Institute for Study of War Updates Russia Ukraine War

Dr. Kimberly Kagan founded ISW (Institute for Study of War in May 2007 to properly cover the war in Iraq. Frustrated with the prevailing lack of accurate information documenting developments on the ground in Iraq and the detrimental effect of biased reporting on policymakers, Dr. Kagan established ISW to provide real-time, independent, and open-source analysis of ongoing military operations and insurgent attacks. General Jack Keane (U.S. Army, Ret.), the Chairman of ISW’s board, also played a central role in developing the intellectual foundation and supported the formation of the Institute.


Russian forces entered major Ukrainian cities—including Kyiv and Kherson—for the first time on February 25. Russian forces’ main axes of advance focused on Kyiv (successfully isolating the city on both banks of the Dnipro River). Russian military operations along Ukraine’s northern border have been less well-planned, organized, and conducted than those emanating from Crimea. They have also been less successful so far.

Russian forces remain much larger and more capable than Ukraine’s conventional military, however. Russia will likely defeat Ukrainian regular military forces and secure their territorial objectives at some point in the coming days or weeks if Putin is determined to do so and willing to pay the cost in blood and treasure.

Other Reports

Social media reports that Russia paratroopers that entered Kyiv were killed and transport planes have been shot down in the last hour.

The Ukrainian military has shot down seven Russian aircraft and seven helicopters on the 24th.

Key Takeaways

Russian forces entered the outskirts of Kyiv on the west bank of the Dnipro on February 25. Russian sabotage groups in civilian clothes are reportedly active in downtown Kyiv.
Russian forces have so far failed to enter Kyiv’s eastern outskirts. Ukrainian forces have successfully slowed Russian troops, which have temporarily abandoned the failed attempt to take the city of Chernihiv and are instead bypassing it.
Elements of the Russian 76th VDV (Airborne) division have concentrated in southeastern Belarus likely for use along the Chernihiv-bypass axis toward Kyiv in the next 24 hours.
Russian forces will likely envelop Kharkhiv in the next 24 hours after failing to enter the city through frontal assaults on February 24.
Russian forces have achieved little success on frontal assaults or envelopments against Ukrainian forces in Donbas but may not have intended to do more than pin Ukrainian forces in the east.
North of Crimea, Russian forces fully captured Kherson and are likely on the verge of seizing Melitopol in the east. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Russian forces had bypassed Kherson earlier and headed directly for Mykolaiv and Odessa.
Russian forces may be assembling in Stolin, Belarus, to open a new line of advance against Rivne in western Ukraine.

UK and Poland Work to Help Ukraine

Foreign Policy reports on the support that Poland and the UK are providing to Ukraine.

Poland is currently the top defense spender in Eastern Europe behind Russia. Poland has received US arriving in Eastern Europe since January. After sending 2,000 soldiers to Poland and Germany in early February, Washington deployed 3,000 additional troops to Poland, including from the 101st Airborne Division. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also announced a $6 billion weapons sale to Warsaw, which will include 250 M1 Abrams tanks, as he visited U.S. troops in Poland last week.

Poland announced plans to send tens of thousands of artillery shells, anti-aircraft weapons, and mortars, among other arms to Ukraine. There is now a finalized a tripartite security agreement between Poland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom that aims to improve trade and defense cooperation between the three countries.

SOURCES- ISW, Social Media, Foreign Policy
Written By Brian Wang,

48 thoughts on “Institute for Study of War Updates Russia Ukraine War”

  1. Don't agree with your comment "Russia will likely defeat Ukrainian regular military forces and secure their territorial objectives at some point in the coming days or weeks"

  2. "Fact checking" is what modern media call "editorials" when they want to trick the gullible into thinking they're reading objective analysis.

    This particular 'fact check' amounts to, "The complicit parties all agreed that they'd done nothing wrong!"

  3. Was anything I said false? You can confirm for yourself that Democrats were discussing impeaching him before he was even elected.

    Heck, documents that were recently released from the State Department confirm that prosecutor Biden got fired was in fact favored considered by the State Department to be a reformer!

