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Russia has likely redeployed at least five airborne regiments to the area of Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia Oblast to reinforce the "hard-pressed" 58th Combined Arms Army, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Sept. 18.
“At full strength, such a force should constitute around 10,000 elite paratroopers,” the ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update. “However, almost all units are highly likely dramatically under strength.”
The personnel were drawn from the 7th and 76th divisions of Russia’s Airborne Troops, also known as VDV, according to the update.
The U.K. defense ministry said that the VDV leadership would most likely consider the current situation “highly unsatisfactory.”
“Throughout the war, Russian commanders have attempted to regenerate the airborne forces as a highly mobile, striking force for offensive operations. Once again, they are being used as line infantry to augment over-stretched ground forces,” the report concludes.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been ongoing for more than three months in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
Over the past week, Ukrainian forces advanced south and east of Robotyne, having liberated 5.2 square kilometers of land, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Sept. 18.
Ukraine’s military has regained a total of 260 square kilometers in the south since the beginning of the counteroffensive in June, according to Maliar.