJ4nWTSLJ9Wm9HcHCnsFFF8BWSpcl?__cft__[0]=AZXoT4oNUZL7SX9sU0ggDG1KBD1MxPmqzx6VBo4UHNlI0foEjFD8aynHRaH3BPwqBlIOt4c67yNby5rK4aVQLaeaUFSwiJe-fAjtKm2NF1n0IZWUjhLefITIqfx525uJCClWq8TqqqAG2SK3kUUgs25wTmqO_SbyHqaHdTe7fy-N_t_THStZpaiqSAKFNZiu88V64OQ5PXGoooWm4XobOp1W&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[86] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/20/okupanty-vyvezly-500-kolaborantiv-z-hersonshhyny-ta-zaporizhzhya-do-krymu/[87] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/20/okupanty-vyvezly-500-kolaborantiv-z-hersonshhyny-ta-zaporizhzhya-do-krymu/[88] https://t.me/glava_lnr_info/486[89] https://t.me/glava_lnr_info/486[90] https://isw.pub/UkrWar111622 ; https://isw.pub/UkrWar111222[91] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/21/rosiyany-peretvoryuyut-gotelni-kompleksy-na-tot-u-vijskovi-czili/[92] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/20/na-zaporizhzhi-rosiyany-hovayut-svoyu-tehniku-v-likarnyah-ta-sered-zhylyh-budynkiv/ ; https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov.ua/2022/11/20/na-zaporizhzhi-rosiyany-hovayut-svoyu-tehniku-v-likarnyah-ta-sered-zhylyh-budynkiv/

[Author: ISWKF] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
 Kateryna Stepanenko, Frederick W. Kagan, and Grace MappesNovember 20, 9:15 ET Click here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.ISW is publishing an abbreviated campaign update today, November 20. This report discusses the rising influence of the milblogger (military correspondent or voenkor) community in Russia despite its increasingly critical commentary on the conduct of the war. The milblogger community reportedly consists of over 500 independent authors and has emerged as an authoritative voice on the Russian war.[1] The community maintains a heavily pro-war and Russian nationalist outlook and is intertwined with prominent Russian nationalist ideologists. Milbloggers’ close relationships with armed forces – whether Russian Armed Forces, Chechen special units, Wagner Group mercenaries, or proxy formations – have given this community an authoritative voice arguably louder in the Russian information space than the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD). Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended the milbloggers from MoD attacks and protected their independence even as he increases oppression and censorship throughout Russia.The Kremlin has allowed the ever-growing informal milblogger community to gain a quasi-official but independent position despite otherwise increasing domestic repression and censorship. The Kremlin has historically promulgated its state narrative via Russian federal outlets, TV, and print media, but has allowed the highly individualistic and often critical milblogger community to put forth its own narratives regarding this war. The milblogger community is composed of a wide range of characters ranging from those who support the Kremlin while criticizing the Russian military command to some who have directly blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russia’s consistent military failures in Ukraine. That the Kremlin tolerates the miblogger community is astonishing given its censorship of other more traditional outlets including opposition and foreign media.Russian milbloggers are not merely cheerleaders for the war – they are emerging as a group with a distinct voice within Russia. Milbloggers offer a highly informal platform that differs dramatically from the Russian MoD’s structured presentation of the war. Milbloggers largely publish self-authored content on Russian social media platforms such as Telegram, VK, and RuTube in a casual and approachable manner. Most prominent milbloggers either operate on the frontlines or have sources within Russian military structures, which allows them to form assessments based on first-hand accounts independent of MoD information and censorship.The milbloggers are not fully separate from the Russian government, however. Russian investigative outlet The Bell, for example, uncovered that the creator of one of the most influential Russian Telegram channels, Rybar, is a former employee of the Russian MoD’s press service.[2] Other milbloggers are correspondents of Russian state media outlets such as Komsomoslkaya Pravda, Ria, and RiaFan where they maintain their highly opinionated coverage of the war and even offer recommendations to improve the conduct of the Russian military campaign. Some proxy officials from occupied Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts also operate as milbloggers because they voice their opinions, share analysis from other milbloggers, and disseminate footage from the frontlines independent of the Kremlin and often at odds with the official MoD and Kremlin lines.Select milbloggers are now holding official positions within the Kremlin. Putin has promoted some prominent milbloggers with large numbers of followers in order to reach the nationalist constituency to which they speak and most importantly to prevent this group from turning against Putinism. Putin appointed a prominent Russian milblogger and correspondent for Komsomolskaya Pravda, Alexander (Sasha) Kots as a member of the Russian Human Rights Council on November 20, for example, as ISW has previously reported.[3] Putin has met individually with some Russian milbloggers and invited them to attend his annexation speech on September 30.[4] Putin’s engagements with these milbloggers have not softened their commentary on the war, however. They continue to criticize the Russian war effort and especially the Russian MoD even as Putin defends and promotes them.Some Russian milbloggers have close ties with prominent nationalist ideologists. Nationalist and former member of the Russian State Duma Zakhar Prilepin (known for creating a volunteer battalion in occupied Donetsk Oblast in 2017) and founder of the modern-day National Bolshevik Party Eduard Limonov reportedly celebrated Russian milblogger Semyon Pegov (known under the alias Wargonzo).[5] Milbloggers also host podcasts with widely known Russian neo-nationalists such as Alexander Dugin and perestroika-era Soviet TV personality Alexander Lyubimov.[6] The milbloggers’ affiliation and mutual promotion with these figures foster a maximalist goal of full Russian supremacy in Ukraine within the information space. Dugin even directly blamed Putin for Russia’s military failures following the Russian withdrawal from Kherson City, in fact, criticizing Putin for failing to embrace Russian nationalist ideology fully enough.[7] Dugin’s criticism did not lead other milbloggers to criticize Putin explicitly, but neither did the milbloggers defend Putin against Dugin’s critique or attack Dugin.Putin has likely blocked MoD attempts to purge or otherwise control the milbloggers. ISW reported on October 14 that unspecified Russian senior officials within the Russian MoD attempted to criminally prosecute the most prominent milbloggers.[8] Russian milbloggers publicly criticized the Russian MoD for the censorship attempt, continued their normal war coverage, and did not report receiving criminal charges. Unknown Russian officials had previously attacked Russian milbloggers by accusing them of revealing Russian positions to Ukrainian forces.[9] Putin has apparently stood by the milbloggers, however, recently commenting on the importance of transparency and accuracy in war reporting—a comment that could only have been aimed at the milblogger coverage.[10]The prominence of the milblogger community is likely a direct result of the Kremlin’s failure to establish an effective Telegram presence stemming from Putin’s general failure to prepare his people for a serious and protracted war. Russian media statistics center Brand Analytics noted that between the start of the war on February 24 and October 1, the number of Russian bloggers on Telegram increased by 58% while the use of banned Western social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter decreased markedly.[11] Telegram also has the highest percent increase of daily published content (23%) compared with to other Russian social media outlets over that period. The Bell noted that Rybar’s following increased sharply in September and October to over a million followers amidst partial mobilization and the start of Ukrainian counteroffensives in the east and south.[12] The growth of Telegram and the case of Rybar highlight Russians’ distrust of the Kremlin’s official narratives and search for more accurate reporting. The Ukrainian government, it is worth noting, took the opposite approach. Instead of attempting to centralize reporting on the war, Kyiv tasked all regional officials to start official Telegram channels to provide information regarding the war in real time.[13]The Kremlin struggles to emulate the success of Russian pro-war siloviki figures online. Chechen leader and silovik Ramzan Kadyrov is the most followed Russian milblogger with over three million followers on Telegram. Kadyrov’s Telegram channel closely resembles the other milbloggers’ in format and features Kadyrov’s video rants, combat footage, and unfiltered opinions on the course of the “special military operation.”[14] Kadyrov’s channel, however, has a more coherent narrative than the individual milbloggers given his personal interests in promoting his troops.[15] Wagner Group-affiliated milbloggers also promote mercenary forces at the expense of criticizing the Russian MoD and traditional forces.[16] Prominent Kremlin state TV propagandists Vladimir Solovyov and Margarita Simonyan, on the other hand, only have 1.4 million and 500,000 followers on Telegram respectively and have begun echoing some Russian milblogger critiques on their Telegram channels.[17] The Russian MoD channel has even fewer followers on Telegram than Solovyov and Simonyan despite the growth of the platform – only 480,000.Putin continues to double down on support for the independence of milblogger reporting even as he doubles down on efforts to mobilize the Russian population for war. These two phenomena are almost certainly related.  Putin likely recognizes that the Kremlin and especially the MoD has lost whatever trust many Russians may have had in the veracity of its claims as well as the need to rely on such voices as pro-war Russians find authentic to retain support for the increasing sacrifices he is demanding.  Putin’s defense of the milbloggers’ criticisms of his chosen officials is remarkable. It suggests that he sees retaining the support of at least some notable segment of the Russian population as a center of gravity for the war effort if not for the survival of his regime and that he is willing to endure critiques from a group he perceives as loyal to secure that center of gravity. Will the milbloggers remain loyal to Putin and the war effort if the Russian military continues to struggle and suffer setbacks? How will Putin react if they do not? These questions could become significant as Putin increases his demands on his reluctant population to provide cannon fodder for a failing war.Key inflections in ongoing military operations on November 20:The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on November 20 that Russian special services are planning false flag attacks on Belarusian critical infrastructure facilities to pressure the Belarusian military to enter the war in Ukraine.[18] The Ukrainian General Staff added that Ukrainian officials have not observed the formation of any Belarusian assault groups.[19] ISW continues to assess that it is unlikely that Belarusian forces will invade Ukraine.Russian and Ukrainian sources reported ongoing fighting along the Svatove-Kreminna line on November 20.[20] Russian sources noted that deteriorating weather conditions are impacting hostilities.[21]A Ukrainian military official stated that Ukrainian forces have liberated 12 settlements in Luhansk Oblast since the start of the eastern counteroffensive.[22]The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed to strike a Ukrainian troop concentration in the area of Novoselivske, Luhansk Oblast.[23] The Russian MoD previously claimed to repel Ukrainian attacks on the settlement, and this claim might indicate that Ukrainian forces advanced to the settlement.Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and western Donetsk directions.[24] Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces continued to transfer some forces from the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River to other operational directions, but still maintain a significant force presence in southern Kherson Oblast.[25]Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that shelling damaged the infrastructure of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).[26] One Russian milblogger claimed that the shelling came from Russian-controlled territory south of the plant, but most Russian sources accused Ukraine.[27]Russian occupation officials may have purged the occupation Mayor of Enerhodar Alexander Volga.[28] Some Russian sources claimed that Volga received a promotion within the occupation administration.[29]Russian military officials continued mobilization measures amid reports of ongoing resistance and poor conditions.[30] Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update. [1] https://re-russia.net/review/122/; https://t.me/kremlebezBashennik/28539[2] https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/19/the-bell-vyyasnil-imya-sozdatelya-rybarya-eto-31-letniy-byvshiy-sotrudnik-press-sluzhby-minoborony; https://thebell dot io/sozdatel-rybarya-prodolzhenie-rassledovaniya-the-bell[3] https://www.gazeta dot ru/politics/2022/11/17/15798235.shtml; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/17/putin-isklyuchil-pravozaschitnikov-iz-soveta-po-pravam-cheloveka-i-vklyuchil-v-nego-korrespondenta-komsomolskoy-pravdy-aleksandra-kotsa[4] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-10; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-30[5] https://russiapost dot info/politics/voenkor[6] https://tlgrm dot ru/channels/@wargonzo/9273[7] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-12[8] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-14[9] https://t.me/vladlentatarsky/14877; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/15525; https://t.me/vladlentatarsky/14877; https://t.me/juchkovsky/2493; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/56620; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-9[10] https://t.me/readovkanews/46877[11] https://br-analytics dot ru/blog/rus-social-media-sept-2022/[12] https://thebell dot io/kto-vedet-voennyy-telegram-kanal-rybar-rassledovanie-the-bell[13] https://www.kmu.gov dot ua/news/shchob-uniknuti-fejkiv-koristuyemos-oficijnimi-dzherelami[14] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2911; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3009; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/10/25/kadyrov-nazval-slabym-otvet-na-obstrely-territorii-rossii-prizval-stirat-s-zemli-goroda-i-nazyvat-spetsoperatsiyu-voynoy; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3039; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2962; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3049; https://t.me/kavkazrealii/11790; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3057; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3064   [15] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2939; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2961; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2965; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2988; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3021; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3027; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3029 ; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3031; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3030 ; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3031 [16] https://meduza.io/feature/2022/10/04/kadyrov-i-prigozhin-regulyarno-i-podozritelno-sinhronno-kritikuyut-rossiyskuyu-armiyu-chego-oni-dobivayutsya ; https://www.rbcdotru/politics/21/08/2017/5999947f9a79470b77c71d3f ; https://t.me/stranaua/67672   https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/53322; https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/53269; https://t.me/grey_zone/15359[17] https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1574458606313156608?s=20&t=CFq5xMOynOIbJq78FZEBjA[18] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/rosiiski-spetssluzhby-planuiut-provokatsii-na-biloruskykh-obiektakh-krytychnoi-infrastruktury-zokrema-na-biloruskii-aes.html; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/10758[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l[20] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6964; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10014; https://t.me/millnr/9758; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10017 [21] https://t.me/dva_majors/5835; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10014; https://t.me/vysokygovorit/10017 [22] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/11/20/u-luganskij-oblasti-12-naselenyh-punktiv-pid-ukrayinskym-praporom-sergij-cherevatyj/[23] https://t.me/mod_russia/21888; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-19[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l[25] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/11/20/na-pivdni-krayiny-vorog-pereformatovuye-svoyi-syly/; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0TebQeoRSt6RjoUSCp2pv1egk2758dirMHnJJPSKCVcSG3hKApkc5EsKGKCajHPt7l; EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl[26] https://t.me/mod_russia/21889; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/10759; https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3132; https://t.me/vrogov/6155;[27] https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14783[28] https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/1273; https://t.me/vrogov/6146; https://t.me/bulbe_de_trones/3373; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14750; https://t.me/readovkanews/47283; https://t.me/readovkanews/47288[29] https://t.me/readovkanews/47288[30] https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12763; https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12764; https://notes.citeam dot org/mobilization-nov-18-19; https://t.me/istories_media/1749; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02vwp3hev42TuhzQE5EEQL9h13rVLNZRrmC7fjqm9LwAF6C42wmzQwJqBZhG3cUijhl; https://t.me/akashevarova/5882; https://t.me/akashevarova/5882; https://t.me/readovkanews/47261; https://ngs55 dot ru/text/politics/2022/11/15/71815355/; https://kostroma dot today/news/v-stroj-53-letnego-kostromicha-s-opuxolyu-mobilizovali-i-muchayut/      

[Author: Alexander Mitchell] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
