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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.

Explainer: What we learned from Pentagon leak and why it matters
A major U.S. intelligence leak exposed very detailed reports about Ukraine and its war effort. The documents detail the strength of Ukraine’s counteroffensive buildup, the U.S.’s doubt that it will go very far, Ukraine’s approaching vulnerability to air attacks, the sad state of the Russian
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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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