Russian troops are making only “marginal progress” in efforts to encircle the town of Avdiivka in Ukraine’s disputed Donetsk region while taking heavy losses, including the destruction of several armored vehicles, U.K. officials said Tuesday.
Russia’s 10th Tank Regiment has likely lost a large number of its tanks in a fruitless attempt to surround Avdiivka from the south, U.K. officials said. The regiment is a major part of Russia’s 3rd Army Corps, the first military unit established to support the invasion of Ukraine since August 2022.
The 10th Tank Regiment’s losses have likely been due to tactically flawed front assaults, similar to those in other recent failed Russian armored attacks. Intelligence indicates the 3rd Army Corps has been “particularly dogged” by problems such as ill-discipline and poor morale, officials said.
“Despite a likely period of training in Belarus, the formation still appears to display limited combat effectiveness,” British officials said Tuesday in an intelligence assessment.
Russian military commanders may have decided to deploy Wagner Group mercenaries in the Avdiivka area to help support “exhausted and lower-quality” troops from the Donetsk People’s Republic, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank.
“If such Wagner fighters have been fighting near Avdiivka, their involvement may help explain the limited tactical gains made in the area over the past week,” the ISW said Monday.
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• Mike Glenn can be reached at email@example.com.
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