Russian Struggle Report: Ukraine secures new territory as Prigozhin recruits Russian prisoners 

Russian War Report: Ukraine secures new territory as Prigozhin recruits Russian prisoners 

As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Analysis Lab (DFRLab) is holding an in depth eye on Russia’s actions throughout the army, cyber, and data domains. With greater than seven years of expertise monitoring the state of affairs in Ukraine—in addition to Russia’s use of propaganda and disinformation to undermine the United States, NATO, and the European Union—the DFRLab’s world group presents the most recent installment of the Russian Struggle Report. 


Ukraine secures new territory as Prigozhin recruits Russian prisoners

Renewed clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan as Armenia requires Russian army help

Struggle crimes and human rights abuses

Ukraine says lots of of useless civilians unearthed in Izyum

Monitoring narratives

Kremlin claims Russian troops are ‘regrouping’

Moscow police examine journalist for ‘homosexual propaganda’

Pretend RAND Company doc selling US conspiracy to weaken Germany spreads on-line

Russian Struggle Report: Ukraine secures new territory as Prigozhin recruits Russian prisoners

Ukraine has efficiently pushed again Russian forces during the last a number of weeks, launching counteroffensives within the areas of Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Kherson. With energetic preventing concentrated within the jap and southern elements of the nation, there was a rise in civilians trying to flee hard-hit areas. The Ukrainian military regained 600 sq. kilometers within the Kherson counteroffensive, in line with Ukrainian media reviews. In Kharkiv, Ukraine retook roughly 300 settlements throughout 3,000 sq. kilometers and liberated 150,000 individuals from Russian occupation. The frontline of the battle within the Kharkiv area is reaching nearer to occupied areas of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. On September 13, reviews claimed that Russian military items had deserted Kreminna in Luhansk oblast; whereas partisans raised the Ukrainian flag over the city, as of September 14, Ukrainian forces had not entered town. 

Separate assaults have additionally affected humanitarian belongings in Donetsk oblast. On September 12 and 13, the Russian military shelled cities on the frontline of Sloviansk, killing not less than one particular person and injuring one other. An agricultural technical college and eight buildings had been broken within the shelling. Russian rockets additionally hit a hospital and a personal residence in Kramatorsk. The city of Hostre, in space of Kurakhove, additionally got here below fireplace. In the meantime, Russia has shelled Avdiivka for a number of days in a row. Russian forces additionally launched an airstrike on Siversk on September 12. 

Because the counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces continues, Russia is trying to hinder Ukraine’s progress in numerous elements of the nation. Ukrainian sources reported that eight Russian missiles struck targets in Kryvyi Rih, within the Dnipropetrovsk area, leading to flooding. The water stage of the Inhulets River, which runs south of Kryvyi Rih, rose as results of the strike on the Kherson-Mykolaiv axis, flooding space houses. The goal of the assault was seemingly the Karachun dam. 

In the meantime, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin was filmed making an enchantment to convicts, promising amnesty in the event that they signal as much as battle in Ukraine. Within the footage, Prigozhin revealed that prisoners have already been preventing on the frontlines with the Wagner Group. “Within the first assault in Ukraine utilizing forty prisoners, three died and 7 had been injured….No person goes again behind bars,” he stated. “In case you serve six months, you’re free.” Russian regulation doesn’t allow commuting jail sentences for army service, although it’s unclear if exceptions will be made throughout wartime. Prigozhin is mobilizing fight energy for the Russian military, which has suffered heavy losses in latest weeks. Prigozhin’s feedback should not nearly recruiting mercenaries; they’re additionally a sign that Russia is in search of additional mobilization, a observe that, even in Soviet occasions, relied on prisoners.

Prigozhin’s feedback coincide with rising home strain on the Kremlin to mobilize extra recruits and to formally declare the “particular operation” in Ukraine a struggle. Chechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov referred to as on regional governors in Russia to hold out self-mobilization and never anticipate the Kremlin’s choice. Gennady Zyuganov, the chief of the Russian communist get together, joined the requires a nationwide mobilization.  

