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Russia may be withdrawing its military personnel from positions closer to the front line in Zaporizhzhia Oblast to reduce the impact of increasing Ukrainian strikes on Russian manpower and equipment concentrations, the Insitute for the Study of War said in its latest report.
The Ukrainian General Staff reported on Dec. 1 that Russian forces have withdrawn or are currently withdrawing personnel from Polohy, Myhailivka, and Inzhenerne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The potential withdrawal from Polohy is "particularly notable," the U.S. think tank says, because the settlement lies at a critical road junction, and Russian forces would likely have a harder time defending Tokmak (a city located 120 kilometers south of Zaporizhzhia) from potential Ukrainian operations without control of that junction.
"The withdrawal from a critical position may suggest that Russian forces cannot defend the entire frontline in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and are prioritizing where to concentrate forces," the ISW found.