Russia down to ‘poorly trained mobilised reservists’ and ‘reliant on antiquated equipment’ in Ukraine, says UK


Russian forces are becoming “increasingly reliant on antiquated equipment” in Ukraine, according to British intelligence chiefs.

In its latest intelligence update, the UK’s Ministry’s of Defence (MoD) said Russia’s military is mostly comprised of “poorly trained mobilised reservists” and that many of its units are “severely under-strength”.

In sum, the MoD said the Russian military in Ukraine has become significantly weaker since the start of the invasion in February 2022.

The MoD wrote: “On paper, the Russian Combined Grouping of Forces (CGF) in Ukraine is similarly organised to the invasion force of 446 days ago.

“It still likely consists of over 200,000 personnel organised into around 70 combat regiments and brigades divided into five Groups of Forces. It still struggles with limited freedom to conduct air operations.”

Adding: “However, in February 2022 it consisted of professional soldiers; was largely equipped with reasonably modern vehicles; and had been regularly exercised, aspiring to complex, joint operations.

“Now the force is mostly poorly trained mobilised reservists and increasingly reliant on antiquated equipment, with many of its units severely under-strength. It routinely only conducts very simple, infantry-based operations.

“Critically, it is unlikely that CGF has been able to generate a large, capable, mobile reserve to respond to emerging operational challenges.

“It is unlikely to be an organisation which will effectively cohere large-scale military effect along the 1,200 km front line under stress.”

It came as long-range missiles supplied by the UK reportedly hit industrial sites in a Russian-held Ukrainian city.

Ukrainian aircraft blitzed a chemical plant and a meat factory in Luhansk with the Storm Shadows, Russia said.

On Thursday Britain became the first country to declare it had started supplying Kyiv with long-range missiles as the conflict moves into a crucial stage.

On Saturday, the MoD said Ukraine had forced Russian soldiers into a disorganised retreat from the southern flank of Bakhmut where it launched a full-frontal operation a year ago.

According to British military intelligence, the “bad order” withdrawal highlights a “severe shortage of credible combat units”.

This confirms reports from the Ukrainian military earlier this week that they had regained a kilometre of land around the key city as Russia’s 72nd Separate Motor Rifle Brigade retreated from their positions.