    Fox news? OAN? Sorry, don't watch either. I'm more into The Hill.

    Yeah, there's a cult here, but you're the cult member. I just follow the news.

  4. I wish someone had taken a more careful look at Putin when it surfaced that Russia was considering adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. I doubt there was any reason to do it at the time. In hindsight– and there's no way to tell if I'm correct, but anyway– it makes me think Putin was already considering doing something that would send the Russian economy into free fall, and he wanted something to fall back on. If it would even work that way. Maybe it doesn't and I'm just connecting nonexistent dots.

  5. I definitely think you're on point, here. This started a long time ago, before Biden or Trump were in government (I believe Biden was first elected in 1973 and Putin first joined whatever USSR service he joined, in 1975). This is an incredibly old conflict.

  6. Think Trump wasn't that bad == Putin lover and culpable for his crimes. Real nuanced. Its some form of PTSD. Even despite the events of the day they can't stop returning to Trump

  7. Trump's impeachments are neither success nor failure, in terms of his Presidency. They were purely political, pre-ordained before he ever took office, and had nothing whatsoever to do with his performance in office, and were purely a function of his having been elected as a Republican.

    You can look up the news reports, Democrats were discussing that they would impeach Trump if he was elected even before the election. In February of '17 the polls were showing a majority of Democrats favoring his impeachment before any potential charges could be identified.

    The only question was what the pretext would be. As it happens they found no basis for impeaching him that persuaded anybody who didn't already hate his guts for unrelated reasons, so he was acquitted both times on near party line votes.

    Do I think Putin is a genius? Sure. You think idiots rise to the top of the KGB, and end up dictators of whole countries? That he just stumbled into power? Well, I suppose Democrats routinely claim that Trump is an idiot who stumbled into winning the Presidency.

    Learn the difference between "having virtues" and "being virtuous"; If you could stop confusing them you might understand that nobody is "pro-Putin" just because they think he's clever.

  8. The US can handle two fronts easily. Occupying two countries simultaneously for decades, with a massive, fanatical insurgency, is another matter.

  9. There are unconfirmed reports that a lot of the Russian soldiers were effectively tricked into their border organizing being just an exercise. Several captured Russian troops have claimed as much and you have abandoned, functional armored troop carriers across the countryside.
    My thoughts on this- if this is the best Russia can muster in something that is their deal [a land war] against a neighboring opponent and they have at least SOME recent combat experience, then the PLA, who has almost NO combat experience in recent decades, will try and take a large island 100 miles away and get their teeth kicked in. And I think the Taiwan military is a lot more prepared than Ukraine was.

  10. There's the current legend of the "Ghost of Kyiv", a Mig-29 with allegedly 6 kills.

    Ukraine is building up an International Legion (similar in scope to the French Foreign Legion), allowing foreigners (prefer vets, but weekend warriors will probably come too).

    Ukraine is also calling on foreign hackers to join their IT army, where they are already handing out task orders.

    Their DX/PR usage is interesting, such as setting up a dedicated home page and telegram channel hosting information about identified russian soldiers who were killed or captured, even allowing calls to their loved ones.

    Added shenanigans is the Nordstream 1 pumping station in Poland reactivating after a 2 month pause, pumping russian gas to germany. Contrast this with Germany committing $100 billion to rebuild the Bundeswehr army.

    It looks like the AN-225 Mirya has been probably destroyed, if the following tweet is real.

  11. Though, if there was ever an opportunity to do so, it would be now, as the US can't handle 2 fronts concurrently very well anymore, and it's obvious that a partial NATO mobilization is going to occupy many critical assets. If the US had still been in Afghanistan, it would have been a prime moment.

  12. Actually, I was just a bit busy, so don't read anything into that "failure". I'm not at all impressed by your instantly leaping to such a conclusion, by the way.