 Iran Crisis Update, November 20Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 20, 5:30 PM ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei likely issued an unpublished directive to violently suppress anti-regime protests within the past few days. The Supreme Leader discussed protests in a speech in Esfahan City, Esfahan Province on November 19.[1] Khamenei’s speech did not contain significant rhetorical inflections or escalations in the way he discussed quelling unrest compared to prior speeches made in the past several weeks. Several senior regime officials called for a decisive crackdown on demonstrations on November 20, however, as regime violence against protesters in northwestern Iran escalated, suggesting that Khamenei likely greenlit the increased use of force against protesters. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stressed that responsible entities should take urgent and decisive action against “rioters” and blamed Western actors for unrest, mirroring Khamenei’s November 19 rhetoric, on November 20.[2] IRGC Ground Forces Saheb ol Zaman Provincial Unit Commander in Esfahan Province Mojtaba Fada similarly promised a firm response to unrest “at the slightest hint from the [supreme] leader,” likely referencing Khamenei’s November 19 speech.[3] The unit published a statement announcing the arrest of a ”terrorist team” that had killed security personnel in Esfahan Province and possessed firearms and hand-made bombs on the same day.[4] Artesh Executive Deputy Mohammad Mahmoudi additionally stated that the Artesh was at the peak of its operational readiness and was prepared to carry out all its assigned missions on November 20.[5] IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Ali Haji Zadeh also discussed the importance of following the Supreme Leader’s directives in a meeting on November 20.[6]The inflection in regime rhetoric coincides with significant escalations against protesters, particularly throughout northwestern provinces, within the past 24 hours. Reports shared on social media suggested that security personnel shot indiscriminately at protesters in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province on November 19.[7] Iranian authorities deployed elements of the IRGC Ground Forces from the Hamzeh Seyyed ol Shahada Northwestern Operational Base in Ourmia, West Azerbaijan Province to suppress protests in Mahabad on November 19, as CTP has previously reported.[8] Anti-regime outlet Iran International reported that local authorities told Mahabad residents that the local governor would deliver a speech but instead opened fire at the assembled crowd on November 20.[9] Footage shows regime personnel in technicals apparently shooting heavy machine guns, and heavy machine gun fire is audible in several videos.[10]  Social media users have documented the increased use of force against protesters in other areas as well. Security personnel were documented shooting at protesters in several cities including Piranshahr and Takab in West Azerbaijan Province, Javanroud in Kermansah Province, and Marivan in Kurdistan Province on November 20.[11] Social media users additionally recorded footage of helicopters circling Mahabad and Boukan, West Azerbaijan Province.[12] Protesters continued to engage in anti-regime demonstrations despite this increased regime violence on November 20.[13]The increase in regime violence against protesters and the deployment of combat units of the IRGC Ground Forces could be related to rumors that Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani has been fired or has resigned.[14] The rumors remain unconfirmed and, although Shamkhani has not appeared or made any statements since they surfaced his silence is not particularly unusual. Pressure on or removal of Shamkhani could reflect a change in the balance of power within the regime inner circle, however, of the sort that could have led to a change in the supreme leader’s guidance about responding to the protests. It is equally possible, however, that regime officials presented the supreme leader with reports on the situation and its trajectory that persuaded him to order the escalation in anti-protester violence without any changes in personnel.The IRGC Ground Forces Hamzeh Seyyed ol Shahada Northwestern operational base announced that it is reinforcing its forces on November 20, suggesting that crackdowns will likely endure and may extend to other cities throughout the region. Social media footage additionally shows what appears to be at least 26 IRGC Ground Forces and Iranian Law Enforcement Command vehicles in Mahabad on November 20.[15] The Hamzeh Seyyed ol Shahada base statement warned of decisive action against purported US-affiliated “anti-Iranian” terrorist groups throughout the area, possibly setting conditions to deploy troops to other cities within Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan Provinces in the coming days.[16]Key TakeawaysSupreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has likely issued an unpublished directive to violently suppress anti-regime protests within the past few days.The IRGC Ground Forces Hamzeh Seyyed ol Shahada Northwestern operational base announced that it is reinforcing its forces on November 20, suggesting that crackdowns will likely endure and may extend to other cities throughout the region.The IRGC attacked a series of anti-regime Kurdish militia positions in Iraqi Kurdistan.Protests occurred in at least 18 cities in eight provinces. At least six protests with 100 or more estimated participants took place in six cities across four provinces on November 20.Tehran Judiciary officials sentenced a sixth arrested protester to death on November 20.Anti-Regime ProtestsProtests occurred in at least 18 cities in eight provinces. At least six protests with 100 or more estimated participants took place in six cities across four provinces on November 20. CTP is using asterisks to denote protests that included mourners commemorating killed protesters.Note: CTP is only providing protest characterizations for demonstrations with over 100 estimated participants to prioritize reporting on developments throughout northwestern Iran. The associated map contains all the demonstrations recorded by CTP.Dashti, Hormozgan Province (population: approximately 4,695)Over 100 protesters chanted "from Dashti to Kurdistan, I will sacrifice my life for Iran" during evening protests at undetermined location in Dashti.[17]Kermanshah City, Kermanshah Province (population: approximately 946,651)At least 100 protesters marched down a Kermanshah street and chanted "death to the dictator." Iranian social media accounts circulated footage of unidentified armed men shooting at unidentified targets, possibly at each other.[18]Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 461,000)More than 100 Kurdistan University students protested on campus and chanted anti-regime slogans.[19]Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 198,845)Roughly 100--possibly more--protesters marched on a city street.[20]*Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 168,393)Possibly more than 100 protesters set fires and erected barriers with debris on Mahabad streets and chanted anti-regime slogans. Regime security forces reportedly opened fire on protesters. Footage from social media depicts several armored trucks/anti-riot vehicles and dozens of regime security personnel moving through a Mahabad street and also depicts regime security force personnel firing at an off-camera target with a machine gun mounted on a technical pickup truck.[21]*Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 91,515)Approximately 100 protesters chanted anti-regime slogans and marched down a Piranhshahr street. Security personnel reportedly killed prominent local Shia cleric Tahir Azizi. Footage from social media depicts protesters fleeing down a Piranshahr street as security forces fire tear gas and live ammunition at them.[22]Tehran Judiciary officials sentenced an arrested protester to death on November 20 for their alleged role in injuring a Basij member in an anti-regime demonstration in Western Tehran. This marks the sixth protester whom Iranian authorities have sentenced to death for participating in the Mahsa Amini protest wave.[23]Prominent Sunni Cleric Moulana Abdol Hamid condemned reports of regime violence against protesters in Mahabad, Western Azerbaijan Province. Abdol Hamid stated that security personnel should refrain from shooting at protesters.[24] Abdol Hamid has become increasingly critical of the regime’s protest suppression response in recent weeks and has incited protests in Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan on several occasions.[25] Abdol Hamid may increasingly seek to expand his influence by connecting with marginalized ethnic minorities beyond those residing in Sistan and Baluchistan in the coming weeks.The New York Times reported that Iranian security personnel have inflicted severe eye injuries on hundreds of Iranians by firing rubber bullets and metal pellets at protesters at close range. The report detailed that security personnel are entering Iranian hospitals to identify and arrest protesters, often interfering with their treatment. Iranian ophthalmologists from three large hospitals in Tehran estimated that their wards had admitted more than 500 patients with severe eye injuries since the Mahsa Amini protests began on September 16.[26]Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsThe IRGC attacked a series of anti-regime Kurdish militia positions in Iraqi Kurdistan. The IRGC launched multiple missiles and loitering munitions at anti-regime Kurdish militia positions in at least three locations across Iraqi Kurdistan.[27] Footage from social media depicts a large explosion after an Iranian drone reportedly launched three missiles at a reported KDPI camp in Koya, Erbil Province.[28] Two likely loitering munitions hit alleged KDPI positions approximately 10 kilometers north of Erbil city.[29] Another loitering munition attacked an alleged Komala headquarters near Sulaymaniyah City, Sulaymaniyah Province.[30] The IRGC renewed air operations against anti-regime Kurdish militia positions on November 14 after approximately a six-week pause, as CTP previously reported.[31]Iran and Turkey may be coordinating military operations in northern Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan to amplify the effect of the airstrikes and missile attacks, possibly to prepare for an incursion by IRGC Ground Forces and/or Turkish ground forces. The IRGC’s re-intensification of its campaign against anti-regime Kurdish militias in Iraqi Kurdistan occurs as Turkey simultaneously conducts an expansive airstrike campaign against Kurdish militias in northern Syria and Iraq.[32] CTP has not observed evidence of any IRGC ground operations into Iraqi Kurdistan, but an IRGC Ground Forces contingent has mobilized to suppress protests across the Iranian border in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province.[33] The IRGC Ground Forces in Mahabad may move across the border into Iraqi Kurdistan after containing unrest in Mahabad. Iran might also use Artesh elements to push across the Iraqi border while IRGC personnel remain focused on internal security.Saudi media outlet Al Hadath aired a report on IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah (LH) personnel transporting several hundred missiles from Syria into Lebanon. Al Hadath reported that LH and IRGC Unit 2250 personnel recently transferred an unspecified number of Fateh-110 and Fajr-3 missiles from a storage facility in Masyaf, Hama Province to Al Qusayr, Homs Province, Syria.[34] Al Hadath also claimed that some of missile payloads contained chemical weapons and that LH personnel would soon transfer the missiles from Al Qusayr to a base in the vicinity of Bint Jbeil, Nabatieh Province, Lebanon.[35] LH has multiple military bases near Bint Jbeil along the Lebanon-Israel border in Nabatieh Province.[36] CTP cannot independently verify this reporting; Al Hadath is a component of the Riyadh-based MBC Group media conglomerate.LH media reported on Iranian security personnel dying in protests for possibly the first time since the current protest wave began. LH-owned Al Ahed News published an article on November 20 that mourned the deaths of one LEC and two IRGC personnel during clashes on November 16 in Esfahan City, Esfahan Province.[37] This is possibly the first instance Hezbollahi media acknowledging Iranian security forces have died in clashes with protesters.[1] https://www.leader dot ir/fa/content/26144/[2] https://president dot ir/fa/140843[3] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/29/2807087/[4] https://defapress dot ir/fa/news/556939/%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%84-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B5%D9%81%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86[5] https://defapress dot ir/fa/news/557063/%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%B4-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%AC-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%88-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%DB%8C-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF[6] https://defapress dot ir/fa/news/557015/%D8%A8%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AB%D9%87-%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%BE%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%86%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%82-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%AA%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%82%D8%A8%D9%84-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA[7] https://twitter.com/truskesadeghi/status/1594092266209132546?s=20&t=nvhk283qsDu4hsORzmYNgg ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594093135994437632?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA[8] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-19[9] https://www.iranintl.com/en/202211206594[10] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594347130646196224?s=20&t=5mgL1dVnsAQDY7YbvdoxrA ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594361265157464071?s=20&t=5mgL1dVnsAQDY7YbvdoxrA ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594291905436827648?s=20&t=fV637NPSNbUoNNF4sCXvQg ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594399008985866240?s=20&t=fV637NPSNbUoNNF4sCXvQg; https://twitter.com/Javanmardi75/status/1594428278537949185?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA[11] https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594408085136805888?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA ; https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594383953351565313?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA ; https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594368873578602501?s=20&t=6k3yShdpKGOq6FdJS47OeQ ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594376929494319104?s=20&t=5mgL1dVnsAQDY7YbvdoxrA ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594380982437974018?s=20&t=5mgL1dVnsAQDY7YbvdoxrA[12] https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594220478595571712?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA ; https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594225514725707776?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA ; https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594226071041368064?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA[13] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594347130646196224?s=20&t=5mgL1dVnsAQDY7YbvdoxrA[14] https://ir.voanews.com/a/irans-shamkhani-about-to-resign-after-failing-to-control-the-protests/6841313.html[15] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594325527434649603?s=20&t=5mgL1dVnsAQDY7YbvdoxrA[16] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/29/2807396/%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D8%B1%D8%A8-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85[17] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594364632558346243?s=20&t=LqvZeVd3GKPw8nYkgFDHIQ[18] https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594376267528282115?s=20&t=kUlp-UKOmUMPc5XtfMw-IA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594390420985106432?s=20&t=WlNnQmacZWXm5uTHLiMLSw; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594369548085501952?s=20&t=9TcGHroOg0xjIRms8MHvsA[19] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594333830567325696?s=20&t=E9VYlr3FFO5TLA14pu7MCw;[20] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594034409497239556?s=20&t=ZzTCnbEvHcIW0cb3v4F0cQ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594034054818562053?s=20&t=ZzTCnbEvHcIW0cb3v4F0cQ[21] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594347130646196224?s=20&t=5mgL1dVnsAQDY7YbvdoxrA ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594361265157464071?s=20&t=5mgL1dVnsAQDY7YbvdoxrA ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594291905436827648?s=20&t=fV637NPSNbUoNNF4sCXvQg ; https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594399008985866240?s=20&t=fV637NPSNbUoNNF4sCXvQg; https://twitter.com/Javanmardi75/status/1594428278537949185?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA[22] https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1594434610431238147?s=20&t=qMPwvJQCDrGWrehnZKtESg; https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594429462711619584?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA; https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1594420965458739200?s=20&t=qMPwvJQCDrGWrehnZKtESg; https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1594409973110525953?s=20&t=ULE4_Aa3blRB6BRZazZzeg[23] https://www.mizan dot news/4521595[24] https://twitter.com/AbdolhamidNet/status/1594346724176588800?s=20&t=4hZJXp5p0piFjNU9P4ERrg[25] https://www.iranintl.com/202211184742 ; https://abdolhamid dot net/persian/2022/11/11/12958/ ; https://twitter.com/farzinkadkhodae/status/1591086896155099137?s=20&t=y2oucROgQgN34kMQs1Iesw ; https://twitter.com/ICHRI/status/1591079697093636096?s=20&t=9xqWMgPaTenYSyTJo_A8SA ; https://twitter.com/Omid_M/status/1585964374522478592?s=20&t=9xqWMgPaTenYSyTJo_A8SA ; https://twitter.com/DrRohamAlvandi/status/1585161951046664197?s=20&t=9xqWMgPaTenYSyTJo_A8SA ; https://twitter.com/ICHRI/status/1586099548614795265?s=20&t=9xqWMgPaTenYSyTJo_A8SA[26] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/19/world/asia/iran-protesters-eye-injuries.html[27] https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/29996-Iran-renews-attacks-on-Iranian-Kurdish-opposition-parties-in-Kurdistan-Region[28] https://twitter.com/Tammuz_Intel/status/1594446065868058624?s=20&t=fvQFROaWFdAjeYRBU_aRQg; https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/29996-Iran-renews-attacks-on-Iranian-Kurdish-opposition-parties-in-Kurdistan-Region; https://twitter.com/RudawEnglish/status/1594453494374666240?s=20&t=fvQFROaWFdAjeYRBU_aRQg[29] https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/29996-Iran-renews-attacks-on-Iranian-Kurdish-opposition-parties-in-Kurdistan-Region[30] https://twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1594461142222794752?s=20&t=8MO7EAKV1g-AAlCNxn_U8A[31] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-14[32] https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/turkish-air-strikes-hit-villages-northern-syria-sdf-2022-11-19/[33] https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594343926839869440?s=20&t=TTbhYDuXA_oB52GrOFlsXA[34] https://twitter.com/AlHadath/status/1594361581604831232?s=20&t=m6nS5ACqSx5k7rxB1m2oSQ[35] https://twitter.com/AlHadath/status/1594361581604831232?s=20&t=m6nS5ACqSx5k7rxB1m2oSQ[36] https://israel-alma.org/2021/05/04/six-hezbollah-military-sites-in-southern-lebanon/[37] https://www dot alahednews dot com dot lb/article.php?id=47883&cid=116   

