Russian missile strikes continue to pose a serious threat to Ukrainian civilians, but are unlikely to cause public discontent in Ukraine, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in a December 16 report.
Analysts also note that these strikes do not improve the ability of Russian troops to conduct offensive operations in Ukraine.
It is noted that Russian National Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev made inflammatory but irrelevant comments in support of ongoing information operations that aim to weaken Western support for Ukraine. Analysts note that Medvedev’s rhetoric still does not match the actual position of the Kremlin regarding the war in Ukraine.
Analysts note that Russian President Vladimir Putin ignored warnings about worst-case economic scenario assessments from senior Kremlin financial advisors prior to launching his full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Russia is now continuing to endure some economic challenges as a direct result of war in Ukraine. “Mobilization had sparked increasing manpower shortages across several industries in Russia… The costs of Putin’s war, including the human and labor cost of his force generation efforts, will continue to have a long-term effect on Russia’s economy,” the ISW said.
On Friday, Russian troops launched strikes near the cities of Svatovo and Kreminna in Luhansk region, continued offensive operations in the directions of Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in Donetsk region, and also continued to defend on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson region.
“Russian officials will likely struggle to recruit additional contract servicemembers despite ongoing efforts to do so,” the ISW said.