  13. "Once understood, the System must be destroyed". It is the fault of the patterns of ritual child abuse, esp at birth, we have been doing for 7 million years. That does not mean we cannot defend ourselves from neurotic power addicts, but the knowledge is now 50 years old. The real people at fault are those who ignore the knowledge when presented. primaltherapy dot com

    edit: sort of peripheral, as they never started therapy, but youth, the hope of the world, is interested:

  14. I'm just gonna come out and say the unpopular thing: this was neither Trump's nor Biden's fault. Whatever shenanigans they were engaged in, or should have been engaged in, wouldn't have been much help.

    Nordstream 2 is squarely Germany's fault. Giving up the nukes was Ukraine's fault, and also their mistake for not getting started on the NATO/EU route way earlier.

    But most of all, it's Vladimir Putin's fault for first heading down the autocrat route, and then deciding to invade. None of this had to happen, Russia could have developed their economy and government like the more successful ex-soviet republics, and if they had, they'd be a prosperous ally instead of an enemy.

  15. It may have looked repetitive to the monitors of the comments, not Brian. ???? I think I saw the same thing twice. ???

    Beware socialists, they use each other as the other in a boogeyman game. As they get desperate, under stress, they start blaming the *other* socialist for what they themselves are doing, hint. They are too busy/stupid/stressed to think of something new, so they just say "they do it". You end up with a *choice* between right and left labels, socialist all, without any real difference esp at extreme. All mentally healthy people are libertarian. socialists are neurotic power addicts.

    And, speaking of repetitive, but not to you directly:

  16. I think they call themselves Maga Trumpies, MAGATs. They are right wing socialists who denounce socialism. All mentally healthy people are libertarian. TDS is correctly named, but some don't see the obvious. It is about Trump. Chronic. Actually, it is neurotic power addiction, but hey, a form of derangement.

  17. I hope this demonstration of resistance causes Beijing to think twice about going into a hot war against Taiwan and Japan.

  18. Even knowing one is insane is far different from NOT being insane. However, we are not dealing with a problem of too much or even sufficient self knowledge here. We are dealing with a type specimen that perhaps will explicate the *nature* or science of insanity, particularly power addiction. The most dangerous addiction by far. The lever here is that one in power is not the only one whose opinion about that one's insanity matters. There is a long history of insane leaders somehow being circumvented, often by those close to them, once identified as insane. Now, we know that successful Repression is just as insane as unsuccessful, and the symptom, power addiction, just as dangerous. All mentally healthy people are libertarian.

  19. Following this, trying to hash out why Putin is behaving as he is, one might also state that Hannibal Lectre– who isn't real, but let's pretend, yaaay!– knew that eating people was the quintessential representation of badness. But, he ate people, anyway. Why, when he knew very well that he was insane and that others would see his insanity for what it was, did he continue eat people?

    Because he liked it.

  20. I should clarify something. Being from the U.S., I'm not a stranger to this country's hegemonic history. So, I realize that my initial statement may seem hypocritical. In fact, it most certainly is. However, I don't just go around bestowing wishes of coups upon people. That's bad practice, isn't it?

    I'm just not a fan of being told what to do. Actually, I've always sort of had an issue with authority (yes, I know that's a problem). Putin is authoritarian, and he's in the process of attempting to overthrow the democratically elected (far as I know) government of a country that [mostly] doesn't want to be a part of Russia. Therefore, I have issues with him. I mean, he looks great in that Photoshopped image of him riding a grizzly bear, but beyond that, eh… not my kinda guy.

    We can't say for sure what a conglomeration of Eastern European countries would look like under the rule of someone like Putin and the successors he would choose. BUT: we can look at history and say, "Hmm, I think I know how this would look."

    If a country wants to enter an alliance of nations, that should be up to the people of that country.

    So, good or bad, that's my reasoning.

  21. And what do the masses do when they're not preoccupied with boogeymen countries? PAAAARTYYYY!!! Which, uh…hmm… well, that, itself, can be incredibly dangerous (see binge drinking statistics lol).

  22. Repression, neurosis, mental illness such as we are seeing here is inherently self destructive. Repression is *of* one's own self, a past traumatic experience. Repression of self is self destruction. The flocking together is another symptom. “We don’t know who to shoot — they all look like us.”
    Check out the geothermal link below for the future of gas suppliers.

