Ukraine advances on Lyman while discontent with mobilization rises in Russia, says ISW

Combat Work of Ukraine’s Armed Forces on the Front Line, September 2022

Also read: Videos show Russians sent to Ukraine to wage war under Russian mobilization

The early days of mobilization in Russia demonstrated this “despotic” approach, ISW analysts say, as recruiters immediately began to openly violate the parameters set by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. As a result, Russian citizens are forced to enlist without pretense, previous military service or other alleged mobilization standards. Anti-mobilization protest participants have also been summoned, ISW reports, which is likely to exacerbate internal discontent in Russia, ISW experts predict.

Also read: Putin announces partial mobilization, Russians start Googling a way to leave Russia, and Big Mac index suggests undervaluation of hryvnia

They added that the Kremlin is likely to mobilize “disproportionately” representatives of non-Russian peoples and ethnic groups, as well as immigrant communities. Ideas are already being expressed in Moscow to introduce compulsory military service for immigrants from Central Asia who have acquired Russian citizenship in the past decade, under threat of deprivation of their citizenship. And local officials will likely be forced to mobilize men regardless of military status. Some nationals of Russia, such as the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and the Kursk region, are already introducing regulations prohibiting reservists (Russian nationals with previous military experience) from leaving their permanent residence.

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ISW notes that the first signs of public anger across Russia in response to these actions have already manifested themselves, according to data from the independent Russian human rights organization OVD-Info — which has protest documents in 42 cities across the country, as well as cases of arson of military recruitment offices and local government offices (in Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Tolyatti and the Trans-Baikal area).

“The Kremlin is likely to crush such protests in the coming days,” ISW analysts write.

Also read: Losses from invading Russian forces now exceed 55,000, Ukraine says

“However, […] blatant disregard for even the parameters of mobilization dictated by the authorities may contribute to the alienation of those sections of the Russian public that were previously more tolerant of the Russian invasion of Ukraine when it concerned them less personally.”

The ISW also argues that the Kremlin may have tried to downplay the prisoner swap with Ukraine by doing so on the same day Putin announced a partial mobilization to quell criticism of the Kremlin detainees’ extradition to Ukraine. The exchange turned out to be an “extremely unpopular” move among Russian nationalists and military bloggers.

Read:Zelensky offers guarantees for Russian soldiers who surrender

Representatives of Russia’s far-right criticized the exchange, appealing to the Kremlin whether Moscow has given up on the “denazification” of Ukraine, one of the stated goals of the Russian invasion. After all, Kremlin propagandists had previously reported extensively on the planned trial of the fighters of the Azov regiment.

Other conclusions from the ISW analysts from the past day:

It is unlikely that the IAEA negotiations around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant will significantly improve the situation at the plant and give Russian forces the opportunity to carry out provocations.

·Ukrainian forces are likely to continue limited counter-offensive operations along the Kharkov-Luhansk border on September 22.

Ukraine’s armed forces are likely to continue their offensive on Lyman (Donetsk Oblast): On September 22, several Russian sources reported fighting northwest of Lyman, claiming that Ukrainian forces had broken through Russian defenses at Redkodub and Karpovka, 20 km south-east. north of Lyman. Russian sources also said Ukrainian forces have made a breakthrough near the village of Kooviy Yar (22 km northwest of Lyman) and are continuing attacks in Drobysheve (west of Lyman).

·Ukrainian military officials maintained their operational silence on Ukrainian ground attacks in Kherson Oblast on September 22 and reiterated that Ukrainian armed forces are conducting an operational-level prohibition campaign in Kherson Oblast.

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Russian forces carried out limited ground attacks along the front lines in Donetsk Oblast on September 22.

Russian occupation forces hastily draft terms for holding mock annexation referendums in occupied Ukraine September 23-27.

Russian officials have set up polling stations in parts of Russia, ostensibly to allow displaced (in many cases kidnapped) Ukrainian residents of occupied territories to ‘vote’.

Russian occupation officials in Ukraine likely expect to be forced to provide personnel to meet Russian regional mobilization quotas after the Kremlin illegally annexed occupied Ukrainian territories.

Map of hostilities

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