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ISW: Russians transferring forces from Donetsk Oblast to Kharkiv Oblast

Russian forces are reportedly redeploying elements from Donetsk to reinforce their grouping in Kharkiv Oblast as Russia aims to bolster its positions in Vovchansk direction
ukrainian soldier 2024
A Ukrainian soldier on the frontline. Credit: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
ISW: Russians transferring forces from Donetsk Oblast to Kharkiv Oblast

The US-based Institute for the Study of War reported on 17 June that Russian forces are redeploying elements from the Donetsk Oblast area to reinforce their grouping in Kharkiv Oblast.

A Ukrainian military official, Kharkiv Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Povkh, said on 17 June that Russian forces redeployed elements of the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade (Pacific Fleet) and the 18th Motorized Rifle Division (11th Army Corps, Leningrad Military District) to the Lyptsi direction in the Kharkiv Oblast to replace units that have lost their combat capabilities.

According to the ISW, a Russian source also recently claimed that elements of the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade were operating near Vovchansk, the city in Kharkiv Oblast.

According to the ISW, the reported operation of these elements in the Vovchansk area indicates a possible redeployment from the Donetsk direction to the Kharkiv direction to “bolster the Russian grouping in Kharkiv Oblast.”

“Russian forces have been bringing additional military units to support the Vovchansk direction since about 12-13 June,” Kharkiv Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Povkh.

The report notes that Russian and Ukrainian forces continued to fight north and northeast of Kharkiv City on 16 and 17 June, with Russian sources publishing geolocated footage purportedly showing Russian forces repelling a Ukrainian counterattack in northwestern Hlyboke.

Other key takeaways from the report:

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that NATO may take steps to enhance NATO’s nuclear deterrence, eliciting varying responses from senior Kremlin officials.
  • A Russian state media outlet manipulated an interview with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi to blame Ukraine for strikes against the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in an attempt to legitimize Russia’s illegal occupation of Ukraine.
  • Russian forces recently advanced near Siversk, Chasiv Yar, and Avdiivka.
  • Russia is reportedly experiencing issues with producing artillery shells and select artillery systems.

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