Russia is bolstering the combat capability of Rosgvardia, the Russian National Guard, the UK Defense Ministry reported on 7 January.
The bolstering of Rosgvardia with battle-hardened veterans coupled with upgraded weapons “will likely represent a significant increase in combat effectiveness,” according to British intelligence.
Elements of the private military company Wagner Group were subordinated under Rosgvardia command in October 2023, followed in early January 2024 by the absorption of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic’s” (“DNR”) Vostok Battalion, which specializes in reconnaissance and sabotage operations.
The British intel said Moscow is reportedly moving to dissolve parts of the “DNR’s” drone-operating Kaskad group and place them under Rosgvardia authority.
In addition, the Russian State Duma authorized Rosgvardiya to employ heavier weaponry in July 2023,” according to the intelligence, which indicates the Russian National Guard can increase its combat capability during Russia’s offensive against Ukraine.
Earlier, the UK intel reported that sustained Russian offensive operations over the past week resulted in marginal advances at best against steadfast Ukrainian lines in various sectors, including northeastern, eastern, and southern Ukraine.