In its January 12 intelligence update, the British Defense Ministry reported that Russia “almost certainly allocated elements of the 76th Guards Air Landing Division of the VDV (airborne forces) to reinforce the Kremina front line.”
The Russian Pskov-based 76th paratrooper division participated in assaults on Kyiv, Izium, and Popasna, and was involved in the cleansing operations against civilians during the Bucha massacre.
The ministry tweeted:
- Over the last two days, heavy fighting has continued both around the town of Soledar, Donetsk Oblast, and on the approaches to Kremina, Luhansk Oblast.
- Since the start of January 2023, Russia has almost certainly allocated elements of the 76th Guards Air Landing Division of the VDV (airborne forces) to reinforce the Kremina front line after assessing the sector was significantly vulnerable.
- Until November 2022, Russia committed almost the whole of the deployable VDV as long-term, ground-holding troops along the front line in the Kherson area. Now redeployed to the Donbas and southern Ukraine, commanders are likely attempting to employ VDV more in line with their supposed doctrinal role as a relatively elite rapid reaction force.