[Author: Alexander Mitchell] [Category: Iran]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, Dana Alexander Gray, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 19, 6:30 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Unverified reporting and social media footage suggests that the regime deployed the IRGC Ground Forces to violently suppress protests in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province on November 19. An Iranian Kurdish human rights organization reported that Iranian officials had deployed a significant number of armed troops from the IRGC Ground Forces Hamzeh Third Special Forces Division in Ourmia, West Azerbaijan Province amidst reports of widespread unrest.[1] Footage circulating on social media shows numerous armored vehicles within and in the vicinity of Mahabad on November 19.[2] Other footage has audible sounds of artillery being fired.[3] Iranian social media users are reporting heavy gunfire, the indiscriminate use of violence--including shooting into residents’ homes--and electricity cuts throughout the city.[4]This is seemingly the first time that the regime has deployed the IRGC Ground Forces as combat units to suppress unrest since protests commenced on September 16, marking a significant escalation in the regime’s protest response. IRGC Ground Forces personnel have been reportedly killed in previous incidents suggesting that elements of the IRGC Ground Forces have been involved in protest suppression, but this is likely the first time an IRGC Ground Forces unit has deployed with combat kit.[5] This deployment signals the extent to which the regime views ongoing protests as a threat.The commitment of IRGC combat units to unrest suppression could be related in part to uncorroborated reports about the formation of a new anti-regime Kurdish militia in Mahabad. The militia referred to itself as the “Guerrillas of Ishtar” and claimed responsibility for killing three regime security personnel.[6] CTP cannot independently verify the veracity of this claim. The regime may have decided to escalate its violent suppression partly for fear that more organized violent resistance could emerge.An IRGC Ground Forces deployment may also signal bandwidth constraints within Iranian security services; the IRGC Ground Forces historically participate in protest crackdowns when the Iranian Law Enforcement Command has failed to contain upheaval.[7] The IRGC Ground Forces’ reported deployment may additionally make the possibility of an Iranian incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan less likely, as the regime may struggle to balance the commitment of IRGC Ground Forces combat units to internal unrest suppression at the same time as it attempts a ground incursion, depending on the scale of both possible operations. IRGC Quds Force Commander Esmail Ghaani reportedly warned that the IRGC will conduct ground operations against anti-regime militant positions in Iraqi Kurdistan unless the Iraqi army fortifies the Iran-Iraq Kurdistan border and disarms all anti-regime Kurdish militias operating within Iraqi Kurdistan on November 18.[8]The regime’s violent escalation in Mahabad may backfire and instead intensify anti-regime demonstrations. Iranian social media users quickly called for nation-wide demonstrations on November 20 to condemn the regime’s protest suppression tactics in Mahabad on November 19.[9]The number and scale of ongoing, anti-regime protests have already intensified in recent days. Protest organizations have successfully extended protest activity beyond the Bloody Aban demonstrations planned for November 15, 16, and 17 and sustained momentum on November 18 and November 19.[10] Protest activity may continue at its current level for the next two days as protest organization groups are calling for further unrest until November 21, the final day of the Iranian calendar month of Aban.[11] This level of sustained protest activity marks an inflection in the pattern established by protesters in recent weeks, wherein high protest activity was followed by decreased demonstrations in the days thereafter. The scale of protests has also maintained its momentum in recent days. Footage shows that larger crowds have participated in anti-regime demonstrations on November 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19 compared to prior days. The number and scale of protests in the past several days is similar to those at the beginning of the Mahsa Amini protest movement in mid-September 2022.Protests have also become increasingly violent--for protesters and security personnel alike—in recent days. An Iran-focused human rights organization increased its estimate of killed protesters from 342 on November 16 to 378 on November 19, indicating that roughly nine percent of all Iranians killed while participating in the Mahsa Amini protest movement died within that three-day period.[12]  Footage documenting funerals for killed protesters have also increased in number in recent days, further corroborating reports of increased violence. Estimates suggest that recent deaths have still not surpassed the death toll recorded in mid-to-late September, however. Iranian security personnel have sustained relatively significant casualties since November 15 as well, a change from protest activity in prior weeks. At least six security personnel died on November 17, two on November 16, and possibly three on November 15.[13]Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continued to blame anti-regime demonstrations on Western actors in a speech in Esfahan City, Esfahan Province on November 19. Khamenei framed popular protests as an extension of America’s so-called soft power war waged against the Islamic Republic targeting Iranian youth. Khamenei noted that Iranian officials were also susceptible to and propagating Western soft power tactics, possibly corroborating reports of fissures within senior members of the regime as CTP reported on November 18.[14] The Supreme Leader drew a rhetorical distinction between peaceful protesters and “rioters.”[15]Key TakeawaysUnverified reporting suggests that the regime deployed the IRGC Ground Forces to violently suppress protests in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province on November 19, marking a violent escalation in the regime’s response to protests.The number and scale of ongoing, anti-regime protests have intensified and become increasingly violent in recent days.Protests occurred in at least 20 cities in 10 provinces. 14 protests with 100 or more estimated participants took place in nine cities across six provinces on November 19.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continued to blame anti-regime demonstrations on Western actors on November 19.Israeli combat aircraft conducted airstrikes against multiple Syria Arab Army and IRGC or Iranian proxy militia positions in western Syria on November 19.Anti-Regime ProtestsProtests occurred in at least 20 cities in 10 provinces. At least 14 protests with 100 or more estimated participants took place in nine cities across six provinces on November 19. CTP is using asterisks to denote protests that included mourners commemorating killed protesters.Note: CTP is only providing protest characterizations for demonstrations with over 100 estimated participants to prioritize reporting on developments in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province. The associated map contains all the demonstrations recorded by CTP.Ardabil, Ardabil Province (population: approximately 588,000)Over a hundred protestors chanted “shameless” on a city street. LEC special units attempted to disperse many of the protestors from a city square with tear gas.[16]Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 1,559,000)Hundreds of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences students marched on campus.[17]*Shiraz, Fars Province (population: approximately 1,566,000)Hundreds of mourners attending Sajjad Ghaemi's funeral ran from security personnel in the vicinity of a Shiraz highway. Footage from social media features audible gunshots and shows security personnel seemingly firing tear gas at protesters.[18]Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 461,000)Hundreds of student protesters chanted anti-regime slogans on campus. Security personnel purportedly shot at Kurdistan University student protesters.[19]*Tehran City, Tehran Province (population: approximately 8,700,000)Roughly 100 K.N. University of Technology students chanted anti-regime slogans on campus. Security personnel reportedly threw tear gas at protesters.[20]Hundreds of mourners gathered to commemorate Hamid Reza Rouhi, whom security personnel killed for participating in anti-regime protests.[21]Hundreds of Shahid Beheshti University students chanted anti-regime slogans on campus.[22]Qods, Tehran Province (population: approximately 316,636)Over 100 student protesters gathered on campus. Footage shows security personnel violently arresting student protesters.[23]Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 198,845)Roughly 100--possibly more--protesters marched on a city street.[24]*Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 168,393)Hundreds of mourners gathered to commemorate Kamal Ahmadpour, whom security personnel killed in on November 18 for participating in anti-regime protests. Mourners chanted "Martyr's don't die."[25]Hundreds of protesters gathered on a Mahabad city street and sat in support of anti-regime protests. Footage shows a fire lit on the same street. Iranian social media accounts reported that regime security forces cut electricity to the city and began shooting into large crowds of protesters during evening protests.[26]Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 91,515)Roughly 70-100 protesters--possibly more-- chanted anti-regime slogans and lit a fire on a Piranshahr city street.[27]The Islamic Azad University’s daily newspaper Farhikhegan published an editorial which claimed street protests had become urban war. The editorial urged security forces to take decisive action and to use combat units against protestors.[28]Expediency Council Member Gholam Ali Hadadadel warned that the Islamic Revolution was in a “sensitive position” despite boasting of advances under the Islamic Republic.[29] Hadadadel’s statement contradicts Supreme Leader Khamenei’s November 19 comments that protests had not damaged and could not damage the regime.[30] Hadadadel is the father-in-law of the Supreme Leader‘s son Mojtaba Khamenei, who wields considerable influence within the regime.[31]Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsIsraeli combat aircraft conducted airstrikes against multiple Syria Arab Army (SAA) and IRGC or Iranian proxy militia positions in western Syria on November 19. The airstrikes targeted likely IRGC command and control centers and precision-guided munition (PGM) production and storage facilities located in Homs and Hama Provinces.[32] Israeli combat aircraft also targeted and destroyed an SAA air defense system in Jableh, Latakia Province that the Syrian Ministry of Defense claimed was attempting to shoot down the Israeli aircraft.[33] The operation reportedly wounded one and killed four SAA soldiers.[34] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed some of the airstrikes targeted military sites near Masyaf, Hama Province.[35] The IRGC operates a well-known PGM storage and production facility in Masyaf, which Israeli combat aircraft have targeted repeatedly and as recently as August 25.[36]The Masyaf facility’s short distance from a critical Russian military logistics node makes it a plausible channel for Iranian arms transfers to Russia. Masyaf is approximately 50 kilometers from Hmeimem airbase, one of the Russian military’s most important logistics hubs for the Syrian theater.[37] Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev met with Iranian President Raisi and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani likely to discuss the sale of Iranian ballistic missiles and other PGMs – such as the Iranian Shahed-136 loitering munition that Russia has used on the battlefield in Ukraine – on November 9, as ISW previously reported.[38] The Washington Post claimed on November 19 that Iran and Russia had finalized an agreement on the transaction.[39] Iran could be using the Maysaf facility to expedite PGM production and shipments to Russia via Hmeimem airbase. Israel may have targeted the PGM production facilities in part to obstruct Iranian efforts to deliver the weapons to Russia.Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hossein and US officials discussed the continued presence of US forces in Iraq to support the fight against ISIS. Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hossein met with a US delegation headed by US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl on November 19 in Manama, Bahrain on the sidelines of the annual IISS Manama Conference.[40] Kahl’s office published a press release after the meeting reaffirming that the US is committed to its strategic partnership with Iraq and to maintaining US forces in Iraq to support the fight against ISIS.[41][1] https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594074721444069376?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA[2] https://twitter.com/mamadporii/status/1594076402763984898/video/1 ;[3] https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594074721444069376?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA ; https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1594074721444069376?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA ; https://twitter.com/eyadbon/status/1594078776689917955?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA[4] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594093135994437632?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA ; https://twitter.com/truskesadeghi/status/1594092266209132546?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA[5] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-23[6] https://twitter.com/Jake_Hanrahan/status/1593676798595923969?s=20&t=jlBau7nerHZMNNIbXi27ig; nuceciwan117 dot xyz[7] https://www.criticalthreats.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Whatever-it-takes-to-end-it.pdf[8]  https://apnews.com/article/iran-middle-east-iraq-tehran-baghdad-c0b63cf0ad45f5e087eb67e1110437b6[9] https://twitter.com/Shahinlooo/status/1594089716277825536?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA ; https://twitter.com/Sadafbanooo/status/1594112846815952896?s=20&t=naMNhEcc8pCx8l-SXoROhA[10] https://twitter.com/javanane_k/status/1593284968595263489?s=20&t=DD8uLl9gOg4Z9Zed93qQ6g[11] https://twitter.com/iran_javanan/status/1593000512961777666[12] https://www.iranhr.net/en/articles/5589/ ; https://www.iranhr.net/en/articles/5594/[13] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-15 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-16 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-17[14] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-18[15] https://www.leader dot ir/fa/content/26144/[16] https://twitter.com/aznews_tv/status/1593988769685848067; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594008496713961474?s=20&t=W5294bc9aWHgSQKVYL1RlA[17] https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1593983314565529600?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA[18] https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1594058021818486785?s=20&t=E6vhe7KENyLCbseyslrF-g; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594025202689921025?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594023166355161088?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594017245734150146?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594022249132167170?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA[19] https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1593967980685262849?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594016709391790080?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA[20] https://twitter.com/KhosroKalbasi/status/1593953478975651840?s=20&t=uttAwlinDJjrJ09b6_iCBg; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1593997381284118529?s=20&t=NYhWtkukBjFQ1AtiYRayWg[21] https://twitter.com/Vahid/status/1593974464609488896?s=20&t=cCGRccZ0_tYIes9crn5pzw; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1593992923569393664?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA[22] https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1593971049489743872?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA[23] https://twitter.com/avan67659226/status/1593898636223586308?s=20&t=cCGRccZ0_tYIes9crn5pzw; https://twitter.com/hra_news/status/1594014169619202053?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA[24] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594034409497239556?s=20&t=ZzTCnbEvHcIW0cb3v4F0cQ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1594034054818562053?s=20&t=ZzTCnbEvHcIW0cb3v4F0cQ[25] https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593904614528921600?s=20&t=dbI7fBcYtIsC58wk9bUvhA; https://twitter.com/shlerbapiri/status/1593895307984703488?s=20&t=BTyIA-zANX9hIwcY6SB0lw; https://twitter.com/SamRasoulpour/status/1593881403200098304?s=20&t=9U7SN0dlgBlgbzfKfRlbwg; https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593908086745481220?s=20&t=DedLZZqHfcyG9qNrW8cDmw[26] https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1594038107577483267?s=20&t=EDrOVWpOcTjAeHD20e7Uzw; https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1594028242930999300?s=20&t=EDrOVWpOcTjAeHD20e7Uzw; https://twitter.com/IHRights/status/1593915612400607233?s=20&t=hD1L3TXUdhNEYM2IJKoiwA[27] https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593980721659629568?s=20&t=2-Vtc1Sy0KzmJcv1ZOyMtA[28][29] https://www.irna dot ir/news/84947257/خواص-باید-معقول-منطقی-و-مختصر-حرف-بزنند-عقب-نشینی-نخواهیم-کرد[30] https://www.leader dot ir/fa/content/26144/[31] https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm824[32] https://www dot jpost.com/breaking-news/article-722802; https://www.syriahr.com/en/276664/;[33] mod dot gov dot sy/index.php?node=5642&nid=35040&First=0&Last=10900&CurrentPage=0&FD=&TD=&&ctr=655;[34] https://www.haaretz dot com/middle-east-news/2022-11-19/ty-article/.premium/four-reported-dead-in-alleged-israeli-airstrike-in-syria/00000184-8e54-d53f-a5fe-aed6dfea0000[35] https://www.syriahr.com/en/276664/[36] https://israel-alma dot org/2022/10/24/if-you-defend-a-target-you-become-a-target/[37] https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/06/russia-expands-syrian-air-base-boost-regional-presence; https://www.mei.edu/publications/how-russia-made-hemeimeem-air-base-its-african-hub; https://www.voanews.com/a/middle-east_russia-expands-military-facilities-syria/6205742.html[38] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-9[39] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/19/russia-iran-drones-secret-deal/[40] https://www dot kurdistan24 dot net/ar/story/32833-%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B4%D9%86%D8%B7%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%AF%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82-%D9%88%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%AF%D9%8A-%22%D9%85%D8%AE%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%81%22-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%A3%D9%86-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87[41] https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/3224037/readout-of-under-secretary-of-defense-for-policy-dr-colin-kahls-meeting-with-ir/ 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Iran]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
 Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Angela Howard, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 19, 6:30pm ETClick here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian forces are reportedly beginning to reinforce their positions in occupied Luhansk, Donetsk, and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts with personnel from Kherson Oblast and mobilized servicemen. The Ukrainian General Staff reported an increase in Russian military personnel in Luhansk City and noted that Russian forces are housing servicemen in abandoned homes in Krasne and Simeikyne about 30km southeast of Luhansk City.[1] Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai stated that Russian forces are transferring the remnants of the Russian airborne units from right (west) bank Kherson Oblast to Luhansk Oblast.[2] Luhansk Oblast Military Administration added that a part of redeploying Russian troops is arriving in Novoaidar, approximately 55km east of Severodonetsk.[3] Advisor to Mariupol Mayor Petro Andryushenko also noted the arrival of redeployed personnel and military equipment to Mariupol, stating that Russian forces are placing 10,000 to 15,000 servicemen in the Mariupol Raion.[4] Andryushenko stated that newly mobilized men are deploying to the presumably western Donetsk Oblast frontline via Mariupol. Russian forces are reportedly attempting to disperse forces by deploying some elements in the Hulyaipole direction in eastern Zaporizhia Oblast.[5] Russia will also likely commit additional mobilized forces in the coming weeks, given that mobilized units of the Russian 2nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 1st Tank Army have finished their training in Brest Oblast, Belarus.[6] Russian forces will likely continue to use mobilized and redeployed servicemen to reignite offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast and maintain defensive positions in Luhansk Oblast.US intelligence officials stated on November 19 that Russian and Iranian officials finalized a deal in early November to manufacture Iranian drones on Russian territory.[7] The US officials stated that the deal could allow Russia to “dramatically increase its stockpile” of Iranian drones. The Washington Post reported that Russian forces have launched 400 Iranian kamikaze drones since first using them in the Ukrainian theater in August, and Ukrainian officials have previously stated that Ukrainian forces down 70% of drones before they can strike their targets.[8] The US officials stated that it is unclear what assistance Russia will provide to Iran in return for the drones.[9] The deepening relationship between Russia and Iran, specifically in the provision of long-range munitions such as kamikaze drones and precision missiles, may allow Russian forces to sustain their campaign against Ukrainian energy infrastructure for a longer period than their diminishing stockpile of munitions would otherwise allow. This report also suggests that Russia can somehow circumvent Western sanctions to acquire the microchips needed to program the drones it plans on manufacturing. A Russian milblogger claimed that the deal allows Russian officials to claim they build Russian drones—thus providing an informational win—having previously stated that the domestic manufacturing of Iranian drones on Russian territory humiliates Russia.