Ukraine's army significantly reduces combat capability of Russian paratroopers in Zaporizhzhia region — ISW
Russia engages two motorized rifle regiments in counterattacks near Novoprokopivka, Zaporizhzhia region, which indicates that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has significantly affected the combat capability of the Russian Airborne Forces
This information was reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
According to ISW, these Russian paratroopers are now unable to carry out counterattacks across the entire Ukrainian breakthrough in the Orikhiv direction.
“The Russian command may have committed the 70th and 71st Motorized Rifle Regiments to defending and counterattacking in the Novoprokopivka area to allow VDV elements to prioritize defensive operations on the western and eastern flanks of the Ukrainian salient in the Orikhiv direction,” as stated in the ISW report.
ISW also noted that units from the Russian army's 70th and 71st Motorized Rifle Regiments initially retreated from positions further north to take up positions near Novoprokopivka, where they are currently engaged in battle with Ukrainian forces, given that the Ukrainian offensive has reached the outskirts of Novoprokopivka.
However, as highlighted in the report, it's unlikely that about a month of rest and potential reorganization will fully compensate for the significant losses incurred by the 70th and 71st Motorized Rifle Regiments earlier.
The Russian command risks further weakening the already vulnerable units of the 7 70th and 71st Motorized Rifle Regiments if they heavily commit them to a counterattack against the Ukrainian offensive near Novoprokopivka, according to ISW.
ISW also points out that units from the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division are stationed near Tokmak. This suggests that the Russian command has not completed a comprehensive multi-echelon defense strategy in the southern regions of Ukraine. Additionally, it indicates that elements of Russian units in advanced positions may be holding these positions with fewer troops on subsequent lines of defense.
"The presence of elements of the 70th and 71st Motorized Rifle Regiments in Tokmak suggests that Russian forces have deployed elements of these regiments throughout the multi-echeloned defense between the current frontline and Tokmak. Russian forces, however, appear to be continuing to deploy most of their combat power in western Zaporizhia Oblast to immediate frontline areas," as stated in the report.
ISW speculates that there could be personnel from other Russian units and formations in rear defensive positions, although this is considered unlikely.