Espreso. Global

Russian offensive on Kupyansk has been going on for more than six months - military expert

5 February, 2024 Monday
13:35

Recently, Forbes published an article that outlined a force of 40,000 Russian troops, 500 tanks, and 600 AFVs ready to storm Kupyansk

Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military and political observer, analyzed the article and the probability of a Russian offensive on Kupyansk.

Recently, Forbes published an article that outlined a force of 40,000 Russian troops, 500 tanks, and 600 AFVs ready to storm Kupyansk.

The observer highlights that, contrary to the alarming article, Russia’s West grouping of troops that operates in the area remains consistent for over half a year, with periodic compensation for losses.

Russia’s offensive on Kupyansk intensified from late May to early June 2023, continuing for over half a year with heightened assault actions since November. Russian armed forces had sought control of Kupyansk since 2022, immediately after the city's evacuation.

In the current phase, units of the West group are actively involved, boasting substantial forces:

  • Personnel: 57,500
  • Tanks: 750
  • AFVs: 1,250
  • Barrel artillery: 700+
  • MLRS: 200+

Additionally, a border cover group in the Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, where the village of Kupyansk is located, consists of:

  • Personnel: approximately 12,500
  • Tanks: 100
  • AFVs: 150
  • Barrel artillery: 350
  • MLRS: 40

“The set is considerably more extensive and imposing than described in the aforementioned article from the esteemed outlet,” the observer explains. 

However, Forbes’ article misses a crucial piece of context, Kovalenko states. The Russian offensive on Kupyansk has persisted for over six months, and during this time, the overall strength of the Western grouping has not undergone critical changes. 

In other words, Russian forces have been advancing with the same composition for more than half a year, without significant increases in personnel or resources, but rather engaging in regular compensation for losses. For instance, as of mid-December 2023, the Dnepr grouping of troops comprised approximately 740 tanks. This signifies a modest increase within the scope of compensating for routine losses, considering the Russian military-industrial complex's ability to replenish unit staffing.

Moreover, in mid-2023, the West grouping had nearly 63,000 personnel.

“In essence, the reputable source not only failed to provide reasonably accurate information about Russia's forces at the bridgehead but also overlooked the noteworthy fact that, for over six months, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have successfully impeded Russia's superior forces along the Lyman-Kupyansk axis,” the observer clarifies.

Admittedly, the situation at the bridgehead remains challenging, he continues. However, this difficulty is not isolated; it permeates the entire frontline. The outlet was correct in noting that Russia’s actions are politically driven rather than tactically or strategically motivated. Following the seizure of the Ukrainian village of Krokhmalne, the Russian leadership anticipated swift victories, but the reality of advancing towards the left bank of the Oskol River presents significant challenges.

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are prepared for any developments in this theater of operations. 

“The primary concern lies not in the number of enemy tanks and troops but in the adequacy of ammunition supplies relative to them,” the observer concluded.

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