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Russia redeploys more effective troops from Luhansk Oblast to Ukraine’s south

ukraine chief of the main intelligence directorate
Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Source: Armyinform
Russia redeploys more effective troops from Luhansk Oblast to Ukraine’s south

Head of Ukraine’s Intelligence Kyrylo Budanov said in his recent interview with Natalia Moseychuk that in the Kupiansk direction in Ukraine’s Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts, Russia is not building up its forces for the announced large-scale offensive but instead is conducting rotation to free relatively more effective troops for the southern frontline, in an attempt to stop Ukrainian offensive. Instead, hastily gathered reserves are deployed to Luhansk Oblast without sufficient training.

Budanov said the Russians created the 25th Combined Arms Army as a strategic reserve. However, this army was supposed to be brought into combat condition by October-November. Instead, it was introduced into battles in Luhansk Oblast already by the end of August, without sufficient training and not fully manned. 

Do you know what happened? It [the 25th Combined Arms Army] is currently understaffed. It participates in hostilities without sufficient training. This army was deployed not to reinforce but to replace the 41st army, which began its slow movement in the southern direction,” Budanov explained.

He said the 41st Combined Arms Army, although having suffered considerable losses, is more experienced and, therefore, more effective. Russian commanders decided to redeploy it to the southern frontline to counter the advancing Ukrainian offensive towards Tokmak.

The Institute for the Study of War also estimates that the 25th Combined Arms Army is unlikely to be combat effective given its rushed deployment, ahead of a previously reported intended deployment date of December 2023. At the end of June, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the Russian Ministry of Defense formed a “reserve army,” likely referencing the 25th Combined Arms Army, which began recruiting personnel from the Russian Far East in mid-May of 2023. The 25th Combined Arms Army consists of 30,000 personnel, at least on paper.

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