Ukraine braces as Russia moves elite troops to Eastern front – ISW

Ukrainian unit of Steppenwolves working on Zaporizhzhya front, April 2024
Ukrainian unit of Steppenwolves working on Zaporizhzhya front, April 2024

Russian forces are redeploying the 76th and 7th Airborne Divisions from Zaporizhzhya Oblast, potentially to strengthen their offensive capabilities in eastern Ukraine, the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War reported on May 1.

Although the exact purpose of this strategic shift remains unclear, analysts suggest that reinforcing areas near Avdiivka, Chasiv Yar, or along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line could significantly challenge the Ukrainian Armed Forces' efforts to hold off Russian advances.

Read also: ‘Not a single house left’: Ukraine shares video of how Russia decimated Robotyne

This redeployment involves units previously stationed near Robotyne, a focal point during Ukraine's counteroffensive last summer. Ukrainian military observer Kostiantyn Mashovets and a Russian military blogger have noted movement of these troops towards the front lines in Luhansk Oblast and around Kramatorsk and Bakhmut.

Read also: Active fighting continues in Robotyne area, Russians try to advance from south and east

The ISW notes that while there is no independent confirmation of these movements, the implications are noteworthy. The redeployment from Zaporizhzhya Oblast to eastern Ukraine marks a pivotal shift; these divisions had previously bolstered Russian defenses crucially in 2023, enhancing their combat capabilities and allowing for significant recovery and regrouping post-fall offensive near Robotyne.

Experts from the Institute highlight that deploying these airborne units could enable Russian forces to intensify their offensive operations across Donetsk Oblast. This includes potential significant maneuvers in the Avdiivka sector or a renewed push along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, exploiting a current window of vulnerability before larger scales of U.S. military aid reach Ukrainian forces.

Read also: Russia scrambles for Chasiv Yar – military observer

The situation remains fluid, with ISW analysts committed to monitoring these developments closely, acknowledging the substantial risk these moves pose to Ukraine's defensive strategies in the region. Recent advances by Russian forces in the Avdiivka sector underline the urgency of the situation, with ongoing movements suggesting a concerted effort to breach Ukrainian defenses.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine