Russian and Ukrainian troops continued offensive operations on the Svatove-Kreminna line in Luhansk region on Monday, according to a December 26 report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
“Ukrainian sources reported that Ukrainian troops are fighting near Kreminna. Russian sources claimed that Russian forces made limited gains northeast of Bakhmut. Russian forces continued ground attacks on the western outskirts of Donetsk,” according to the report.
Citing Ukrainian military officials, it is indicated that Russian forces may be concentrating some unspecified forces for offensive or demonstration operations in Zaporizhia region and that Russian forces are trying to conduct small-scale combat reconnaissance operations to reach the right-bank Kherson region.
“Russia is continuing efforts to consolidate control of occupied territories in Ukraine through the manipulation of citizenship procedure,” the ISW said.
Ukrainian strikes on legitimate military targets far behind Russian lines caused a negative reaction from the Russian pro-military community, analysts say. “Prominent voices in the pro-war information space will likely continue to seize on perceived attacks on Russian domestic security to criticize Russian military capabilities and leadership and call for escalated actions against Ukraine,” the ISW said.
ISW also said Russian officials and nationalists have begun to criticize the Kremlin’s lenient policies regarding migration and passportization of migrants from Central Asia.