According to the latest intelligence update by the U.K. Defense Ministry, Russia has likely redeployed “major elements” of its VDV (airborne forces) to the front lines in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
The ministry said that most of the VDV units were involved in defending the west bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.
Russia was forced to withdraw its troops from the area due to Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive. Kherson city, the only regional capital that Russia managed to occupy since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, was liberated on Nov. 11.
According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, some VDV units were likely reinforced with mobilized reservists. "Although these poorly trained personnel will dilute VDV's supposedly elite capability, Russia will likely still allocate these units to sectors deemed especially important," the report reads.
"Potential operational tasks for the VDV include supporting the defense of the Kreminna-Svatove area in Luhansk Oblast or reinforcing offensive operations against the Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut."