Espreso. Global

ISW explains why Russia will lose influence in post-Soviet countries

17 March, 2023 Friday

Russia will lose its military influence in post-Soviet countries, as it has redeployed its forces from there to wage war against Ukraine

This was reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

"Russia’s redeployment of elements of its “peacekeeping force” from Nagorno-Karabakh to Ukraine is eroding Russia’s influence with Armenia," the report says. 

Thus, on March 16, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of preparing a new large-scale offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh. However, he said that Armenia would have to turn to the UN Security Council if Russia is unable to maintain the ceasefire in the region, which was established by the November 9, 2020, agreement.

"Russia’s “peacekeeping force” in Nagorno-Karabakh is very likely understrength. The Russian military redeployed elements of the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade — Russia's only dedicated peacekeeping brigade — from Nagorno-Karabakh to Ukraine in March 2022," the analysts emphasize.

The Institute reminded that in June 2022, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that Ukrainian soldiers had inflicted serious losses on the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Federation, killing about 800 and wounding about 400 soldiers out of 1,800 personnel of the brigade who were in Ukraine.

"Russia will likely lose military influence in other post-Soviet states since Moscow has redeployed elements of permanently stationed Russian forces from Russian bases in Kyrgyzstan, occupied Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia), and Tajikistan to fight in Ukraine," the analysts said.

ISW’s key conclusions

  • The FSB appears to be trying to infiltrate the Russian military-industrial base in a manner reminiscent of the KGB's involvement with the Soviet military-industrial base

  • Prigozhin said he had received a press request exposing a conspiracy led by Putin and Patrushev to "neutralize" Wagner PMC

  • Western news agencies have confirmed that Chinese companies have sold military and dual-use equipment to unidentified Russian entities. These sales appear to be small in scale, but could reduce the burden on Russia's defense industrial base and circumvent Western attempts to limit Russian access to microchips

  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used a staged interview with Russian propagandists to amplify Russian information operations

  • Polish President Andrzej Duda says Warsaw will provide Ukraine with 4 MiG-29 fighters

  • Putin tried to reassure the Russian public that the war in Ukraine will not have significant long-term economic consequences, probably as part of the Kremlin's efforts to prepare Russians for a protracted war

  • Russian troops conducted limited ground attacks northeast of Kupiansk and along the Svatove-Kreminna line

  • Russian forces continued to advance in and around Bakhmut, and also continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk line and in the western part of Donetsk region

  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted localized shelling in the Zaporizhzhia region

  • Ukrainian sources reported that Russian troops have increased their naval presence in the Black Sea

Earlier, the Institute for the Study of War reported that compared to previous weeks, the overall pace of the Russian offensive has slowed down, as Ukrainian troops have the ability to regain the initiative at the frontline.

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