Russia sends new army to Ukraine frontlines for the first time: UK intel

Russia has most likely sent elements of its new 25th Combined Arms Army to the frontlines in Ukraine for the first time, a UK intelligence update reported on Wednesday.

“Since mid-September 2023, Russia has highly likely committed elements of its new 25th Combined Arms Army (25 CAA) to action for the first time. The formation started moving into Ukraine from late August 2023,” the British ministry of defense said in its war intelligence update.

It added: “Units from two of 25 CAA’s maneuver components, 67th Motor Rifle Division and 164th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade, are reported to be fighting on the front in a sector west of Severodonetsk and Kreminna, along the border between Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.”

The UK ministry said: “Since the start of the invasion, Russia has only rarely maintained an uncommitted army-size grouping which could potentially form the basis of a major new offensive thrust.”

It concluded: “With 25 CAA apparently being deployed piecemeal to reinforce the over-stretched line, a concerted new Russian offensive is less likely over the coming weeks.”

The ministry had said in an intelligence update on August 2 that over the previous two months, Russia has likely started forming up major new formations to add depth to its ground forces. These included the 25th Combined Arms Army.

“Russia will likely deploy any new formation as a reserve force in Ukraine. However, in the longer term, Russia aspires to strengthen its forces facing NATO. Without a major new wave of mandatory mobilization, Russia is unlikely to find enough new troops to resource even one new army,” the intelligence update determined at the time.

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