[10]Key TakeawaysRussian forces are reportedly beginning to reinforce their positions in occupied Luhansk, Donetsk, and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts with personnel from Kherson Oblast and mobilized servicemen.US intelligence officials stated that Russian and Iranian officials finalized a deal in early November to manufacture Iranian drones on Russian territory.Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on the Svatove-Kreminna line.Russian forces maintained their offensive operations around Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and west of Donetsk City despite reports of high losses around Bakhmut.Russian forces continued efforts to fortify areas around ground lines of communication in southern Ukraine while struggling with the partial loss of the use of the Kerch Strait Bridge.Russian media sources continued active discussions of an impending second wave of mobilization.The number of Russian prisoners appears to have dropped by about 6.5% since January of 2022 likely due to intensive Wagner Group recruitment.Russian authorities are working to establish control over the information space in occupied territories and identify Ukrainian partisans.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Eastern UkraineRussian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and one supporting effort);Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk OblastRussian Supporting Effort—Southern AxisRussian Mobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasUkrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)Ukrainian forces continued their counteroffensive operations throughout the Svatove-Kreminna line on November 19. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks in the directions of Chervonopopivka (about 6km northwest of Kreminna) and Ploshchanka (about 20km southwest of Svatove).[11] A Russian milblogger noted that Ukrainian forces returned to positional battles following their unsuccessful attempts to assault Russian positions in Chervonopopivka.[12] Luhansk People’s Republic’s (LNR) Deputy Interior Minister Vitaly Kiselev claimed that Russian forces continued to repel Ukrainian attacks in the Kuzemivka area (approximately 13km northwest of Svatove), and a Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian and Russian forces are engaged in the most difficult battles west of Kuzemivka in Novoselivka.[13]The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces shelled settlements along the Svatove-Kreminna frontline.[14]Russian Main Effort—Eastern UkraineRussian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces continued their offensive operations around Bakhmut on November 19 despite reports of high losses on the frontline. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults on Bilohorivka and Zelenopillya northeast of Bakhmut and Klishchiivka southwest of Bakhmut.[15] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces continued to attack Ukrainian positions near Spirne, Verkhnokamianske, and Bilohorivka, all near the T1302 highway.[16] Geolocated footage showed that Russian forces made incremental advances toward Klishchiivka, and other footage indicated that Ukrainian forces maintained their positions near Mayorsk (about 20km southeast of Bakhmut).[17] Russian officials previously claimed control over Mayorsk on November 13.[18] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that about 500 wounded Russian servicemen arrived in Horlivka hospitals from the Mayorsk direction, which suggests that Russian forces are experiencing high casualties on this segment of the frontline.[19] Russian milbloggers, however, claimed that Russian forces seized the southern part of the T0513 highway that starts at Mayorsk.[20]Russian forces continued to launch assaults west of Donetsk City and around Avdiivka on November 19. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces stopped Russian advances on Vodyane (approximately 8km west of Avdiivka) and Novomykhailivka (about 30km southwest of Donetsk City).[21] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian aviation, artillery, and missile forces struck a Ukrainian command point in Vodyane, and geolocated footage showed Russian forces striking Ukrainian positions in the settlement.[22] Russian sources claimed that Russian forces continued assault operations near Vodyane, Pervomaiske (about 4km northwest of Vodyane), and forced Ukrainian forces from their positions on the outskirts of Nevelske (about 7km southwest of Vodyane).[23] Russian and Ukrainian forces continued to engage in artillery battles southwest of Donetsk City and in eastern Zaporizhia Oblast.[24]Supporting Effort—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)Note: ISW will report on activities in Kherson Oblast as part of the Southern Axis in this and subsequent updates. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in right-bank Kherson Oblast has accomplished its stated objectives, so ISW will not present a Southern Ukraine counteroffensive section until Ukrainian forces resume counteroffensives in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continued to undertake defensive measures and conduct routine shelling east of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast on November 19. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command stated that Russian forces continue to establish defensive positions east of the Dnipro River and are pulling Russian forces out of the range of Ukrainian artillery.[25] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces began withdrawing from Oleshky, just south of Kherson City on the left side of the river.[26] Russian and Ukrainian sources reported explosions at Karantynnyy Island, just southwest of Kherson City in the Dnipro River, attributing the explosions to Russian or Ukrainian artillery strikes against a fuel depot.[27] Russian forces may have struck the fuel depot to prevent Ukrainian forces from using it. Russian forces continued shelling areas on the right (west) bank of the Dnipro River, including Kherson City, Antonivka, Kozatske, and Chronobaivka.[28] Russian and Ukrainian forces reported that Ukrainian forces shelled Oleshky and Nova Kakhovka on the left riverbank.[29]Ukrainian forces continued targeting Russian force concentrations and military assets south of the Dnipro River. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian force concentration area in Mykhailivka, 38km south of Kherson City on the R57 highway, killing 60 personnel and wounding 70 personnel.[30] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian force concentration in the Kinburn Spit, killing seven personnel and destroying two armored vehicles.[31]Russian forces continued efforts to fortify areas around ground lines of communication in southern Ukraine while struggling with the partial loss of the use of the Kerch Strait Bridge. Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov stated that Russian authorities are forcing civilians to dig trenches and build defenses near Melitopol.[32] Russian sources expressed continued concern that Ukrainian forces are concentrating along the Zaporizhia Oblast front line for a counteroffensive drive toward Melitopol.[33] Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov stated that Ukrainian forces could enter Crimea by the end of December.[34] Ukrainian Mariupol Mayoral Advisor Petro Andryushchenko stated that Russian forces are struggling to compensate for the loss of the Kerch Strait Bridge and posted footage of a traffic jam of cargo trucks in Mariupol.[35] Russian sources reported that Russian occupation authorities placed replacement spans for the Kerch Strait Bridge and completed the installation of two of those spans; those sources reported that the bridge will be fully operational for vehicle traffic by December 20.[36] However, as ISW has previously reported, the UK Ministry of Defense assessed that the road bridge will not be fully operational until March 2023 and the rail bridge not until September 2023.[37]Russian forces continued routine shelling west of Hulyaipole and in Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts on November 19.[38] Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces struck the Motor Sich Plant in Zaporizhzhia City with anti-air missiles and kamikaze drones.[39] Mykolaiv Oblast Head Vitaly Kim stated that Russian forces struck Ochakiv, Mykolaiv Oblast with anti-air missiles.[40] Russian forces conducted artillery and MLRS strikes against Nikopol and Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[41]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)The number of Russian prisoners dropped by about 6.5% since January of 2022 (not including those held in pre-trial detention centers and remanded prisoners), apparently due to intensive Wagner Group recruitment.[42] ISW has extensively reported on Wagner Group's recruitment of prisoners and use of prisoners on the front lines in Ukraine.[43] Russian investigative outlet Mediazona reported on November 18 that the number of male prisoners in Russia has decreased by 23,000 since the start of the Wagner Group’s prison-based recruitment campaigns.[44] This is the sharpest decrease in the Russian prison population since 2014, including during periods of amnesty.[45] Mediazona reported that the number of Russians in pre-trial detention centers and prison colonies stayed relatively constant, which suggests that the decrease in the number of prisoners is not due to decreased rates of arrest.[46]Russian media sources continued active discussions of an impending second wave of mobilization on November 19. Russian sources amplified reports of a woman being issued permission to travel abroad until December 31 in order to return for her husband’s mobilization summons on January 16.[47] Russian sources also reported the launch of basic military training courses in Barnaul, Siberia, to ensure that those impacted by mobilization receive “all the necessary skills.” A prominent Russian Telegram channel refuted statements from Ukrainian sources that Russia will likely conduct general mobilization after the New Year’s holiday, arguing that Russia does not have the equipment, trainers, or bureaucratic structure required to provide for hypothetical newly mobilized soldiers.[48] The channel contended that Russian authorities might conduct a future partial mobilization, but the Ministry of Defense (MoD) would only mobilize 100-200,000 men at a time. The channel claimed Russia needs to mobilize 1-1.5 million total soldiers to defeat Ukrainian forces.[49] Previous ISW analyses support the assessment that the Russian MoD does not have the capacity or resources to handle a future general mobilization.[50] Widespread reports of mobilized soldiers being required to purchase their own equipment, sleeping outside or in tents without heat while still on training grounds, receiving no or woefully inadequate training, and experiencing other poor conditions suggest the Russian MoD is unprepared to handle future rounds of partial mobilization or even provide for those currently mobilized.[51]The Kremlin continues to selectively respond to public mobilization complaints while continuing to commit poorly trained mobilized men to the frontlines. The Russian Armed Forces relocated 130 mobilized men from Vladimir Oblast from the frontlines to the rear areas following Vladimir Oblast Governor Alexander Avdeev’s appeal to the Russian MoD regarding the deployment of poorly trained personnel to the frontlines.[52] Avdeev noted that over 1,000 mobilized servicemen from his constituency still serve on the frontlines, and relatives of the Vladimir Oblast mobilized men recorded a third video appeal addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding their lack of adequate training.[53] Mobilized men from Voronezh Oblast who were removed from the frontlines following a public appeal by their relatives were redeployed to frontlines in Luhansk Oblast.[54]Russian military officials continued covert mobilization. A Russian news channel reported that a Russian military commissariat issued a mobilization summons for November 21 to a man called in to clarify data. The resources spent on covert mobilization coupled with Russia’s ongoing fall conscription wave further degrades the ability of the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) to prepare for future waves of mobilization, as ISW reported on November 18.[55]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied and annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian civilians into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems)Russian media is amplifying narratives that criminals in Russian military uniforms are terrorizing and looting local populations in occupied Ukraine. A prominent Russian news source claimed that Russian military officials in Oleshky, Kherson Oblast detained several criminals dressed in Russian uniforms while robbing civilians and making plans to kill and steal from Russian soldiers.[56] The source published an interview between a Russian commander and the detainees in which the detainees claimed that Ukrainian authorities released them from prison and left them without any resources.[57] It is unclear whether Russian efforts to amplify this narrative are a part of efforts to minimize reports of Russian looting and abuse of civilians.Russian authorities are working to establish control over the information space in occupied territories. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on November 19 that Russian authorities are dispatching propagandists to occupied territories to organize TV broadcasts and launch branches of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VDTRK).[58] Occupation authorities plan to use seized broadcasting property to facilitate broadcasting, including the 196-meter TV towers in Mariupol and Melitopol. Occupation authorities reportedly planned to coopt local media specialists as well but chose to import Russian personnel when Ukrainian media specialists refused to cooperate with occupation regimes.[59]Russian occupation authorities continue efforts to identify Ukrainian partisans. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on November 19 that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) created groups with counterintelligence specialists and representatives from other Russian security services and charged them with seeking out Ukrainian partisan groups, including using internet-traffic analysis.[60] The Ukrainian Resistance Center noted that this strategy mirrors Russian approaches used in Syria.[61]Occupation authorities continue to struggle to link basic infrastructure in occupied territories to Russian systems. Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Head Denis Pushilin announced on November 19 that occupation authorities will supply occupied eastern Ukraine with water via a to-be-constructed conduit from the Don River.[62] A prominent Russian milblogger also criticized occupation authorities in Kherson Oblast for the failure to link Russian railway infrastructure to Kherson City during eight months of occupation whereas Ukrainian officials reestablished the Ukrainian railway connection within ten days of recapturing the city.[63][64]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update. [1] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UfZm2YoP6CveLQ3uBNiAk9gViXwphx7Yo8PdcMmh9nSBX8hGCsUjhLSX6KrrHm57l[2] https://t.me/serhiy_hayday/8669; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6953; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6948[3] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6948[4] https://t.me/andriyshTime/4462[5] https://t.me/andriyshTime/4462[6] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UfZm2YoP6CveLQ3uBNiAk9gViXwphx7Yo8PdcMmh9nSBX8hGCsUjhLSX6KrrHm57l[7] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/19/russia-iran-drones-secret-deal/[8] https://www dot pravda.com.ua/articles/2022/10/24/7373160/; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/19/russia-iran-drones-secret-deal/[9] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/19/russia-iran-drones-secret-deal/[10] https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14747; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14221; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-10[11] https://t.me/mod_russia/21870  [12] https://t.me/rybar/41314  [13] https://t.me/wargonzo/9330[14] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UfZm2YoP6CveLQ3uBNiAk9gViXwphx7Yo8PdcMmh9nSBX8hGCsUjhLSX6KrrHm57l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl[16] https://t.me/wargonzo/9330[17] https://twitter.com/am_misfit/status/1593870037081022465; https://twitter.com/jbajerski/status/1593892815053922304; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1593878124785180672; https://twitter.com/blinzka/status/1593902053180731392[18] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-13; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-14[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl[20] https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/54333; https://t.me/akimapachev/3356[21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl[22] https://twitter.com/fdov21/status/1593990454172860416https://t.me/rian_ru/186067; https://t.me/mod_russia/21870[23] https://t.me/wargonzo/9330; https://t.me/milchronicles/1318[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UfZm2YoP6CveLQ3uBNiAk9gViXwphx7Yo8PdcMmh9nSBX8hGCsUjhLSX6KrrHm57l; https://t.me/rybar/41312; https://t.me/mod_russia/21870; https://twitter.com/Cosmonaut19/status/1593898517176516609; https://t.me/DeepStateUA/14707; https://twitter.com/Cosmonaut19/status/1593898485509951488[25] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1516222982180298[26] https://t.me/RSaponkov/4008; https://t.me/voenacher/33700[27] https://t.me/hueviyherson/29389; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29390; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29386; https://t.me/rybar/41322 . https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/42862; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14746; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14744; https://t.me/milinfolive/93564[28] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UfZm2YoP6CveLQ3uBNiAk9gViXwphx7Yo8PdcMmh9nSBX8hGCsUjhLSX6KrrHm57l; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29354; https://t.me/wargonzo/9330; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl; https://t.me/rybar/41312; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29350; https://t.me/hueviyherson/29384 [29] https://t.me/wargonzo/9330; https://t.me/rybar/41312; https://t.me/wargonzo/9330;  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1516222982180298[30] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UfZm2YoP6CveLQ3uBNiAk9gViXwphx7Yo8PdcMmh9nSBX8hGCsUjhLSX6KrrHm57l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl[31] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/posts/pfbid02mzWwbVsVwxGsD27pMxNjTKSyWqnwsRxCccw4aignHqoX4Rx3YzvmH7M7Nc1YiK25l[32] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/901[33] https://t.me/rybar/41315 [34] https://news.sky.com/story/ukraine-war-will-be-over-by-spring-predicts-countrys-defence-minister-12750712[35] https://t.me/andriyshTime/4464[36] https://t.me/Mintrans_Russia/804; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70767; https://t.me/sashakots/37251; https://t.me/truekpru/98914; https://t.me/readovkanews/47265 [37] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-10[38] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UfZm2YoP6CveLQ3uBNiAk9gViXwphx7Yo8PdcMmh9nSBX8hGCsUjhLSX6KrrHm57l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl; https://t.me/rybar/41312 [39] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0XGH2CgsdWbxwRyidcjnLy2C4NW32de6nWa6RSuDNpv6wJCq8fCuLm9xV84FATvSjl; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14819; https://t.me/starukhofficial/4235; https://t.me/kommunist/13361 ; https://t.me/kommunist/13358; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70742; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/42855; https://t.me/rybar/41312; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70717[40] https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/3510[41] https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2490; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1455; https://t.me/vilkul/2272; https://t.me/rybar/41312[42] https://www.prisonstudies.org/country/russian-federation; https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1593682496771727361 https://zona [dot] media/article/2022/11/18/navoynu; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/18/mediazona-chislo-zaklyuchennyh-v-rossiyskih-koloniyah-za-dva-mesyatsa-sokratilos-na-rekordnye-23-tysyachi-chelovek[43]https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russian%20Offensive%20Campaign%20Assessment%2C%20November%2010%20PDF.pdf; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september27  [44] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1593682496771727361 https://zona [dot] media/article/2022/11/18/navoynu; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/18/mediazona-chislo-zaklyuchennyh-v-rossiyskih-koloniyah-za-dva-mesyatsa-sokratilos-na-rekordnye-23-tysyachi-chelovek[45] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1593682496771727361 https://zona [dot] media/article/2022/11/18/navoynu; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/18/mediazona-chislo-zaklyuchennyh-v-rossiyskih-koloniyah-za-dva-mesyatsa-sokratilos-na-rekordnye-23-tysyachi-chelovek[46] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1593682496771727361 https://zona [dot] media/article/2022/11/18/navoynu; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/11/18/mediazona-chislo-zaklyuchennyh-v-rossiyskih-koloniyah-za-dva-mesyatsa-sokratilos-na-rekordnye-23-tysyachi-chelovek[47] https://t.me/pogranichnyi_control/1246; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-17-18[48] https://t.me/notes_veterans/6672[49] https://t.me/notes_veterans/6672[50] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-18[51] https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12738; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-17-18; https://t.me/bazabazon/14526; https://t.me/readovkanews/47261; https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-17-18; https://t.me/dovod3/7177  [52] https://tass dot ru/armiya-i-opk/16362643[53] https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-17-18; https://t.me/dovod3/7177[54] https://notes dot citeam.org/mobilization-nov-17-18; https://t.me/tvrain/60001[55] https://t.me/mobilizationnews/4233[56] https://t.me/readovkanews/47266[57] https://t.me/readovkanews/47266[58] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/19/okupanty-zvozyat-na-tot-svoyih-propagandystiv-dlya-organizacziyi-movlennya-oseredkiv-svogo-telebachennya/[59] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/19/okupanty-zvozyat-na-tot-svoyih-propagandystiv-dlya-organizacziyi-movlennya-oseredkiv-svogo-telebachennya/[60] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/19/fsb-stvorylo-speczialni-grupy-z-poshuku-chleniv-ukrayinskogo-pidpillya/[61] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/19/fsb-stvorylo-speczialni-grupy-z-poshuku-chleniv-ukrayinskogo-pidpillya/[62] https://t.me/pushilindenis/2915[63] https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14722[64] https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14722  

