British intelligence estimates that the bulk of Russian forces in Ukraine are now “poorly trained reservists”

Russian conscripts in Crimea (Reuters) (ALEXEY PAVLISHAK /)

The British Ministry of Defense estimates that the Russian forces in the Ukraine, while maintaining the number of troops and their structure, have diminished in capacity and effectiveness since the outbreak of the war in February 2022, and what used to be an organized military contingent is now, for the most part, groups of reservists incapable of carrying out complex operations.

In its latest assessment published this Sunday, the Ministry of Defense considers that, although the so-called Russian Combined Forces Group – the group of Russian forces or CGF – maintains roughly the same number of personnel on the battlefield as a year ago, 200,000 troops spread across 70 regimentsthey are no longer made up of professional soldiers or “reasonably modern vehicles”.

“Now the force is formed mostly by poorly trained mobilized reservists and increasingly reliant on outdated equipment”, he adds in his assessment.

As a result, Russia is now only capable of conducting “very simple infantry-based operations” compared to the regular “complex joint operations” conducted by the military at the start of the war.

“The most important: unlikely to have been able to generate a mobile reserve, capable of responding to emerging operational challenges”, the Ministry has concluded.

Transfer of mobilized (Reuters)
Transfer of mobilized (Reuters) (ALEXEY MALGAVKO /)

On Saturday, the Ukrainian president, Volodomir Zelenskyassured that the results of the imminent counteroffensive to recover territory invaded by Russia will be seen shortly, although he did not want to give details of the operation because that “would not help Ukraine.”

“Important steps will be taken shortly,” Zelensky said on public television. RAI After an intense day in the Italian capital, in which he met with the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, as well as with the father Francisco.

When asked about the details of the operation, Zelensky did not even want to specify them because he said that this would not help Ukraine”, while indicating: “We are preparing ourselves with great commitment and we will take important steps. We are very motivated. I cannot answer” about the time and the methods, “but you will see the results, we believe in victory”.

Clashes in Bakhmut

The head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, He affirmed on Saturday that his mercenaries are advancing to take the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, where some of his fighters were assigned to flank protection after the withdrawal of a part of Russian regular troops.

According to his report, on Saturday Wagner’s units advanced 550 meters in different directions in Bakhmut. Currently, he added, “1.78 square kilometers of territory” remain to be conquered.

For his part, the commander of the Ukrainian land forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, wrote: “The defensive operation in the Bakhmut direction continues. Our soldiers are advancing in some areas of the front, while the enemy is losing equipment and men.”

Ukrainian soldiers give water to a Russian prisoner of war (via Reuters)
Ukrainian soldiers give water to a Russian prisoner of war (via Reuters) (RFE/RL/SERHII NUZHNENKO/)

As previously reported by the Institute for war study (ISW), kyiv forces gained territory northwest of Bakhmut in localized counterattacks in the area between Bohdanivka and Berjivkaas can be seen in recorded images showing the withdrawal of Russian troops under fire from Ukrainian artillery on the southern shore of the reservoir of Berjivske.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, confirmed this Saturday the advance of Ukrainian troops in the suburbs of Bakhmut, where the situation is developing in a “dynamic” way, he said.

“Our troops are gradually advancing in two directions in the suburbs of Bakhmut. Correct data cannot be given now because active hostilities are underway,” he wrote on Telegram. At the same time, Malyar admitted that the situation in the city itself “is more complicated.”

(With information from EFE and Europa Press)

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