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Military: No Russian advances at Kupiansk, despite media report on troop concentration

Russian troops make no gains in Kupiansk as mobilized reserves replace losses, Ukraine military says, despite the media-reported Russian buildup of 500 tanks and 40K personnel.
Ukrainian soldiers at the frontline. Photo: Ukraine’s General Staff via Facebook

There have been no reported advances by Russian troops in the Kupiansk sector, and the mobilized reserves of the occupiers appear to be used to replace their losses, according to the Ukrainian military’s remark regarding a media report on the concentration of Russian forces in the area.

This clarification came from the spokesman of Ukraine’s Khortytsia Operational and Strategic Grouping of Troops in response to Forbes’ report about the concentration of 500 tanks, over 600 combat vehicles, hundreds of howitzers, and 40,000 occupiers in the Kupiansk sector, northeastern Ukraine.

“This information is not new. I have been reporting on the enemy’s troop numbers in the Lymansko-Kupiansk direction since the autumn, with a total strength of 110,000. If we can break it down by directions, the number remains relatively constant in the Kupiansk direction,” stated spokesman Illia Yevlash on Ukrainian TV, according to Liga.

Situation in Ukraine’s northeast as of 5 February 2024. Map: ISW

He clarified that the total number of 42,000 personnel includes various units such as support, logistics, maintenance, communications, medics, and more; not all of them are simultaneously involved in frontline combat.

“Of course, this number should not be underestimated, as these units pose a threat, but we have been managing them for quite some time, and there hasn’t been significant progress in this direction,” Evlash said.

The spokesman provided details about the amount of enemy equipment amassed in the Kupiansk sector, which includes 533 tanks, 650 armored combat vehicles, 430 artillery systems, and 160 multiple-launch rocket systems. However, he noted that not all of this weaponry and equipment is in optimal condition, as some gun barrels in the artillery pieces have worn out, and there has been a reduction in shelling from the Russian side due to a shortage of ammunition.

According to Yevlash, the Russians are feeling a shortage of ammunition, leading them to use North Korean and Iranian munitions. He mentioned that after using Iranian munitions, there’s a significant amount of fouling that increases the frequency of gun maintenance, as there can be malfunctions and explosions inside the barrel channel.

Yevlash emphasized that while the enemy is mobilizing reserves, these reserves are being brought in to replace those that were previously destroyed.

Furthermore, he noted that the duration of training for Russian mobilized forces has significantly reduced, from 3-4 months to 2-3 months, Ukrinform reported.

To those concerned about the mobilization of Russian reserves, Yevlash responded that while this is happening, these reserves are being brought in to replace those that have already been destroyed. Additionally, there has been a decrease in the intensity and duration of training for the occupiers. Previously, it would take three to four months, but now it’s reduced to two to three months.

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