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
 Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, Johanna Moore, Amin Soltani, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 18, 4:30 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.The ongoing, anti-regime protests are likely creating fractures among senior regime officials within the Iranian security establishment. Uncorroborated social media accounts circulated reports that the regime’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) held two emergency meetings that resulted in SNSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani’s resignation.[1]  Anti-regime outlet Iran International previously reported that some hardliners were advocating for Shamkhani’s dismissal on November 6, citing an informed source.[2] Another unverified social media account reported that Saeed Jalili--a hardliner who served as the SNSC secretary from 2007-2013—blamed unidentified security officials for failing to violently suppress anti-regime demonstrations. The account additionally claimed that IRGC and Iranian Law Enforcement Command officials expressed concerns about bandwidth constraints and low morale among personnel.[3] CTP cannot verify these rumors and such accounts should be treated with skepticism. SNSC-affiliated Nour News Agency denied that Shamkhani has resigned on November 18, suggesting that the report had garnered enough attention to merit a statement.[4]  Nour’s denial is not dispositive, as the outlet has been known to deny things that have turned out to be true.Regime officials and regime-affiliated actors alluded to disagreements over protest suppression tactics within the Iranian security apparatus on November 18, however. A Raisi administration official stated that the regime could expeditiously end unrest as soon as “the relevant authorities were willing” on November 18, suggesting divisions within the regime about how much violence security personnel should use to quell protesters.[5] A regime-affiliated cleric in a Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari town similarly stated that officials who lacked the courage to do “great things” should be removed from power and replaced by others more capable of implementing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s vision.[6]  Hardline editor Hossein Shariatmadari, who is reportedly a close confidante of the Supreme Leader,[7] additionally advocated for greater use of force against protesters on November 18.[8] Statements calling to violently escalate against protesters—and criticizing the officials who are purportedly failing to implement this tactic—corroborate CTP’s previous assessments that critical nodes of the regime are unable to reach a consensus on how to confront the Mahsa Amini protests.[9]Divisions within the SNSC—particularly Shamkhani’s resignation or ousting—would be especially significant given the importance of the council within the regime. The SNSC is the most senior national security and foreign policy decision-making body in the Iranian regime, and Shamkhani has served as the Supreme Leader’s personal representative within the council since 2013. Shamkhani has additionally held several senior security posts within the regime and is an extended member of the IRGC Command Network—the informal human network forged by service together in the Iran-Iraq War that has controlled the IRGC and, increasingly, joint IRGC-Artesh organizations—for decades.[10] Shamkhani is a trusted advisor of the supreme leader, and calls for Shamkhani’s resignation may be an indirect criticism of the Supreme Leader’s protest suppression response. Criticisms of Shamkhani—and holding him responsible for ongoing unrest—could alternatively suggest that Khamenei is playing a less active role in executing senior policy decisions than he typically would.Shamkhani is a most unlikely public scapegoat.  He does not have a prominent public persona and is most important as one of the most inside of insiders.  He may have considerable influence over the course of SNSC discussions that determine the shape of the regime’s response to protests especially if the supreme leader is inaccessible or unable, mentally or physically, to fulfill his responsibilities.  It is noteworthy that Khamenei has not appeared in public recently and has reportedly participated in other events without posting any current photos or videos.[11] The shadow of a possibly imminent supreme leader succession has covered the entire protest period and could be manifesting as a challenge to one of Khamenei’s closest and most trusted advisors and mouthpieces.The IRGC has threatened to launch a ground invasion into Iraqi Kurdistan in the coming weeks. AP published additional information on November 18 about IRGC Quds Force Commander Esmail Ghaani’s November 14 meeting in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid – A Kurdish politician – and several other Iraqi and Kurdish officials. Ghaani reportedly warned that the IRGC will conduct ground operations against anti-regime Kurdish militants based in Iraqi Kurdistan unless the Iraqi army fortifies the Iran-Iraqi Kurdistan border and disarms all anti-regime Kurdish militias operating within Iraqi Kurdistan.[12] The IRGC has intermittently conducted artillery, rocket, and missile attacks into Iraqi Kurdistan since Iranian protests began in September 2022.[13] The Iranian regime has blamed anti-regime Kurdish militias operating on both sides of the Iran-Iraq for fomenting Iran’s ongoing domestic unrest, as CTP has previously reported.[14]The Iraqi constitution forbids the Iraqi army from entering Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Iraqi army likely lacks the military capacity to meet Ghaani’s demands.[15] A significant Iraqi army redeployment to Iraqi Kurdistan would likely enable ISIS to intensify operations in other areas of Iraq and undermine the popularity of the current Iran-friendly government in Baghdad. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called on Iran to cease military operations against anti-regime militants in Iraqi Kurdistan and warned Iran that its domestic “tensions should not be exported to neighboring countries” in a November 17 statement.[16] Barzani’s remarks indicate that the KRG and significant portions of the Peshmerga, the KRG’s official military force, would likely actively resist any IRGC or Iraqi army efforts to operate against Kurdish groups within Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi and Kurdish politicians very likely will not accede to Ghaani’s demands, suggesting he may have presented them with an unacceptable ultimatum to use as political cover for a planned ground invasion.Recent Turkish threats to also conduct military operations against armed Kurdish groups in Iraq and Syria increase the likelihood of an IRGC ground campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan and present Iraqi Kurdistan with the danger of simultaneous invasion from north and east. Multiple senior Turkish officials have accused armed Kurdish groups of detonating the bomb that killed at least six people and wounded 81 more in Istanbul on November 13.[17] Turkish President Recep Erdogan and several cabinet-level officials warned that Turkey plans respond to the attacks by conducting military operations against armed Kurdish groups in Iraq and Syria.[18] The Turkish military consequently may intensify its air campaign against armed Kurdish groups in Iraqi Kurdistan. The US State Department’s Erbil Consulate issued a warning to US citizens to avoid areas in northern Iraq and northern Syria due to a “potential Turkish military action” in the coming days, further substantiating the possibility of Turkish military operations in either or both regions.[19] Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi and Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu held a phone call on November 17 to discuss issues related to “security cooperation against terrorism,” possibly including the prospect of conducting simultaneous military operations against armed Kurdish groups in Iraqi Kurdistan.[20] A concurrent Turkish military operation would provide Iran with additional political cover to launch a ground invasion and, furthermore, increase the effectiveness of the invasion.The potential renewal of Turkey’s campaign against armed Kurdish groups in northern Syria may, however, impede close cooperation between the IRGC and Turkish military. Turkish rhetoric has emphasized that the November 13 terror attack is connected to alleged terror cells in the Manbij area of northeastern Aleppo Province.[21] Syria. Iran has historically prioritized protecting the Shia-majority towns of Nubl and Zahraa located approximately 75 kilometers from Manbij; Hezbollahi militants maintain a significant military presence around the villages.[22] A potential Turkish military operation aimed at Manbij may also include military activity nearby the Shia-majority villages, which Lebanese Hezbollah militants would likely fiercely resist. A direct military confrontation in northern Syria consequently may obstruct military cooperation between Iran and Turkey in Iraqi Kurdistan.Key TakeawaysThe ongoing, anti-regime protests are likely creating fractures among senior regime officials within the Iranian security establishment and may have led to the departure of Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani.Iraqi Kurdistan is at risk of invasion by Turkish forces from the north and Iranian forces from the east.At least 33 protests took place in 31 cities across 13 provinces on November 18.Prominent Sunni Cleric Moulana Abdol Hamid continued to criticize the regime’s violent protest suppression response on November 18 during his weekly Friday prayer sermon.Protesters allegedly burned the former home of Islamic Republic Founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Khomein, Markazi Province on November 17.Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least 33 protests took place in 31 cities across 13 provinces on November 18. CTP assesses with moderate to high confidence that protests occurred in the following locations:Note: CTP is using asterisks to denote protests that included mourners commemorating killed protesters.Ardabil City, Ardabil Province (population: approximately 529,374)An undetermined number of protesters set fire to a Basij base with Molotov cocktails during evening protests.[23]Bandar-e Deyr, Bushehr Province (population: approximately 18,454)An undetermined number of protesters gathered on a city street and cars honked in solidarity.[24]Bushehr City, Bushehr Province (population: approximately 223,504)Footage captures dozens of protesters reportedly beating an unspecified security officer.[25]Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 1,559,000)Hundreds of protesters gathered to commemorate Aylar Haghi and Ali Iraki, whom security personnel killed for participating in anti-regime protests. Security forces attacked protesters at the ceremony.[26]Esfahan, Esfahan Province (population: approximately 1,961,000)Social media footage shows security forces chasing an undetermined number of protesters down an Esfahan street.[27]*Semirom, Esfahan Province (population: approximately 26,260)Over 100 protesters lit a fire and gathered on a city street.[28]Over 100 protesters gathered for the funeral to commemorate Morad Bahramian, whom security personnel killed for participating in anti-regime protests.[29]Shiraz, Fars Province (population: approximately 1,566,000)Dozens of protesters attended a commemoration ceremony for Shiraz protesters killed by regime security forces.[30]Ghazvin City, Ghazvin Province (population: approximately 402,748)Over 100 protesters gathered for Sepehr Esmaili’s commemoration ceremony. Security personnel reportedly shot a child while attempting to suppress anti-regime protests.[31]Kermanshah City, Kermanshah Province (population: approximately 946,651)An undetermined number of chanted anti-regime slogans.[32]Paveh, Kermanshah Province (population: approximately 25,771)Dozens of protesters lit a fire and gathered on a city street. Protests reportedly occurred in multiple locations throughout the city.[33]Izeh, Khuzestan Province (population: approximately 119,399)Hundreds—possibly over a thousand--protesters attended a funeral commemorating nine-year-old Kian Pirfalak, whom security personnel killed while suppressing anti-regime protests on November 16. CTP had erroneously reported that Pirfalak was ten –years old on November 17.[34]Bijar, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 50,014)Dozens of protesters demonstrated on a Bijar street and chanted “death to Khamenei.”[35]Ghorveh, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 136,961)Social media footage captures clashes between dozens of protesters and security personnel.[36]Saghez, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 165,258)Dozens of protesters—possibly more- set fires and chanted anti-regime slogans on Saghez streets during evening protests. Iranian social media accounts claimed that protesters “took control of the streets” in unspecified areas of Saghez.[37]*Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 461,000)Over 50 protesters marched through a Sanandaj street to commemorate Aram Habibi, whom security personnel killed for participating in anti-regime protests.[38]Over 50 protesters set a fire on a Sanandaj street during evening protests.[39]Sari, Mazandaran Province (population: approximately 309,820)An undetermined number of protesters set fire to a police station with Molotov cocktails during evening protests.[40]Chabahar, Sistan and Baluchistan Province (population: approximately 106,739)Dozens of protesters threw stones and advanced on security forces on a Chabahar street.[41]Iranshahr, Sistan and Baluchistan Province (population: approximately 113,750)Dozens of protesters marched and chanted anti-regime slogans. Security forces opened fire on protesters.[42]Khash, Sistan and Baluchistan Province (population: approximately 56,584)Over 100 protesters marched through Khash streets and chanted “death to Khamenei” and other anti-regime slogans. One or two dozen protesters tore down a sign featuring the name of deceased IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani while they marched.[43]Noukabad, Sistan and Baluchistan Province (population: approximately 5,261)Dozens of protesters marched through a Noukabad street and chanted anti-regime slogans. Audible gunshots can be heard in the background.[44]Saravan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province (population: approximately 60,114)Dozens of protesters gathered after a Friday prayer sermon and marched down a Saravan city street.[45]Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province (population: approximately 587,730)Dozens of protesters gathered after Friday prayer sermons and marched through Zahedan streets chanting “death to Khamenei,” “death to the dictator,” and other anti-regime slogans.[46]Tehran City, Tehran Province (population: approximately 8,700,000)Dozens of protesters marched through Tehran streets and chanted anti-regime slogans during evening protests.[47]*Boukan, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 193,501)Hundreds of mourners attended Milad Maroufi’s funeral, whom security personnel killed for participating in anti-regime protests. Hundreds of protesters gathered and lit a fire in an undetermined location.[48]Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 198,845)Hundreds of protesters gathered on a city street. 50-100 protesters chanted anti-regime slogans less than 10 meters away from security forces. No violence reported.[49]Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 91,515)Hundreds--possibly over a thousand--protesters gathered in what appears to be a city street. Authorities reportedly cut electricity. Protesters reportedly damaged a local police station.[50]*Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 168,393)Hundreds of protesters marched through Mahabad streets and attended commemoration ceremonies for killed protesters Ahmad Gagshi and Azad Hossein. Security forces used tear gas and reportedly killed at least one protester with live ammunition.[51]An undetermined number of protesters seized and set fire to an IRGC facility in Mahabad.[52]CTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in the following locations:Fouladshahr, Esfahan Province (population: approximately 88,426)Social media footage depicts likely protesters setting fire to a sign featuring Ayatollah Khomeini’s name on it.[53]Ilam City, Ilam Province (population: approximately 194,030)Social media footage reportedly shows protesters fleeing security forces down an Ilam street during evening protests.[54]Rask, Sistan and Baluchistan Province (population: approximately 10,115)Social media footage depicts regime security forces deployed to a Rask street, possibly indicating that protest activity occurred in Rask.[55]Protesters allegedly set fire to the former home of Islamic Republic Founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Khomein, Markazi Province on November 17. Social media footage shows protesters throwing multiple Molotov cocktails at a structure that was purportedly Khomeini’s former home.[56] IRGC-affiliated media and local officials circulated an image of the home undamaged and claimed that the attack never occurred.[57]Prominent Sunni Cleric Moulana Abdol Hamid continued to criticize the regime’s violent protest suppression response during his weekly Friday prayer sermon on November 18. Abdol Hamid stated that Sistan and Baluchistan residents would not surrender to threats nor compromise their demands.