These latest developments point out that paramilitary formations, like these in Syria who fought alongside the forces of President Bashar Assad’s regime, could also be rising in Russia. In Syria, amid the worst preventing within the civil battle, the federal government allowed businessmen to achieve affect within the state equipment in change for sponsoring and creating native militias to assist the military. The most recent developments in Russia point out {that a} comparable course of could possibly be unfolding.  

In accordance with the Ukrainian Ministry of Protection, officers within the occupation administration of Crimea and southern Ukraine have begun to secretly evacuate their households to Russia, indicating that the state of safety in Russian-occupied territories is poor. These claims haven’t been independently confirmed. 

In the meantime, the primary visible affirmation of Iranian drones being utilized by Russia in Ukraine surfaced this week. A Shahed-136 (Герань-2) drone was most probably utilized in Ukaine’s Kupiansk area. It is a important revelation that strongly suggests Tehran is sending Russia army help, regardless of earlier denials. It additionally signifies that Russia could also be experiencing a scarcity of high-tech gear and weapons. 

As well as, world sanctions could additional hinder the Kremlin’s army efforts, because the group of seven nations is working to cap the worth of Russian oil in an try and restrict Moscow’s means to fund its invasion of Ukraine. Presently, Russia depends on income from exporting power assets to Asia. 

Lastly, Ukraine’s Cupboard of Ministers permitted the draft price range for 2023, Minister of Finance Serhiy Marchenko introduced on Fb.  The 2023 state price range is the price range of a rustic that can develop into stronger, strengthen its protection capabilities, be capable to rebuild after injury brought on by Russian armed aggression, and in addition care for these residents who want it,” he stated.

Ruslan Trad, Resident Fellow for Safety Analysis, Sofia, Bulgaria 

Renewed clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan as Armenia requires Russian army help

On September 13, the Armenian Ministry of Protection reported that Azerbaijani Armed Forces shelled Armenian army positions in Goris, Sotk, and Jermuk. Azerbaijan reportedly used large-caliber artillery, small arms, and drones within the assault. Azerbaijan reported fifty casualties, whereas Armenia stated 105 Armenian servicemembers had been killed within the strikes. Previous to the latest escalation, each events had accused every different of planning and organizing a large-scale provocation. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that Azerbaijan had gained ten sq. kilometers of Armenian territory this week. For comparability, in Might 2021, Azerbaijan occupied forty sq. kilometers of Armenian territory. OC Media reported not less than nineteen completely different Armenian areas alongside the border with Azerbaijan had been hit by missiles this week. 

Amid renewed clashes, Armenian authorities requested the Collective Safety Treaty Group (CSTO), a Russian-led army block, to help in restoring the territorial integrity of Armenia. Pashinyan said that Armenia was invoking  Article 4 of the settlement, which stipulates that an assault on a member state is an act of aggression towards different member states. In response to this request, CSTO held an emergency assembly and proposed the creation of a working group to evaluate the state of affairs on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. Armenia beforehand invoked Article 4 in Might 2021, when Azerbaijan made advances in Armenia’s Gegharkunik and Syunik provinces; in response, CSTO advocated diplomatic negotiations. Armenia additionally requested Russia to offer army help below the Russian-Armenian treaty on mutual protection that was signed in 1997. The Kyiv Unbiased reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had declined to offer army help to Armenia, however didn’t cite a supply.  

On September 13, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Azerbaijan to cease the army operation alongside the border with Armenia. State Division Spokesperson Ned Value famous that the US has seen “vital proof of Azerbaijani shelling inside Armenia and vital injury to Armenian infrastructure.” Freedom Home additionally referred to as for Azerbaijani armed forces to cease their assaults on Armenia.  

