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ISW: Russian military commanders dismissed for failing to undo Ukraine’s 2023 gains

Russian MoD reportedly fired the commander of the 18th Army, Lieutenant Gen. Arkady Marzoev and the commander of the 70th Regiment, for their failure to retake the territories around Kherson’s Krynky and Zaporizhzhia’s Robotyne that Ukraine reclaimed during the 2023 counteroffensive.
Robotyne area as of 15 April 2024, as per Deepstatemap data. The bridgehead marked in green was liberated during Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive.
ISW: Russian military commanders dismissed for failing to undo Ukraine’s 2023 gains

The Russian Ministry of Defense has reportedly dismissed the commanders of a combined arms army and a motorized rifle regiment active in southern Ukraine, “likely for failing to recapture areas lost during the Ukrainian summer-fall 2023 counteroffensive.” This is according to the US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Russian sources reported on 13 and 14 April that the Russian military command dismissed Lieutenant General Arkady Marzoev, commander of the 18th Combined Arms Army (Southern Military District) fighting near Krynky in Kherson Oblast, along with the commander of the 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment (42nd Motorized Rifle Division, 58th Combined Arms Army, Southern Military District) engaged near Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

ISW says it is unable to confirm these reported firings. Elements of the 18th CAA have been countering Ukrainian attacks and attempting to dislodge Ukrainian forces from their positions on the east bank of Kherson Oblast since establishing a limited tactical bridgehead in November 2023, but have notably failed.

Since September 2023, elements of the 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment have conducted periodic counterattacks around Robotyne to recapture territory, resulting in significant degradation of their forces.

Elements of the 18th CAA and the 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment have failed to reclaim all territories captured by Ukrainian forces in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts during the summer-fall 2023 counteroffensive. If Russian sources are correct, the Russian MoD may be replacing these commanders with the hope that new leadership can successfully seize more territory around Robotyne and Krynky. This could enable the Russian MoD to credibly claim a reversal of the Ukrainian counteroffensive’s effects, as per ISW.

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