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UK intel: “Highly unlikely” for Russia to achieve a major operational breakthrough at Kupiansk

UK intelligence points to a marked uptick in Russian military actions, focusing on the Kupiansk-Lyman axis in northeastern Ukraine, featuring increased artillery and strategic army operations.
A Ukrainian soldier firing a machine gun. Credit: Ukraine’s General Staff via Facebook.
UK intel: “Highly unlikely” for Russia to achieve a major operational breakthrough at Kupiansk

The UK Defense Ministry’s 18 October intelligence update points to Russia amplifying its military activities in the Kupiansk-Lyman direction in Ukraine’s northeast. Increased shelling and attacks by specific Russian armies are evident, though not largely successful, it says.

The ministry tweeted:

  • There has been a significant increase in Russian offensive activity on the Kupiansk-Lyman axis in the last two weeks. Russian shelling has intensified and elements of the Russian 6th and 25th Combined Arms Armies (CAA) and the 1st Guards Tank Army have conducted attacks, but with limited success.
  • It is highly likely that this activity is part of an ongoing Russian offensive being conducted on multiple axes in eastern Ukraine. The objective of Russian Ground Forces (RGF) on the Kupiansk-Lyman axis is probably to advance west to the Oskil River to create a buffer zone around Luhansk Oblast.
  • RGF have built up combat capacity in the Kupiansk-Lyman direction in recent months. However, Ukrainian forces retain a significant defensive presence on this axis and it is highly unlikely RGF will achieve a major operational breakthrough.

Ukrainian Army’s Ground Forces Commander Gen-Col Oleksandr Syrskyi reported the Russian assault attempts in the area of Kupiansk and Lyman on 14 October, saying that Ukrainian defense forces were well-prepared for this and were holding the ground.

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