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ISW: Responsibility for Russian offensive operations in Ukraine likely shifting to Russian Airborne Forces

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 17, 2023 4:34 AM 1 min read
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In its daily report on April 16, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that responsibility for Russian offensive operations in Ukraine appear to be shifting increasingly to the Russian Airborne (VDV) Forces.

The U.K. Defense Ministry reported on April 16 that Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky, the commander of Russia’s VDV, has “highly likely returned to a major role in Ukraine,” after having been dismissed in January 2023.

Teplinsky’s reappointment, albeit for an “unknown role,” is likely an indication that Russia is preparing to “reshuffle senior commanders” after a failed winter offensive and amid a potential future Ukrainian counteroffensive, the ISW added.

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, Teplinsky’s recent “turbulent career” likely indicates “intense tensions” between segments of Russia’s General Staff about the Russian military’s approach to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

However, the ISW noted that his renewed involvement are not likely to restore the VDV to its "prior status as an elite force due to widespread losses of the most elite Russian units."

In its update on Nov. 22, 2022, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported that Russia had likely redeployed “major elements” of its VDV forces to the front lines in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

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