Russia creates Shtorm-Z as elite troops, but it turns out to be penal battalions - British intelligence
Russia probably intended the Shtorm-Z units to be elite units capable of seizing the tactical initiative on the Ukrainian front. However, in fact, they have turned into penal battalions with convicted
The UK Ministry of Defenсe reports.
"Russia largely continues to rely on specially designated 'Shtorm Z' units for local offensive operations in Ukraine," the report reads.
These company-sized groups were probably first fielded in 2022. According to British intelligence, there is a realistic possibility that Russia initially envisioned them as relatively elite organizations that could seize the tactical initiative.
However, since at least the spring of 2023, Shtorm-Z has effectively become penal battalions, manned with convicts and regular troops on disciplinary orders.
According to numerous reports, these units are given the lowest priority in terms of logistics and medical support, although they have been repeatedly ordered to attack, the publication notes.
The British Ministry of Defence also notes that the existence of Shtorm Z emphasizes "the extreme difficulty Russia has in generating combat infantry capable of conducting effective offensive operations."
In August, the deputy commander of the 3rd separate assault brigade of Ukraine's Armed Forces, Rodion Kudryashov, said that the occupiers were rotating personnel in the Bakhmut direction due to the heavy losses of the Storm Z unit.