  23. Russians had experience with this in Afghan. Armor columns hit by RPGs? Break units down into small infantry squads

  24. As usual the Russians are murdering the Jews,the president of Urkraine is Jewish and the Russians will kill him and his family. Also as usual the Germans are complicit in mass murder of the Jews.

  25. Trump had a lot of shortcomings but he wasn't the craven coward Biden is, with trump in office Putin would never have invaded, sanctions mean nothing ,when Obama was in office Russia was not punished at all for taking georgia and Crimea,Biden was complicit,Biden made Putin feel very comfortable that no matter what he had Putins back,th US would no resist and in fact he promised that h would make sure UK and all the others would do nothing.
    Take Kalingrad,it would cost us little, and it wouldn't be a bargaining chip, w would just take it and us it for a military base, this would change the calculus for Putin,he would hesitate.
    The reason I voted for slept Joe is i thought in a situation like this h would get all th countries together and attack from Finland down to Turkey,along a broad front . The Russian air force does not do well against modern air power.
    Failing the at least give Ukraine 100 tactical nukes,we paid for such a good military so we wouldn't have to resort to nuclear weapons but that is what you are left with when you have a traitor in charge.

  26. When people realize they are humiliating themselves, or their leaders are, it is very powerful. When they realize their leaders are humiliating themselves by being mentally ill, it is even more powerful. When the leader is not only a neurotic power addict, but piles on the self humiliation with pride in himself, pride in his very symptoms of mental illness, that is powerful and hilarious.

    edit: "Putin certainly has an endgame in mind: It’s recreating the Russian Empire with himself as tsar. After more than two decades of iron rule and with no competitors to worry about, he seems to think he is a genius." A powerful strategy is to not let him know he is humiliating himself until later, when most others know, so his rude awakening will be all the more intense, his cautionary example all the more powerful, his place in history as Poster Child of Neurosis wannabe certified. Forever. "They don't even realize they are neurotic."

  27. This may not be something that many people will take seriously, but I think there's a real possibility that Russia will implode before this ends. Not in a had way, either, but ousting Putin and anyone else with hegemonic hopes.

    Hey, I can dream!

  28. Ukraine has at most 200. Not 300 thousands. If used strategically from ambush they still can be quite painful for the invading party. However, you need trained troops who don't mind dying fighting a losing battle

  29. This is making business with these guys look less appealing. What if a new way to get energy came along?

    Also need a new way to push the ISS around. Musk has it already. "If you block cooperation with us, who will save the International Space
    Station (ISS) from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United
    States or…Europe?" Rogozin said in one of his tweets. "There is also
    the possibility of a 500-ton structure falling on India and China. Do
    you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly
    over Russia, therefore all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?"

    Commies were never very good at free markets.

  30. Ukrainian president is a brave man. He stood up to trump, when he tried to blackmail him – that lead to impeachment. Why republicans did not vote in favour in removing president who was destroying USA from within is another thing. Kiev mayor is multi milionare, could fly away and hide, instead he stayed and fights. To the what extent did russians implemented one of their strategies – Divide and rule is a good question. Nazis and communist used their propaganda leaflets, so much later is reasonable to assume that Russia did employ more sofisticated and hidden ways of social engeeniring to shift public opinion by using internet. Europe is infiltrated from Russia, they pay some politicians and for that they work for their interests,… It is a good question, why did trump praise Putin all the time and worked so much to destroy Usa from within? Patological serial liar as trump did not work in the interests of the USA or Democracy, instead he worked against it. Plenty of evidence for that. Republican party was resisting him from the beggining, but later on he subjugated them. They just continued to echo what he had to say.

    Biden administration worked to prevent a war or to deter one. War was the choice of russian enemy regime from the start, their demands were such that West could not accept them. If trump was in charge, he would praise russian adversary again and would make the work much easier for him.

    I hope Ukrainians are strong enough to resist much more.

  31. A well distributed 300,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine sent by the United States will finish the Russian invasion.

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