Moscow likely intends to deploy its recently-formed “volunteer battalions” to Kherson Oblast and elsewhere across southern Ukraine, U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its Aug. 19 war report.
Furthermore, the report suggests that recent Ukrainian strikes at Russian logistical nodes deep in occupied territory are degrading Moscow’s confidence that it will be able to hold and secure its recent territorial gains.
“Reports from Aug. 18 about Ukrainian strikes are affecting the Russian information space, despite the fact that these reports were likely overblown,” ISW’s assessment reads.
The situation at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant remains largely unchanged, despite the Russian Defense Ministry claims that Ukrainian forces would stage a provocation at the plant on Aug. 19.
Russian authorities are likely preparing to hold show trials for Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol around Aug. 24, coinciding with Ukraine’s Independence Day, aiming to corrode Ukrainian morale and tighten Moscow’s control of occupied areas.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks north of Kharkiv City, southwest and southeast of Izyum, east of Siversk, and south and east of Bakhmut.
Russian forces conducted multiple unsuccessful ground assaults on settlements on the southern section of the front.
Russia continues to generate regional volunteer units and will likely deploy many of them to Kherson and Ukraine’s south as part of the 3 rd Army Corps.
Russian occupation authorities are strengthening their control of educational infrastructure in occupied areas in preparation for the approaching school year, and may be sending Ukrainian children to Russia as part of a broader repopulation campaign.