[58] Abdolhamid traced the origins of the present unrest in the province to the regime’s unfair treatment of Iranian Sunnis and the Baloch since the 1979 revolution. [59]The regime is continuing to sustain security personnel casualties. IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency reported that protesters killed Sahneh City IRGC Intelligence Commander Colonel Nader Birami on November 18.[60] Tasnim also confirmed the death of a Basij member and IRGC officer in Boukan, West Azerbaijan Province on November 17. [61]Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsSee topline text. [1] https://twitter.com/arixolin/status/1593422109992099841[2] https://www.iranintl.com/en/202211069308[3] https://twitter.com/mamadporii/status/1593225737708113921?s=20&t=tjdqV3LkNRzHb6eiRgw0cw[4] https://twitter.com/nournews_ir/status/1593628571121160194?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw[5] https://www.jamaran dot news/بخش-بازنشر-59/1574443-معاون-رئیسی-هر-زمان-که-مسئولان-اراده-کنند-می-توانیم-این-غائله-را-ختم-کنند[6] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/27/2806151/امام-جمعه-موقت-شهرکرد-نباید-فرصت-ناامنی-به-دشمن-بدهیم[7] https://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/weekinreview/21worth.html?ref=world&pagewanted=print[8] https://www.mashreghnews dot ir/news/1436858/در-کجای-دنیا-نیروهای-غیر-مسلح-را-به-مقابله-با-تروریست-های-مسلح[9] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-16[10] https://www.criticalthreats.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/pdf_uploadanalysisThe_IRGC_Command_Network-1.pdf[11] https://twitter.com/JasonMBrodsky/status/1593058786188857344?s=20&t=N7OVvILi0Qy1D918a97quA ; https://twitter.com/JasonMBrodsky/status/1593190992441937921?s=20&t=N7OVvILi0Qy1D918a97quA[12] https://apnews.com/article/iran-middle-east-iraq-tehran-baghdad-c0b63cf0ad45f5e087eb67e1110437b6[13] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-8[14] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-16 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-6 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-5 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-4 https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-3 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-2; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-1 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-september-30 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-september-29 ; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-september-28[15] https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Iraq_2005.pdf?lang=en[16] https://www dot kurdistan24 dot net/ar/story/32787-%D8%B1%D8%A6%D9%8A%D8%B3-%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%82%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85-%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%88-%D8%B7%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A5%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A5%D9%8A%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%81-%D9%87%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D9%83%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86; https://shafaq dot com/ar/%D9%83%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D9%80%D9%80%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA/%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A-%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%88-%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%84%D9%89-%D9%8A%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%81-%D9%87%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AE%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%B9%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1[17] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63615076[18] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/18/analysis-is-turkey-set-for-a-new-military-operation-in-syria[19] https://iq.usembassy.gov/security-alert-u-s-consulate-general-erbil-iraq-november-18-2022/[20] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-17[21] https://www dot aa dot com dot tr/en/turkiye/istanbul-terror-attack-carried-out-by-terrorists-from-syrias-manbij-region-turkish-official/2742200;[22] https://www dot al-monitor dot com/originals/2022/06/kurdish-syrian-iranian-forces-coordinate-ahead-turkish-operation; https://npasyria dot com/en/78819/[23] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593688386656763905?s=20&t=ttTUMbLHevLt_YuWMYhaaQ[24] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593674907501531136?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw[25] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593689749088247810?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw[26] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593490048170721281?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593497979670904834?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593500363843321856?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[27] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593600314065682435?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[28] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593656501951930369?s=20&t=ueoD2czv3hDeN6OkBuwVYg[29] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593549436466110464?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593534965836382208?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ  [30] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593646125659176962?s=20&t=9j6Eww_9TzwgroBmuFB9cQ[31] https://twitter.com/FSeifikaran/status/1593691222027141120?s=20&t=MN5FrtrGRRhARREr2dhSVA[32] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593637720282189824?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[33] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593655315584753664?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593655413387542531?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw ;  https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593644236477722624?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593638313973497857?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[34] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-17 ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593537033812824069?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593538633885274112?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[35] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593658834882396160?s=20&t=CU_tryHvCzbaxW768bmTEg[36] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593678489395281926?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw[37] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593645625421303810?s=20&t=FPaeMXkYwLab6cKcO59ubA; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593684712337379329?s=20&t=CmBL6fB_0Nl4uTxH4ZCH0g[38] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593589442937331715?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[39] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593660218935857152?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[40] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593683215100919808?s=20&t=REw5qWRnR_yn6cTYC-OlJw[41] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593580108228579330?s=20&t=00Dk1lvkExY9EvlYb_xT6Q[42] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593542620613152768?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593556545496834050?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[43] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593578022828908546?s=20&t=RR2824W4kq3ukww_2DbYQQ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593578503647141889?s=20&t=BVqNZkUDoOcMZHu7p3If9w[44] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593601421831819266?s=20&t=Lg05DnX-rnxDQbmituAovg[45] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593546286627692544?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593603561031712769?s=20&t=q-55QtFWOerAyTgj6Hhdfw[46] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593553727411159041?s=20&t=biIYJukyIH5SLTLyNp3neQ[47] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593675274008289281?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ [48] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593653800019034114?s=20&t=4LCOdjd-8Fo7B4-IWeX5rg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593542196942311424?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593542335073239040?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ ;  https://twitter.com/AkkasNabashi/status/1593668721440088065[49] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593675500672745473?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593639007790964747?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593676489723084800?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[50] https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593666746170351620?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593716919521116160?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[51] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593551428777385984?s=20&t=_fXsHBs49zO05FLzibNA0w ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593533038406864902?s=20&t=u805D53Giin6G2tjuKztqw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593531441379524608?s=20&t=mtiH82VG0U1vcJhcbEzeQw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593539181204148224?s=20&t=bUcO7pH-vENYNBjT9Xv4-A ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593544112082395139?s=20&t=bxgQNWnG7fcv0sttltBpOQ[52] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593539916734013441?s=20&t=uq58PiyjAhRRAPCm6gxfNg[53] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593673412106485762?s=20&t=hV8D8u9YUzV_fi1SvWSpew[54] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593636667373637633?s=20&t=75CoTK8svgvPa8j6CakQuQ[55] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593582387732135936?s=20&t=rlyp-46lVlDr17ea5DFpsw[56] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593458602622197761?s=20&t=ZpoXhuD90KY47qLnCMx6Tw[57] https://www(dot)tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1401/08/27/2806099/[58] https://www.iranintl.com/202211184742[59] https://www.iranintl.com/202211184742[60] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/27/2806235/%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A6%D9%88%D9%84-%D8%A7%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B5%D8%AD%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B2%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AA-%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B4%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%B1[61] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/27/2806176/%D9%BE%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%B1-2-%D8%B4%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%85%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%AA%D8%B4%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%B9-%D8%B4%D8%AF 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Iran]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Madison Williams, Yekaterina Klepanchuk, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 18, 8:30pm ETClick here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian officials are preparing for further covert mobilization efforts even as the fall conscription cycle is underway, likely further flooding the already overburdened Russian force generation apparatus in such a way that will be detrimental to the development of mobilized and conscripted servicemen. Russian Telegram channels actively discussed indicators on November 18 that the Kremlin is preparing for a second mobilization wave and circulated an image of a draft summons received by a citizen of St. Petersburg who was reportedly told to appear for mobilization in January 2023 despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the formal end of partial mobilization on October 31.[1] Nationalist milbloggers additionally circulated claims that general mobilization will begin in December or January.[2] An independent Russian outlet published an investigation on November 18 showing that state structures and enterprises are continuing to prepare their employees for mobilization by sending them to various training programs and mobilization-related educational courses.[3] Another Russian outlet noted that the Odintsovo garrison military court in Moscow Oblast inadvertently confirmed that mobilization is continuing despite its formal end.[4] The court reportedly accused a mobilized soldier of beating his commander on November 13 “during the performance of his duties of military service or in connection with the performance of these duties during the period of mobilization,” which indicates that the court is operating on the legal basis that mobilization is still very much underway.[5] The Kremlin has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has no need to sign a decree formally ending the mobilization period, as ISW has previously reported.[6]The continuation of covert mobilization efforts and potential preparations for another mobilization wave in tandem with the current fall conscription cycle are likely adding substantial strain to an already over-burdened Russian force generation apparatus. As ISW previously assessed, Putin likely ordered the end of partial mobilization in order to free up bureaucratic and administrative capacity for the November 1 conscription class.[7] However, it is evident that Russian authorities never fully halted mobilization efforts, which means that a limited number of mobilized recruits are still being forced through the training system at the same time as conscripts are going through their own training cycle. This will likely lead to even lower quality training for both mobilized recruits and conscripts as they compete for insufficient training capacity. Another wave of mobilization in the coming months will only worsen the situation and likely degrade the overall quality of the Russian troops that will be funneled to the frontline in Ukraine.The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that it does not recognize the illegal Russian seizure and operation of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) or the illegal annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory, a sharp escalation in IAEA rhetoric. The IAEA’s Board of Governors issued a statement on November 17 that called on Russia to “immediately abandon its baseless claims of ownership of the plant” and to withdraw “military and other personnel” from the ZNPP due to “grave concerns” over the ZNPP’s integrity.[8] The IAEA issued a statement on November 18 that Russian strikes on November 17 partially or completely cut power to Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyy Nuclear Power Plant and Rivne Nuclear Power Plant, and IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi stated that these strikes demonstrate “the potential nuclear safety and security risks facing all of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities during this terrible war, not just the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.”[9] ISW recently assessed that the IAEA’s rhetorical shift suggests that Russian physical control and operational authority over the ZNPP alarms the IAEA.[10] Russian forces’ ongoing threats to both the ZNPP and Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs) in unoccupied territory indicate that Russia is an unsuitable caretaker of the ZNPP, even though the Russian government relies on claims that it is a responsible operator of the ZNPP to legitimize its ongoing presence at the plant.[11]Social media footage circulated on November 18 shows a Russian soldier opening fire on Ukrainians as other Russian soldiers were surrendering. The graphic footage shows Ukrainian troops in Makiivka, Luhansk Oblast, taking a group of Russian soldiers prisoner when one Russian soldier emerges from a house holding a gun and opens fire.[12] Drone footage shows the bodies of the deceased Russian soldiers after the incident.[13] Open-source analysts concluded that the Russian soldier opened fire initially, but it is unclear who killed the Russian prisoners, when, and under what circumstances.[14] However, the Russian information space immediately responded to the footage by widely accusing Ukrainian forces of a ”mass execution” of the Russian prisoners.[15] The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against Ukrainian Armed Forces and is reportedly trying to identify the Ukrainian servicemen in the video.[16]Key TakeawaysRussian officials are preparing for further covert mobilization efforts even as the fall conscription cycle is underway, likely further diminishing the development of quality mobilized and conscripted servicemen.The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that it does not recognize the illegal Russian seizure of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) or the illegal annexation of other occupied Ukrainian territory, a sharp escalation in IAEA rhetoric.Social media footage circulated on November 18 shows a Russian soldier opening fire on Ukrainians as other Russian soldiers were surrendering.Russian forces reinforced rear areas in Luhansk Oblast and attempted to regain lost positions as Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.Russian forces continued limited ground assaults near Bakhmut and Avdiivka and in western Donetsk Oblast.Russian occupation officials and military leadership are seemingly increasingly concerned about subsequent Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine.Russia continues to face exceedingly low morale and poor discipline among its forces against the backdrop of ongoing domestic backlash to partial mobilization.Russian occupation officials and forces continued to intensify filtration measures in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine and to undermine the Ukrainian national identity.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Eastern UkraineRussian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and one supporting effort);Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk OblastRussian Supporting Effort—Southern AxisRussian Mobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasUkrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)Russian forces reinforced rear areas in Luhansk Oblast and attempted to regain lost positions as Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line on November 18. The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian forces freed up by the Russian retreat from the west (right) bank of Kherson Oblast transferred to Novoaidar, Luhansk Oblast, (55km southeast of Kreminna at the nexus of the T1306 Novoaidar-Severodonetsk and H21 Novoaidar-Starobilsk routes).[17] Ukrainian military sources also reported that Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks on Novoselivkse and Stelmakhivka, both within 13km northwest of Svatove.[18] Russian sources also claimed that Ukrainian troops attacked in this area toward Kuzemivka (13km northwest of Svatove).[19] Geolocated footage shows Ukrainian airborne troops destroying a Russian TOR-M2 surface-to-air missile complex in Dachne, 3km west of Svatove.[20] Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian troops unsuccessfully attacked toward Chervonopopivka (6km northwest of Kreminna) and are continuing attempts to attack southeast of Kreminna toward Lysychansk and Popasna.[21]Russian Main Effort—Eastern UkraineRussian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces continued limited ground assaults near Bakhmut and Avdiivka and in western Donetsk Oblast on November 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian ground assaults northeast of Bakhmut near Spirne and Bilohorivka and south of Bakhmut near Opytne.[22] Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Deputy Interior Minister Vitaly Kiselyov claimed that Wagner Group forces repelled Ukrainian counterattacks on the southeastern outskirts of Bakhmut and near Opytne.[23] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian ground attacks southwest of Avdiivka near Pervomaiske and Vodyane, and southwest of Donetsk City near Novomykhailivka.[24] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed on November 17 that Russian forces captured Opytne (4 km southwest of Avdiivka), two days after the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed that its forces captured the settlement.[25] ISW is currently unable to confirm these Russian territorial claims. Geolocated footage posted on November 17 shows that Russian forces made marginal gains advancing west toward Pervomaiske.[26] The Russian MoD claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian ground attacks east of Vuhledar near Solodke, southeast of Vuhledar near Volodymyrivka, and southwest of Vuhledar near Pavlivka.[27]Supporting Effort—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)Note: ISW will report on activities in Kherson Oblast as part of the Southern Axis in this and subsequent updates. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in right-bank Kherson Oblast has accomplished its stated objectives, so ISW will not present a Southern Ukraine counteroffensive section until Ukrainian forces resume counteroffensives in southern Ukraine.Russian forces continued to conduct defensive operations on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast on November 18. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces continue to equip defensive lines and replenish their forces in eastern Kherson Oblast.[28] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command also reported that Russian forces continue to draw further back from the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, forcibly relocating civilians from Novokiivka and transporting medical equipment from Nova Kakhovovka to Crimea.[29] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued to strike areas on the western (right) bank of the Dnipro River, including Kherson City, Chornobaivka, Antonivka, and Beryslav.[30]Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian military assets and concentration areas south of the Dnipro River. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 18 that Ukrainian strikes in previous days killed over 50 Russian military personnel in Skadovsk and destroyed an ammunition depot in Chaplynka.[31] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command stated that Ukrainian strikes destroyed military assets along the eastern bank of the river, including in Nova Kakhovka, Hola Prystan, and Oleshky.[32]Russian occupation officials and military leadership are seemingly increasingly concerned about subsequent Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces are accumulating engineering equipment to construct defensive lines in Mykhailivka Raion, Zaporizhia Oblast, (on the T0810 and T0818 highway intersection and connects Melitopol to the checkpoint at Vasylivka and Enerhodar) and are using production enterprises in Zaporizhia Oblast to construct more defensive structures.[33] Zaporizhia Oblast occupation official Vladimir Rogov stated that Russian officials are not preparing for a winter “lull” in hostilities in Zaporizhia Oblast.[34] Crimean occupation head Sergei Aksyonov announced on November 18 that Russian forces are building defensive lines in northern Crimea after satellite imagery emerged on November 10 of Russian defensive lines in the area.[35] As ISW has previously reported, Russian forces have increasingly relied on logistics lines through southern Ukraine, particularly connecting Melitopol to Crimea, to supply forces in southern Ukraine following the attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge.[36]Russian forces continued routine fire against areas in Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts on November 18.  Ukrainian official sources reported that Russian forces struck Zaporizhzhia City, Dnipro City, and Odesa City.[37] Ukrainian officials also reported that Russian forces shelled Nikopol and Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, and Ochakiv, Mykolaiv Oblast, just north of the Kinburn Spit.[38]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russia continues to face exceedingly low morale and poor discipline among its forces against the backdrop of ongoing domestic backlash to partial mobilization. A Russian source reported a case of drunken mobilized men engaging in a mass physical altercation at the Leninsky market in Omsk, Russia around November 6.[39] Footage posted on November 18 showed Russian conscripts complaining about being mismanaged.[40] A Russian source highlighted that Russian authorities continue to mobilize men with health problems and men originally promised deferments without explanation.[41] Citizens of St. Petersburg amplified Russian troops’ complaints of poor training, failing equipment, and mistreatment by demanding change and picketing in front of the Western Military District Headquarters in St. Petersburg.[42] A Russian media source reported that a Russian court ruled to block links to a popular petition against mobilization on Change.org that had over 500,000 signatures.[43] Another Russian source reported that Russian authorities forced college students to go to a military training camp in Dolgoprudny, Moscow Oblast, under the threat that they would not receive their diplomas otherwise.[44] The source stated that these students fear that Russian authorities will mobilize them after this training.[45]  A Russian milblogger criticized Russian authorities’ mismanagement of mobilization and failure to properly train and equip mobilized Russians as a “war crime.”[46]Russian forces continued efforts to expand training capabilities and replenish diminishing supplies. The Russian MoD shared multiple reports on November 17 of mobilized Russian troops training at centers in Buryatia Republic, Kaliningrad Oblast, and Novosibirsk Oblast.[47] The Russian MoD emphasized that experienced instructors are training mobilized men in various combat skills including weapons training, hand-to-hand combat, operating drones, and first aid.[48] The Russian MoD is likely presenting these reports in a continued attempt to quell public dissatisfaction with the level of training mobilized servicemen are receiving. A Russian source reported on November 18 that Russian forces began to receive Iranian-made flak jackets and helmets, which is consistent with previous reports that Russian forces are relying on foreign-provided weapons and armor due to a shortage of domestic supply.[49] Multiple Russian sources reported that the Russian public has had to supplement Russian supply shortages with their own contributions.[50]Russian occupation authorities continued forced mobilization efforts in Ukrainian temporarily occupied territories on November 18. The Ukrainian General Staff and the Luhansk Oblast Administration reported that the Russian Ministry of Health ordered healthcare workers in Luhansk Oblast to register for military service to fill staffing vacancies because Russian losses have greatly strained the Russian occupation medical network.[51] Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov also confirmed reports that Russian occupation officials plan to forcibly mobilize Russian passport holders in the southern occupied territories into the Russian forces.[52] Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied and annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian civilians into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems)Russian occupation officials and forces continued to intensify filtration measures in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine on November 18. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that occupation officials evacuated local residents suspected of pro-Ukrainian activities in Mykhailivka, Zaporizhia Oblast, and sent them to Tymoshivka, Zaporizhia Oblast with the aid of local collaborators.[53] Multiple Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces forcibly evacuated residents of Novokyivka, Kherson Oblast.[54] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian doctors examined Ukrainian children and sent them to Russia for treatment.[55] The Ukrainian Zaporizhia Oblast Military Administration reported that Russian officials evacuated 170 people, including 37 children,  from Zaporizhia Oblast in one day.[56] Sevastopol Occupation Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev reported that 79 evacuated residents from Kherson Oblast arrived in Sevastopol, Crimea, and stated that Crimean officials are organizing appropriate documentation for them.[57]Russian occupation officials continued efforts to undermine the Ukrainian national identity. The Luhansk Oblast Administration reported that occupation officials appointed a Russian citizen from Novosibirsk, Novosibirsk Oblast, as director of a secondary school in Novooleskandrivka, Luhansk Oblast, and that occupation officials forced Ukrainian civil servants to sign documents renouncing their Ukrainian citizenship.[58] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that occupation officials held school events to teach Ukrainian children how to detect pro-Ukrainian residents and how to notify Russian occupation officials about them.[59] The Center clarified that so far, Ukrainian children are not yet going to officials to inform on pro-Ukrainian activities and are only telling their parents.  Russian occupation officials continued to face difficulties dealing with wounded Russian forces in occupied Ukrainian territory on November 18. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that occupation officials brought in Russian doctors and medical interns to the occupied territories because Ukrainian residents refused to provide medical services to Russian soldiers and the number of wounded Russian forces is increasing.[60] Ukrainian Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov amplified reports from recent days that Russian occupation officials are attempting to collect blood from Ukrainian residents for wounded Russian forces.[61] Fedorov reiterated that occupation officials are expelling Ukrainian residents from the Melitopol hospital inpatient unit to free up wards for wounded Russian forces.[62]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update. [1] https://t.me/mozhemobyasnit/14087; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/14687[2] https://t.me/astrapress/16020; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/22951[3] https://poligonmedia dot io/gosstruktury-prodolzhayut-gotovit-k-mobilizaczii/[4] https://pravo.ru/news/243908/[5] https://pravo dot ru/news/243908/ ; https://t.me/vchkogpu/34387; https://t.me/terzdrsm/17406[6] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-1; https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/kremlin-no-decree-needed-end-partial-mobilisation-2022-11-01/[7] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-31[8] https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/22/11/gov2022-71.pdf[9] https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-127-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine[10] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-15[11] https://www.interfax dot ru/world/826989; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/warning-update-russia-may-conduct-chemical-or-radiological-false-flag-attack-pretext; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-6; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-4; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-25; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-1[12] GRAPHIC: https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1593502500962779136?s=20&t=AFtGE1n1QTekaRwS_TsKIA; https://www dot reddit.com/r/CombatFootage/comments/yy62hy/ukrainians_were_taking_a_group_of_russians/[13] GRAPHIC: https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1593529572422729728?s=20&t=_kGcuF7uPh4ahBPpjoP9gA[14] https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1593502500962779136?s=20&t=AFtGE1n1QTekaRwS_TsKIA; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1593529572422729728?s=20&t=_kGcuF7uPh4ahBPpjoP9gA[15] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/19906 ; https://t.me/rybar/41277; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/70673; https://t.me/sledcom_press/4114[16] https://t.me/sledcom_press/4114[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02i6fqxP5a5aeQggdJAJJrmHaXE8HVVcek4fxee6dmNCkb9YSxwWm7i8ind8qP9689l[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0qTnt917CXPiDi2Fx69mtJUHzzWqDz4RMEJCG7bCVdYjGQm2p5mBLj1AVQ2PSGX36l; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6924;[19] https://t.me/rybar/41282; https://t.me/wargonzo/9317[20] https://www.facebook.com/igor.sydorenko.90/posts/pfbid02upwSaL3XDRfacyCTA8a7AQn3uT81BTme7B6WmxMTDj5a3VAG4KYnhAGyPTVB6sxGl; https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1593478289875963904?s=20&t=stQpW-NkrJ3Sl2PCs8xh7Q[21] https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1593351630589657092?s=20&t=yoN8XLbxFyHxXu7GWSy-Og; https://t.me/wargonzo/9310; https://t.me/mod_russia/21837[22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0qTnt917CXPiDi2Fx69mtJUHzzWqDz4RMEJCG7bCVdYjGQm2p5mBLj1AVQ2PSGX36l[23] https://t.me/kommunist/13325[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0qTnt917CXPiDi2Fx69mtJUHzzWqDz4RMEJCG7bCVdYjGQm2p5mBLj1AVQ2PSGX36l[25] https://t.me/TRO_DPR/9699; https://t.me/TRO_DPR/9698; https://t.me/mod_russia/21837[26] https://twitter.com/GeoConfirmed/status/1593614535029653504?s=20&t=7xjEjn1-9d2RqAPsU-xK6g; https://twitter.com/rybar_en/status/1593110795189379072?s=20&t=7xjEjn1-9d2RqAPsU-xK6g[27] https://t.me/mod_russia/21837[28] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=872774777058590; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1295309867911590[29] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1295309867911590[30] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02i6fqxP5a5aeQggdJAJJrmHaXE8HVVcek4fxee6dmNCkb9YSxwWm7i8ind8qP9689l[31] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02i6fqxP5a5aeQggdJAJJrmHaXE8HVVcek4fxee6dmNCkb9YSxwWm7i8ind8qP9689l[32] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1295309867911590; https://t.me/operativnoZSU/56949; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=872774777058590; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1295309867911590[33] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02i6fqxP5a5aeQggdJAJJrmHaXE8HVVcek4fxee6dmNCkb9YSxwWm7i8ind8qP9689l[34] https://t.me/vrogov/6133[35] https://t.me/stranaua/75876 https://t.me/stranaua/74417[36] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-17[37] https://t.me/stranaua/75848; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0qTnt917CXPiDi2Fx69mtJUHzzWqDz4RMEJCG7bCVdYjGQm2p5mBLj1AVQ2PSGX36l;[38] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0qTnt917CXPiDi2Fx69mtJUHzzWqDz4RMEJCG7bCVdYjGQm2p5mBLj1AVQ2PSGX36l; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/3497; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=872774777058590; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/1448 ; https://t.me/vilkul/2269 ; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/2465 [39] https://t.me/omsk_ogo/10480 ; https://t.me/omsk_ogo/10401[40] https://twitter.com/NOELreports/status/1593556893582217219?s=20&t=AFtGE1n1QTekaRwS_TsKIA[41] https://t.me/tmn_bgregion72/4391; https://t.me/svobodnieslova/931; https://t.me/iv?url=https://verstka.media/federalnye-smi-ne-poluchili-bron-ot-mobilizatsii/&rhash=5dc05153c0147e[42] https://t.me/ostorozhno_novosti/12723; https://t.me/newsholod/2305  [43] . https://www.dovod dot online/sud-vo-vladimire-postanovil-zablokirovat-peticiju-protiv-mobilizacii/ ; https://leninsky--wld.sudrf dot ru/modules.php?name=sud_delo&srv_num=1&name_op=doc&number=117787023&delo_id=41&new=0&text_number=1[44] https://t.me/ostorozhno_moskva/2374  [45] https://t.me/ostorozhno_moskva/2374  [46] https://t.me/rybar/41300; https://t.me/rybar/41298[47] https://t.me/mod_russia/21806; https://t.me/mod_russia/21810; https://t.me/mod_russia/21820[48] https://t.me/mod_russia/21806; https://t.me/mod_russia/21820; https://t.me/mod_russia/21813[49] https://t.me/mobilizationnews/4148; https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1592134181731303425; https://t.me/milinfolive/93269  [50] https://t.me/mobilizationnews/4137; https://t.me/sibirmedia/23997; https://t.me/megapolis_ugra/7259[51] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0qTnt917CXPiDi2Fx69mtJUHzzWqDz4RMEJCG7bCVdYjGQm2p5mBLj1AVQ2PSGX36l[52] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/898[53] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/11/18/okupanty-vyvezly-proukrayinskyh-meshkancziv-odnogo-zi-smt-zaporizhzhya/[54] https://t.me/hueviyherson/29306  ; https://suspilne dot media/319414-rosijski-okupanti-primusovo-evakuuvali-ziteliv-novokiivki-na-hersonsini/ [55] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/11/18/rosiyany-zvozyat-na-tot-interniv-cherez-brak-likariv/  [56] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/14801   [57] https://t.me/razvozhaev/1452 ; https://t.me/razvozhaev/1462[58] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/6923   [59] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/11/18/na-luganshhyni-okupanty-zaklykayut-shkolyariv-zdavaty-proukrayinskyh-meshkancziv[60] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/11/18/rosiyany-zvozyat-na-tot-interniv-cherez-brak-likariv/  [61] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/900 ; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/688   [62] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/900 ; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/886    

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 11/26/22 7:56am
Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, and Frederick W. KaganNovember 17, 5:00 pm ETThe Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.Contributor: LJ TrevetteCertain components of the ongoing protest movement in Iran may have reached the threshold identified in US military doctrine for a “latent and incipient” insurgency. American counter-insurgency doctrine, using a modified version of the Maoist insurgency framework, defines the lowest level of insurgency as follows:“The first phase is latent and incipient. During this phase, activities include the emergence of insurgent leadership, creation of initial organizational infrastructure, training, acquisition of resources, and political actions, such as organizing protests. A group that eventually becomes members of an insurgency may simply be a legitimate political group at this stage. Governmental actions and changes in society can transform political groups into insurgencies.”[1]Components of the protest movement are approaching or have already achieved some of these requirements. The neighborhood youth groups and other protest organizations have seemingly continued playing significant roles in coordinating and planning demonstrations on specific days and in specific locations. These protest organizations are also encouraging and supporting citizens to attack and undermine the regime. The Mashhad Neighborhood Youth, for instance, published statements on November 16 and 17 calling on protesters to cooperate with one another to wage partisan warfare, block roads, and use explosives against security forces, among other activities, and referred to its “operational teams,” implying some level of organization.[2] The group advised protesters to wear protective clothing “according to previous training.”[3] The Mashhad youth group also stated that it is fighting a “full-scale war” against the regime—rhetoric that is consistent with the revolutionary tone used by other protest organizations in recent weeks.[4]CTP has documented previous instances of protesters cooperating with one another. Protesters have coordinated extensively in certain locations in recent weeks using militant tactics to respond to the regime crackdown.[5] Protesters are furthermore developing the infrastructure necessary to stage a protracted struggle against the regime, such as establishing an informal medical care network.[6]CTP cannot verify that any of these youth groups and other protest organizations are  in control of the movement or able to carry through on some of their directives. The regime has indicated that at least some of these groups have a local presence. Iranian state media reported on November 17 that the IRGC Intelligence Organization arrested over 25 members of the Oroumiyeh Neighborhood Youth.[7] An unidentified source spoke to Mehr News Agency claiming that the group organized the blocking of roads and destruction of public property. The Twitter account of the Oroumiyeh Neighborhood Youth has continued posting since the reported arrests.