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ISW: Russia loses another top commander in battle in Ukraine

A key Russian paratrooper regiment lost its commander in combat in Ukraine, making him the unit’s second officer to be killed this year, the Institute for the Study of War said in an update.
Russian soldiers. Source: EAD
ISW: Russia loses another top commander in battle in Ukraine

The commander of the Russian 247th Guards Air Assault (VDV) Regiment, Vasily Popov, was killed during the combat in Ukraine, ISW reports.

The killed Russian commander Vasily Popov recently replaced Pyotr Popov as commander of the 247th VDV Regiment in August or September 2023.

According to the US-based think tank, Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Vasily Popov, is the second commander of the 247th Regiment who was killed in action in Ukraine after Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky died in February 2022.

As per the ISW report, elements of the 247th Regiment operate in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area. ISW has previously assessed that relatively elite VDV forces are conducting limited counterattacks in critical sectors of the front.

“Vasily Popov’s death supports ISW’s assessment that these counterattacks will likely attrit these units further,” the Institute for the Study of War concluded.

Other key takeaways from the report:

  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and around Bakhmut and reportedly advanced south of Bakhmut on September 14.
  • Ukrainian forces struck a Russian air defense system near occupied Yevpatoria, Crimea, on September 14, suggesting that there may be systemic tactical failures with Russian air defense systems in occupied Crimea.
  • Some Russian sources suggested that ongoing tensions between the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Wagner Group are diminishing Wagner’s ability to operate across the African theater.

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