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Military intelligence: Russia sending units from Far East to replenish losses in Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 12, 2024 10:59 AM 3 min read
Smoke rising near the town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk Oblast, on April 11, 2024. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russia is sending troops from far eastern military units, including its Pacific Fleet, to replenish personnel losses in Ukraine, Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR) said on April 12.

Russia has lost 451,730 troops fighting in Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022, according to the April 12 update from Ukraine's General Staff. The figure indicates the number of Russian fighters who have been killed or injured and are unable to return to active duty.

The BBC's Russian service, along with the Russian independent media outlet Mediazona, confirmed the identities of more than 50,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine earlier in April. The true death toll is thought to be much higher.

Moscow is now deploying the personnel of the Pacific Fleet and the 11th Army of the Air Force to replenish its losses in Ukraine, as well as to staff new military units, HUR said.

The Pacific Fleet and 11th Army of the Air Force "were not previously directly involved in hostilities against Ukraine," according to HUR.

The commander of the Pacific Fleet has reportedly stopped rotations to Syria and instead is sending around 2,000 personnel from Russia's Far East to Ukraine.

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Adil Muhammad, a Somali, sits in a Russian military uniform among other prisoners of war (POWs) in a press conference in Ukraine’s capital in mid-March. The former infantryman was captured in combat near Marinka in Donetsk Oblast while fighting with the Russian army in Ukraine in early 2024, five

Another 400 soldiers from the 11th Army will "patch up the holes of the 155th and 40th brigades of the Russian marines, which are fighting against Ukraine and are undermanned due to huge losses," HUR said.

The soldiers are currently stationed in the city of Khabarovsk, which lies around 6,500 kilometers from Ukraine on Russia's border with China.

According to HUR, some personnel from the far eastern military units "will join the new motorized rifle brigade of the aggressor state, which is being formed in Voronezh," a city located less than 200 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.

U.S. General Christopher Cavoli said on April 11 that Russia has largely replaced its heavy battlefield losses in Ukraine, and at a much faster pace than anticipated.

"Russia is reconstituting that force far faster than our initial estimates suggested," Cavoli wrote in a statement to Congress. "The army is actually now larger — by 15 percent — than it was when it invaded Ukraine."

Russia's military has bolstered its numbers through a partial mobilization conducted in the fall of 2022, which many believe has continued in a more concealed manner since.

It has also brought prisoners, migrants, and foreign nationals into its ranks.

Lukashenko, Putin hold 4-hour meeting in Moscow
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a nearly four-hour meeting until late on April 11, according to Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti.
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