[8]CTP is not prepared to forecast the trajectory of these protester networks or how they will behave in the weeks and months ahead. We have not yet observed clear signs of coordination across these groups at this time. CTP will continually update and reevaluate this analysis based on observed indicators, which we will continue reporting in these daily updates.Regime security personnel sustained relatively significant casualties on November 17. At least six security personnel have died across Iran in the past 24 hours. Unidentified individuals stabbed and killed two Basij members and injured three more in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province.[9] Unidentified individuals also stabbed and killed a Law Enforcement Command (LEC) officer in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province.[10] An LEC Special Units member died on November 17 after unidentified gunmen shot him in Esfahan City, Esfahan Province on November 16.[11] And two LEC Border Guards members died in an unspecified “accident” near Saravan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province.[12] Anti-regime militancy and smuggling is common around Saravan.Protest organizations are trying to sustain the recent high protester turnout for at least three to four more days. Protests have surged across Iran since November 15 in commemoration of the three-year anniversary of the regime’s crackdown on the Bloody Aban protest wave in November 2019.[13] The Karaj Neighborhood Youth called for these commemorative protests to continue until November 20.[14] The Countrywide Youth similarly called for these protests to continue until November 21.[15] Protest turnout in the coming days may offer insight into how influential these particular protest organizations are.Key TakeawaysCertain components of the ongoing protest movement in Iran may have reached the threshold identified in US military doctrine for a “latent and incipient” insurgency.Regime security personnel sustained relatively significant casualties.Protest organizations are trying to sustain the recent high protester turnout for at least three to four more days.At least 40 protests took place in 33 cities across 18 provinces.The regime may be trying to blame the Izeh attack on the Islamic State (IS) as part of an effort to associate the protests with terrorism.Anti-regime outlet Iran International published purported leaked memos from the Artesh Ground Forces.Likely Iranian proxies conducted a rocket attack on US forces in northeastern Syria.Anti-Regime ProtestsAt least 40 protests took place in 33 cities across 18 provinces on November 17, despite reports of rain throughout the country. Protest activity may surge in Khuzestan Province in the coming days as protesters seek to commemorate Kian Pirfalak, a ten-year-old boy whom security personnel killed when suppressing an anti-regime protest on November 16.[16] Security forces reportedly shot and killed fourteen-year-old Sepehr Maghsoudi in Izeh on that same date.[17] CTP assesses with moderate to high confidence that protests occurred in the locations below.Note: CTP is using asterisks to denote protests that included mourners commemorating killed protesters.Bandar-e Ganaveh, Bushehr Province (population: approximately 64,110)Dozens of protesters gathered on a Ganaveh city street.[18]Bushehr, Bushehr Province (population: approximately 223,504)Footage shows security personnel shooting at an undetermined number of protesters who lit fires on a city street corner.[19]Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province (population: approximately 1,559,000)An undetermined number of protesters gathered on a Tabriz city street.[20]*Esfahan City, Esfahan Province (population: approximately 1,961,00)Over 100 mourners marched to Ahmad Shokrollahi's 40-day commemoration ceremony in Esfahan. Security personnel killed Shokrollahi for participating in anti-regime protests.[21]Fouladshahr, Esfahan Province (population: approximately 88,426)An undetermined number of protesters—but likely over 50--gathered on a city street. Protesters appear to have lit a fire in the vicinity of a Fouladshahr city square or street.[22]Vilashahr, Esfahan Province (population: unknown)An undetermined number of protesters lit fires on a Vila Shahr city street.[23]Neyriz, Fars Province (population: approximately 113,291)Dozens of protesters clashed with security personnel on a Neyriz city street.[24]Masal, Gilan Province (population: approximately 52,368)Hundreds gathered on a Masal city street. Over 50 protesters lit fires and chanted anti-regime slogans later that evening. Footage shows security personnel purportedly throwing stones at protesters from a nearby rooftop.[25]Sarableh, Ilam Province (population: approximately 12,393)Roughly 50 protesters lit a fire and gathered on a Sarableh city street.[26]Paveh, Kermanshah Province (population: approximately 25,771)Dozens of protesters lit a fire and chanted anti-regime slogans on a Paveh city street.[27]Sabzevar, Khorasan Razavi Province (population: approximately 243,700)A still image depicts dozens of protesters gathering and lighting fires on a city corner. Footage suggests that protesters set fire to security vehicles.[28]Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province (population: approximately 3,001,000)Fewer than a dozen protesters were captured on video clashing with security personnel. Over 50 protesters lit fires on a city street. Some social media users reported that protesters damaged a local Basij building.[29]Baghmalek, Khuzestan Province (population: approximately 114,343)Dozens of protesters marched on a Baghmalek city street. Audible gunfire is heard on the video.[30]Bandar-e Mahshahr, Khuzestan Province (population: approximately 162,797)Dozens of protesters chanted anti-regime slogans on a Bandar-e Mahshahr city street.[31]Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province (population: approximately 1,185,000)Dozens of protesters chanted "death to the dictator" on an Ahvaz city street.[32]Izeh, Khuzestan Province (population: approximately 119,399)Footage shows large crowds chanting "death to Khamenei" while carrying the coffin of Kian Pirfalak, a ten-year-old boy whom security personnel killed in anti-regime protests on November 16.[33]Bijar, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 50,014)An undetermined number of protesters gathered on a city street, and cars honked in solidarity.[34]Ghorveh, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 78,276)An undetermined number of protesters lit fires on a Ghorveh city street. Other footage shows dozens of protesters running away, likely from security personnel.[35]*Kamyaran, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 57,077)Dozens of protesters gathered on a Kamyaran city street.[36]Hundreds of protesters chanted "martyrs never die" in front of Fouad Mohammad's house. Security personnel killed Mohammad for participating in anti-regime protests on November 15.* Saghez, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 165,258)Over 100 protesters gathered to mourn Daniel Pabandi, a 17-year-old boy whom security personnel killed for participating in anti-regime protests on November 16.[37]Footage shows that protesters targeted security personnel with fireworks and firecrackers at an unspecified location. A clip shows security personnel purportedly throwing rocks at protesters, suggesting that they had depleted their ammunition. It is unclear if these events occurred in the same location.[38]*Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province (population: approximately 453,000)Hundreds of protesters marched on a city street to commemorate 40 days since security personnel killed four Sanandaj residents for participating in anti-regime protests. Footage shows protesters severely injuring a purported LEC officer. Social media users reports that security personnel killed two protesters. Security personnel reportedly attacked the Kowsar Hospital. Audible gunfire was reportedly all across the city.[39]Doroud, Lorestan Province (population: approximately 121,638)Over 50 protesters lit a fire and chanted anti-regime slogans on a Doroud city street.[40]Khomein, Markazi Province (population: approximately 76,706)Over 100 protesters marched on a Khomein city street.[41]Qom City, Qom Province (population: approximately 1,201,000)Dozens of protesters chanted "death to the dictator" and lit a fire on a Qom city street.[42]Eyvanekey, Semnan Province (population: approximately 13,518)Footage shows an undetermined number of protesters carrying a protester shot by security personnel. Roughly 50 protesters set fire to a regime-affiliated bank.[43]*Goyoum, Shiraz Province (population: approximately 7,297)Roughly 100, possibly more, protesters gathered to commemorate three years since security personnel killed Amir Alwandi for participating in the 2019 gasoline protest wave. Protesters chanted "we will stand by our wounded comrades until the end."[44]Tehran City, Tehran Province (population: approximately 8,700,00)Dozens of protesters gathered in what appears to be a park or public square in Ekbatan in western Tehran.[45]Over 50 protesters chanted "freedom, freedom, freedom" on trashcan barricades on an undetermined Tehran city street.[46]Roughly 70-100 protesters gathered in the vicinity of the Sadeghiyeh district in Tehran.[47]Dozens of protesters gathered in the Gisha district in Tehran. NOTE: This may be the same protest as protest 2.[48]Dozens of protesters chanted anti-regime slogans in the Tehran City Theatre metro station.[49]*Boukan, West Azerbaijan Province (population: 193,501)Dozens—likely more--protesters lit fires and joined hands in a Boukan city street.[50]Hundreds of mourners commemorated Mohamad Hassan Zadeh and Salar Mojaver, whom security forces killed for participating in anti-regime protests on November 16. Protesters from Mahabad reportedly walked to Boukan to attend the funerals. One social media account compared Boukan to a warzone. Protesters reportedly set fire to several security vehicles and vandalized a store that is allegedly regime-affiliated for failing to participate in anti-regime strikes. Uncorroborated reports suggest that protesters penetrated and/or damaged a Boukan municipality building. Security personnel reportedly shot at protesters, killing one and injuring several others.[51]Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province (population: 95,716)Dozens of protesters chanted "woman, life freedom" and "death to the dictator" and lit fires on a Piranshahr city street.[52]CTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in the following locations:Hamedan City, Hamedan Province (population: approximately 554,406)Footage shows an undetermined number of protesters clashing with security personnel. Protesters threw what appear to be Molotov cocktails at security personnel.[53]Kermanshah City, Kermanshah Province (population: approximately 946,651)Dozens of protesters gathered on a Kermanshah city street. There is insufficient data to assess with high to moderate confidence that this event occurred. [54]Khorramabad, Lorestan Province (population: approximately 373,416)An undetermined number of protesters gathered on a Khorramabad city street. It is unclear from available footage if this event meets CTP's threshold for protest activity.[55]Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province (population: 168,393)An undetermined number of protesters lit fires on a Mahabad city street, possibly suggesting that protests occurred on this date. It is unclear if this event meets CTP's threshold for protest activity.[56]The regime may be trying to blame the Izeh attack on the Islamic State (IS) as part of an effort to associate the protests with terrorism. Iranian media outlets, including the Raisi-administration-controlled Islamic Republic News Agency, have circulated a seemingly fake IS claim of responsibility for the attack.[57] A BBC journalist argued that the statement is likely fake due to its grammatical errors and presentation.[58] The regime has intensified its information operation to link the protests to terrorism since the Shiraz attack on October 26 to delegitimize protesters and their grievances.[59]Anti-regime outlet Iran International published purported leaked memos from the Artesh Ground Forces on November 17.[60] The Artesh Ground Forces reportedly issued a memo on November 7 requiring unit commanders to report daily whether any service members or their families participated in anti-regime protests or used anti-regime language. The Artesh Ground Forces reportedly issued a second memo on November 9, warning that anti-regime actors may sabotage military facilities. If true, these memos indicate that Artesh leadership is concerned about service members and their families joining and sympathizing with protesters. The English-language version of the Iran International article mischaracterized these memos, however, reporting that they “show that [Artesh] staff and their families have been supporting the popular anti-government protests since September.”[61] There is no information in the memos to corroborate this claim nor can CTP verify their authenticity.Law Enforcement Deputy Commander Brigadier General Ghassem Rezaei denied that LEC officers are tired on November 17—a remark which could frustrate the low-level security personnel heavily involved in the crackdown and killing citizens. CTP has reported that security personnel are facing bandwidth constraints, exhaustion, and low morale since September 2022.[62] Rezaei stated that the security personnel's tirelessness is evident from “their cheerful faces.” Rezaei’s comments are particularly tone-deaf given the rate at which security personnel are dying.Axis of Resistance and Regional DevelopmentsAn unidentified senior Western official told a BBC journalist that the IRGC Aerospace Force conducted the drone attack on the Israeli-owned tanker on November 16 from Chabahar, Sistan and Baluchistan Province.[63] The IRGC Aerospace Force is the primary operator of the regime’s drone and missile arsenals.Likely Iranian proxies conducted a rocket attack on US forces in northeastern Syria on November 17.[64] The attack caused no casualties or damage to the facility. The IRGC may renew its regular proxy attacks against US positions in Iraq and Syria to expel US forces from the region and also respond to Washington’s perceived role in stoking the protests.Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi held a phone call with Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu to discuss security cooperation against terrorism, among other issues, on November 17.[65] Tehran and Ankara may increase cooperation against anti-regime Kurdish militant groups in northern Iraq and northern Syria in the coming weeks. CTP previously reported that Kurdish military and political groups in Iraq and Syria may face increasing attacks from Iran and Turkey simultaneously.[66] Vahidi is nominally responsible for administering the LEC in his capacity as interior minister. He likely plays a more prominent role in influencing regime defense and foreign policies, however, given his connections to the IRGC and his experience as the IRGC Quds Force commander from 1988 to 1998.[67][1] https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/fm3_24.pdf[2] https://twitter.com/Javanan_mashhad/status/1592780084876038145; https://twitter.com/Javanan_mashhad/status/1593189464058527744[3] https://twitter.com/Javanan_mashhad/status/1592780084876038145[4] https://twitter.com/Javanan_mashhad/status/1593189464058527744[5] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-3[6] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-30[7] www.mehrnews dot com/news/5634385[8] https://twitter.com/ur_javanane[9] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/26/2805901[10] https://www.yjc dot news/fa/news/8285756[11] http://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/26/2805785[12] https://mehrnews dot 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asvir/status/1593286342171103235?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593280451413778432?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593298628973674503?s=20&t=EMFeaYB5ATXkdV0BCudxUg[42] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593354888217595908?s=20&t=EMFeaYB5ATXkdV0BCudxUg; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593363887746859014?s=20&t=B9zeATL5sqbsnV_VrXfUMw[43] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593303623466975233?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593264963958837248?s=20&t=3Br4Ly-wc5R8f3ep9aPJBA[44] https://twitter.com/fereshteh531/status/1593343009218699266?s=20&t=yJNnb2M9-PT-KPm2rRFNxg ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593330750342021121?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw[45] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593294055630409731?s=20&t=2F7ACUNv1GPET82wy0nBzw[46]  https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593291006979497985?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593290025948545025?s=20&t=bMFqE-F2vxxJSFRxTH8AQg[47] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593281118362636288?s=20&t=KIyPCzA4nEerHFQJ9at2yg[48] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593269292472143873?s=20&t=SlWfpuC1Y7Vm4bAQ8i9zOw ; https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593268787868061696?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw[49] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593250355835711488?s=20&t=frNDrXpjeGArPpTP72-Ldg[50] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593293123127595008?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw[51] https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593220068552343552?s=20&t=93db8Ls_2MgCogovrWd4_A ; https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593219200788856838?s=20&t=qg8gPfixCHiLCylUBmFyPw ; https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593199762005696513?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw ; https://twitter.com/HengawO/status/1593181375401984000?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593295340714721283?s=20&t=EMFeaYB5ATXkdV0BCudxUg ; https://twitter.com/SamRasoulpour/status/1593228695388708864?s=20&t=N9qQhhkm_TY-swQuQeyg1g ; https://twitter.com/SamRasoulpour/status/1593281108526907393?s=20&t=B9zeATL5sqbsnV_VrXfUMw ; https://twitter.com/SamRasoulpour/status/1593327635370852353?s=20&t=B9zeATL5sqbsnV_VrXfUMw ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593165653116346368?s=20&t=EMFeaYB5ATXkdV0BCudxUg[52] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593266465071067136?s=20&t=p7w-oiiY2JhByO9LJFL_Iw; https://twitter.com/chawshin_83/status/1593271715831971841?s=20&t=plULRIm8J_MPit7m1BeZ8Q;  https://twitter.com/RadioFarda_/status/1593342142369652738?s=20&t=fWq9ruaiDCvEDMZ3UPfxSA;[53] https://twitter.com/Hashshaashin/status/1593302702598987776?s=20&t=0gowiq-l0EfkV-1u_WAABQ[54] https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593351226497843201?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw[55] https://twitter.com/1500tasvir/status/1593282875062894595?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw[56] https://twitter.com/barin_omid/status/1593288884074356736?s=20&t=r8WgW5CMABjMAynEeGtbEQ ; https://twitter.com/iranworkers/status/1593343092920311808?s=20&t=JtIBoffCng_icMpyzdqIMw[57] www.hamshahrionline dot ir/news/720798; https://donya-e-eqtesad dot com/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-62/3917827-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B4-%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AB%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B0%D9%87-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%BE%D8%B0%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%AA[58] https://twitter.com/KianSharifi/status/1593139378842308609[59] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-6[60] https://www.iranintl.com/202211179464[61] https://www.iranintl.com/en/202211179779[62] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-october-13;%20https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-september-28[63] https://twitter.com/nafisehkBBC/status/1593207214252380160[64] https://twitter.com/CENTCOM/status/1593339605260140547?s=20&t=i0Xti5ekCGzKX35Mjox2SQ[65] https://irna dot ir/xjL3vx[66] https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/iran-crisis-update-november-16[67] https://www.criticalthreats.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/pdf_uploadanalysisThe_IRGC_Command_Network-1.pdf 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Iran]

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