The Russian military is throwing in more forces in Ukraine in an attempt to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
However, instead of committing all of its reserves in southern Ukraine, where Kyiv’s forces have achieved a tactical breach, the Russian military is reinforcing the eastern part of the contact line.
New Units in the East
“Since mid-September 2023, Russia has highly likely committed elements of its new 25th Combined Arms Army (25 CAA) to action for the first time. The formation started moving into Ukraine from late August 2023,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
The Russian military has reportedly deployed the 67th Motor Rifle Division and the 164th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade, two of the 25 CAA’s maneuver elements, in the eastern section of the contact line close to Severodonetsk and Kreminna.
The Ukrainian military has reported heightened fighting in the sector.
“The enemy in the Lyman-Kupiansk direction is forming new assault squads, in particular 12 companies numbering approximately 2000 people. They will try to punch holes in our defense,” Ukraine’s Eastern Grouping spokesperson Yevlash said.
For the past 19 months, the Russian military has seldom kept any large formations in reserve to take advantage of the operational conditions. Instead, Moscow has been sending almost all available units to the front to plug gaps created by the fighting. As a result, Russian troops often spend months on the frontlines without any rotations to the rear.
“With 25 CAA apparently being deployed piecemeal to reinforce the over-stretched line, a concerted new Russian offensive is less likely over the coming weeks,” the British Military Intelligence added.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Over the last day, the Russian forces lost a little over 300 men killed, wounded, and captured in what is one of the best days in terms of casualties for the Russian military in a very long time.
This is the third day in a row in which the Russian forces lost relatively few men. At other points in the war, Moscow would lose the approximately 1,300 men it had lost in these three days in just 24 hours.
Despite the relatively low manpower casualties on the Russian side, Moscow continues to lose a very large number of weapon systems, especially artillery guns and multiple-launch rocket systems. In the last 24 hours alone, the Russian military lost more than two dozen artillery pieces in the fighting.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 276,990 Russian troops, destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 316 attack and transport helicopters, 4,675 tanks, 6,237 artillery pieces, 8,950 armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles, 792 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 20 boats and cutters, 8,792 vehicles, and fuel tanks, 534 anti-aircraft batteries, 4,948 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 927 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 1,529 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
About the Author and His Expertise
A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University, an MA from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is pursuing a J.D. at Boston College Law School. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.