On September 13, Armenian media reported that cell suppliers had blocked entry to TikTok, however the app remained accessible through cable web. The DFRLab used OONI Explorer to reviewed the connectivity of TikTok’s web site in Armenia; we discovered that DNS tampering/spoofing started on September 13 at 4:03pm native time. OONI Explorer additionally confirmed that DNS spoofing of TikTok’s web site befell in Azerbaijan on September 14. Azerbaijan’s State Safety Service introduced that it had briefly suspended TikTok in Azerbaijan as a consequence of the truth that data revealed on the platform “casts a shadow on the successes of our military, accommodates army secrets and techniques, and goals to create a incorrect opinion within the society.” Samvel Martirosyan, co-founder of Armenian CyberHUB, stated that with the intention to forestall individuals from utilizing digital non-public networks (VPNs), state-aligned Azerbaijani bloggers had been spreading rumors that main VPN companies had been managed by Armenia.  

On September 14, Pashinyan introduced that he was keen to acknowledge the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, so long as Armenia’s Soviet-era border was acknowledged. He added that he was keen to signal an settlement with Azerbaijan. “Many individuals will criticize us, curse us, name us traitors, the individuals could even determine to take away us from energy, and we will probably be grateful if on account of this,” he stated. “Armenia will get lasting peace and safety with an space of two,800 sq. kilometers.” Following the discharge of the assertion, Armenian residents gathered in entrance of the Nationwide Meeting constructing to protest the feedback, with some demanding Pashinyan’s resignation. Pashinyan later clarified that no such doc had been signed as of but, and any claims on the contrary had been rumors propagated by “exterior unfriendly forces.

Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiated a ceasefire that took impact at 8pm native time on September 15.

Givi Gigitashvili, Analysis Affiliate, Warsaw, Poland. 

Ukraine says lots of of useless civilians unearthed in Izyum

Ukrainian officers stated they had discovered 440 our bodies in woodlands close to town of Izyum. They stated a lot of the useless had been civilians, and that the positioning proved struggle crimes had been dedicated by Russian occupiers. Video from Izyum confirmed a pine forest dotted with graves. Wood crosses marked the areas. One handwritten signal learn, “Ukraine armed forces, seventeen individuals, Izyum metropolis, [taken] from the morgue.”  

If confirmed, this is able to be the biggest mass grave recognized in Europe since Tomašica, the place the Bosnian authorities uncovered a mass grave in September 2013. It contained the stays of 435 individuals, largely struggle victims, who had been killed by the Bosnian Serb forces in numerous locations round Prijedor from 1992 to 1995.  

Reviews from Kupiansk additionally point out potential Russian struggle crimes, together with situations of torture. In jail cells at an area police station, Ukrainian forces discovered blood on the ground and stains on mattresses. Russian occupation forces unexpectedly deserted the police station after destroying data they’d saved there.

Ruslan Trad, Resident Fellow for Safety Analysis, Sofia, Bulgaria 

Kremlin claims Russian troops are ‘regrouping’

After a profitable Ukrainian counteroffensive compelled Russian troops to retreat from the neighborhood of Kharkiv, Russian officers and pro-Kremlin sources rebranded the withdrawal as “regrouping.” 

As Ukraine regained territory, Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Protection, stated the MoD determined to “regroup” Russian forces within the areas of Balakliia and Izyum “to construct up prospects on the Donetsk stage.” The MoD continued, “Throughout this operation, plenty of distraction and demonstration actions had been carried out with the designation of the actual actions of the troops.”  

In the meantime, Kremlin-owned and pro-Kremlin media retailers tried to justify Russia’s retreat as a strategic choice. Retailers akin to,,,, and revealed interviews with pro-Kremlin pundits who provided various justifications for the Russian withdrawal. In a single interview, a “army professional” claimed that Russia’s MoD “carried out a complete vary of measures to mislead the Armed Forces of Ukraine, creating the phantasm that we had a weak protection.” One other interview bolstered the declare that Russia retreated to “mislead the enemy.” A 3rd interview alleged that the “regrouping” befell as a result of there was a “want to pay attention forces and strengthen positions within the Donbas.”  

On-line mentions of the phrase “Перегруппировка” (“regrouping”) skyrocketed on September 10 and 11, in line with a question carried out utilizing the social media monitoring device Meltwater Discover.

On-line mentions of the phrase “перегруппировка” (“regrouping”) skyrocketed throughout Ukraine’s counteroffensive. (Supply: DFRLab through Meltwater) 

As well as, Chechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov claimed, “The regrouping of troops within the Kharkiv area is a compelled measure, which is defined by army technique and the objective of saving human lives.”

Eto Buziashvili, Analysis Affiliate, Washington DC

Moscow police examine journalist for disseminating ‘homosexual propaganda’

Moscow police are investigating TV character Ksenia Sobchak for disseminating “homosexual propaganda,” Russian state-owned media outlet RIA reported on Monday. 

In accordance with RIA, the investigation was initiated after a Russian citizen contacted police to “look at publications shared on the channel of journalist Ksenia Sobchak for LGBT propaganda amongst minors.” RIA reported that the case is being investigated below Article 6.21 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses, which pertains to the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations amongst juveniles.” Article 6.21 carries a superb of as much as 100,000 rubles ($1,676) for people and as much as a million rubles for authorized entities, along with a potential 90-day work suspension. 

Ksenia Sobchak is the daughter of the late Anatoly Sobchak, the previous mayor of St. Petersburg and mentor to Vladimir Putin. In 2018, she ran as a presidential candidate towards Putin, however some argued that Sobchak was a decoy candidate who solely ran to create the phantasm of a democratic election.  

On her Telegram channel, Krovavaya Barynya (“Кровавая барыня,” “Bloody Woman”), Sobchak advised that police is perhaps investigating her YouTube channel after she revealed an interview with Russian tennis participant Daria Kasatkina, who lately got here out as homosexual. “Now even only a dialog with LGBT individuals about their lives is perhaps thought-about LGBT propaganda,” Sobchak added. The police haven’t confirmed which of Sobchak’s platforms is being examined. Sobchak’s YouTube channel has greater than three million subscribers, and the interview with Kasatkina garnered greater than 1.5 million views.   

Earlier this month, Russian web regulator Roskomnadzor introduced its assist for a draft regulation “on administrative accountability for propaganda of LGBT individuals and pedophilia.” The invoice was launched by Alexander Khinshtein, the pinnacle of the State Duma Committee on Data Coverage.  

Final month, Russia revealed plans to assemble a web-based surveillance system that might seek out “gay propaganda,” amongst different “prohibited information.” As well as, Runiversalis – the Russian analog of the web encyclopedia Wikipedia– introduced that it’s going to not cowl “gay propaganda” on its platform.   

Eto Buziashvili, Analysis Affiliate, Washington DC

Pretend RAND Company doc selling US conspiracy to weaken Germany spreads on-line

On September 11, the Russian tv program Vesti Nedeli reported on what it claimed was a “confidential doc” from the RAND Company, a US assume tank. The doc claimed the US had deliberate the struggle in Ukraine prematurely and had intentionally provoked Russia. Reporter Mikhail Antonov argued that the doc, stated to be dated January 25, 2022, outlined a US technique to pressure Germany into making use of sanctions towards Russia, in an try and weaken Germany’s financial system. Antonov cited the German outlet Weltexpress because the supply of the doc.

A screencap from Vesti Nedeli exhibiting the pretend RAND report. (Supply: Vesti Nedeli on 

RAND Company denied the allegation. “A supposedly leaked RAND report a couple of weird U.S. conspiracy to ‘weaken Germany’ is pretend,” it stated in a assertion.   

Weltexpress, the primary German language outlet to publish in regards to the doc, titled their article, “The financial disaster in Germany is the results of a deliberate provocation by the USA. The Individuals collapsed the German financial system to destroy a competitor.” Two days later, Weltexpress revealed in English what they claimed to be an excerpt from the alleged RAND report.

Sopo Gelava, Analysis Affiliate, Tbilisi, Georgia

Associated Consultants:
Ruslan Trad,
Eto Buziashvili,
Sopo Gelava, and
Givi Gigitashvili

Picture: Ukrainian police patrol an space, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, within the city of Izium, lately liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, in Kharkiv area, Ukraine September 14, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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