Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment - George Barros, Riley Bailey, Kateryna Stepanenko, Madison Williams, Layne Philipson, and Frederick W. Kagan
20 January 2023
Gerasimov stated in the letter that “the organization [Stupin] referred to as PMC Wagner does not belong to the structure of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation” and that ￼the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is not responsible for Wagner servicemen￼38.”￼ Stupin asserted that the letter is real, although ISW has no independent verification of his claim. [...] • Russian Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov may have officially declared that the Wagner Group does not belong in the structure of the Russian Armed Forces and that the Russian military does not collaborate with Wagner despite ample evidence to the contrary. [...] The milblogger also claimed that Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups are operating along the frontline from Kolomyychikha (10km west of Svatove) to Kamianka (63km northwest of Svatove) to assist in target designation for Russian artillery units.45 The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) stated that elements of the Western Military District (WMD) are operating in the northern sector of the Sva. [...] A Russian milblogger reported on January 19 that a Russian citizen went to a military enlistment office in Krasnodar to sign up as a volunteer but officials there told him to “wait for the next mobilization or go to Grozny [in the Chechen Republic].”68 The report stated that the military enlistment officials told the man that the reasons for prohibiting him from signing up as a volunteer are “secr. [...] The BBC’s Russian service shared a special report on January 19 that Russian courts have received over 900 criminal cases under the Russian Criminal Code – most being under the article on “unauthorized abandonment of a unit” since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.75 Meduza previously reported that the Russian government made amendments to the Criminal Code on September 24 that increas.