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Russian forces ‘increasingly exhausted’ in Ukraine, lack officers: reports

28.06.2022 10:30
Russia continues to seek ways to replenish its “increasingly exhausted” army in Ukraine without announcing a general draft, while it is also struggling with a shortage of senior commanders, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US think tank.
Smoke rises from the Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk amid fierce fighting in the countrys eastern Donbas region, June 8, 2022.
Smoke rises from the Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk amid fierce fighting in the country's eastern Donbas region, June 8, 2022.Photo: Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency/ABACAPRESS.COM via PAP

In its latest assessment of the war in Ukraine, published on Tuesday, the ISW said: “Russian military authorities continue to seek ways to replenish their increasingly exhausted force capabilities without announcing general mobilisation.”

The think tank added: “An unnamed senior US defence official stated on June 27 that Russian forces are likely running low on senior military leaders and are relying more heavily on retired officers and reserves to replace officer casualties.” 

Moreover, “The UK Ministry of Defence similarly reported that Russian forces will likely rely heavily on reserve echelons, namely the Combat Army Reserve (BARS) and Human Mobilisation Resource, in order to galvanise volunteer support and fill out the third battalion tactical group (BTG) within regular (and depleted) brigades,” the ISW noted. 

The think tank stated that “such reserves are unlikely to provide Russian forces with meaningful regeneration of force capabilities.”

Kremenchuk, Donbas, Southern Axis

The ISW also noted that Russian forces on Monday struck a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, central Ukraine, "as part of a recent escalation in strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure and cities.”

Meanwhile in the eastern Donbas region, “Russian forces made incremental advances southwest of Lysychansk near the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway but have not entirely severed Ukrainian lines of communication into Bakhmut,” the think tank said.

At the same time, “Ukrainian forces repelled Russian offensives north of Slovyansk,” it added.

In the northeast, “Russian forces made limited and localised attacks along contested frontlines around Kharkiv City but did not make any advances on June 27,” according to the ISW.

The think tank also reported that Ukraine’s counter attacks along the Southern Axis “continue to force Russian troops to prioritise defensive operations along the line of contact.” 

Russia is seeking to step up economic control of occupied territories and force the local population to switch to the ruble, the ISW also said.

‘Intense waves of Russian strikes’

Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defence noted that Russia in recent days "launched unusually intense waves of strikes across Ukraine using long-range missiles.”

In their latest intelligence update, posted on Tuesday, the UK analysts said that the missiles, likely the Soviet-era AS-4 KITCHEN and the more modern AS-23a KODIAK, had been “fired from both Belarusian and Russian airspace.”  

The British Ministry of Defence pointed out that these long-range missiles “were designed to take on targets of strategic importance, but Russia continues to expend them in large numbers for tactical advantage.”

Russia "fielded the core elements of six different armies, yet achieved only tactical success at Severodonetsk,” the UK analysts said. 

They went on to state: “The Russian armed forces are increasingly hollowed out. They currently accept a level of degraded combat effectiveness, which is probably unsustainable in the long term.”

Lysychansk, Slovyansk, Kharkiv

Meanwhile, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Tuesday reported that the Russian army was conducting assault operations in the Lysychansk, Kharkiv and Slovyansk directions.

In the Lysychansk direction, “in order to inflict losses, the occupiers, in addition to using mortars and artillery, launched air strikes in the areas of Mykolayivka and Yakovlivka," Ukraine’s military command said. 

It added: “The enemy is storming Vovchoyarivka, the southern outskirts of the Lysychansk oil refinery, and fighting continues.”

Meanwhile, “the enemy does not give up hope to take control of the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway,” Ukraine’s general staff said. 

“In order to expose the firing positions of our units, it conducted reconnaissance by fighting in the direction of Mykolayivka - Spirne, and later conducted an offensive in that direction,” it added. 

However, “Ukrainian soldiers successfully suppressed all these attempts and forced the enemy to retreat,” Ukraine’s military command stated.

It said that, in the Slovyansk direction, “the enemy stormed Dovhenke-Dolyna and created conditions for an attack on Slovyansk."

It added: "The main efforts are focused on continuing the offensive in the direction of Izyum - Slovyansk…. Our defenders resolutely stopped the enemy's attempt in the direction of Dovhenke - Dolyna and pushed the enemy back.”

Tuesday is day 125 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, understandingwar.orgfacebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua