Extended deployments bring forth a persistent challenge for commanders: maintaining troop safety amidst precision strikes, understanding enemy weaponry, and unit gatherings for administration and morale, all central to their mission, the British Defense Ministry says in its November 24 intelligence update.
The ministry tweeted:
- Russian forces in Ukraine continue to suffer mass casualties from Ukrainian long-range precision strikes well behind the front line. On 10 November 2023, likely over 70 Russian troops were killed in a strike on a convoy of trucks 23km behind the front line in the village of Hladkivka, Kherson Oblast.
- Subsequently, on 19 November 2023, a strike on Russian troops attending an award ceremony or concert in Kumachove, 60km inside Russian-controlled territory, likely caused tens of casualties. Ukraine has also suffered similar incidents: a Russian ballistic missile killed 19 members of Ukraine’s 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade at a medal ceremony on 3 November 2023.
Ministry of Defence
- Deployed soldiers are typically well aware of the ranges of their adversary’s weapons systems. However, faced with the reality of very long combat deployments, commanders face an acute dilemma. They must balance the best practice of keeping the troops dispersed, and less vulnerable to strikes, and the day-to-day requirement to gather units together to conduct administration and to maintain morale.