Russian invaders may accelerate preparations for pseudo-referendums on the annexation of Ukraine's occupied territories. This is reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
In particular, resistance among the Ukrainian population forces the occupiers to constantly change their plans for a "referendum. Also the counterattack of the Ukrainian military can have an impact on the plans of the invaders.
It is noted that by holding a "door-to-door" vote, the Russian occupiers increase their ability to directly intimidate the civilian population of Ukraine.
It is also noted that the Russians can turn these "polls" into intelligence-gathering operations to screen out the Ukrainian opposition in the occupied territories.
"Voting at home limits the potential for guerrilla attacks on these locations. the Kremlin can arrange for different types of voting in different localities depending on expected local support, perceived risk of guerrilla attacks, and bureaucratic capacity," the report says.
Also, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) notes that the Russian military leadership has undergone a major change because of the failures of its army in Ukraine.
The U.K. Defense Ministry confirmed ISW's preliminary findings that at least six Russian commanders have likely been fired from their positions since the start of the half-hearted invasion. These include Colonel General Alexander Chaiko, commander of the Eastern Military District, and Colonel General Alexander Zhuravlev, commander of the Western Military District.
The Defense Ministry adds that General Alexander Dvornikov, who had commanded the Russian army in Ukraine since April, was eliminated, and Army General Sergei Surovikin took over the "southern grouping" of troops in Ukraine.
"The UK Ministry of Defense has concluded that a lack of coherence in the Russian command structure and continued losses of military leadership on the battlefield complicate command and control and the overall effectiveness of operations in Ukraine," the report said.