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British intel: Elite Russian paratroopers used in unconventional roles near Robotyne

British Defense Ministry’s recent intel update underscores Russia’s move to reinforce its 58th Army with VDV units. Notably, these units, stationed near Robotyne, seem to operate under strength, altering their traditional offensive role.
British intel: Elite Russian paratroopers used in unconventional roles near Robotyne

In its September 18 intelligence update, the British Defense Ministry says Russia once again uses paratrooper forces as light infantry to reinforce its hard-pressed 58th Army Roboryne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

sheds light on Russia’s strategy of employing VDV paratroopers, not in their conventional role, but to support the 58th Army. These units are believed to be under-strength.

  • Over the last two weeks, Russia has likely further reinforced the hard-pressed 58th Combined Arms Army with additional VDV airborne units on the Orikhiv axis in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • A total of at least five VDV regiments drawn from the 7th and 76th divisions are likely now concentrated within several kilometres of the frontline village of Robotyne. At full strength, such a force should constitute around 10,000 elite paratroopers. However, almost all units are highly likely dramatically under strength.
  • The current situation is likely to be seen as highly unsatisfactory by the VDV hierarchy. Throughout the war Russian commanders have attempted to regenerate the airborne forces as a highly mobile, striking force for offensive operations. Once again, they are being used as line infantry to augment over-stretched ground forces.

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