Russia is digging into a long-running battle in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin’s forces are strengthening their forces in the eastern provinces of Ukraine in preparation for “future offensive operations”, British Ministry of Defense Saturday said.
“Despite President Putin’s claim on July 07, 2022 that the Russian military “has not started” its efforts in Ukraine, many of the reinforcements are ad hoc groups, deployed with outdated or inappropriate equipment,” The statement said.
The intelligence assessment came amid growing reports of Russian soldiers and potential recruits looking to escape the conflict.
Danila Davydov, a 22-year-old artist from Saint Petersburg, said he left Russia shortly after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, due to fears he might be recruited.
“I didn’t want to go to war or go to prison, so I decided to leave,” said Davido. Reuters from Kazakhstan. “I love Russia and miss it very much.”
Lawyers and rights groups in Russia say cases like Davido are on the rise and that more and more Russians are looking to avoid war as the Russian military suffers heavy losses. The last time Russia updated its official death toll in Ukraine was in late March, when it said 1,351 soldiers had died. Ukraine and the Western allies estimated the losses to be much higher, possibly more than 10 times that number.
Military service in Russia is mandatory for those between the ages of 18 and 27 and punishment for evasion can include fines and up to two years in prison. While Putin has insisted that ordinary Russian citizens not be recruited into the conflict, the country’s Defense Ministry says those recruits have already been called up.
Russia has launched punitive rounds of missile attacks on Ukraine in recent weeks, with bombing runs for hours at a time. The United States Army It is estimated that there are 10 to 15 Russian military battalions currently operating in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile in England, the The government announced A new military program that will train 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers inside the UK.
“This new and ambitious training program is the next stage in the UK’s support to Ukraine’s armed forces in their fight against Russian aggression,” Ben Wallace, the country’s defense minister, said in a press release. “Using the global experience of the British military, we will help Ukraine rebuild its forces and expand its resistance as they defend their country’s sovereignty and right to choose their own future.”
In the United States, President Biden has said he will provide another $400 million in US aid to Ukraine, including four advanced missile systems that defense officials say will allow Ukraine to strike deep behind Russian lines in the east of the country. The package also includes 1,000 rounds of 155mm artillery.
The aid, approved Friday afternoon, was the 15th military package sent by the United States to Ukraine since last August Washington Post mentioned.
Although Russia’s original war objectives have been greatly reduced, they have made grinding advances in the Donbass and currently control much of the region. President Biden pledged to help achieve victory in Ukraine.
“I don’t know how it will end, but it will not end with Russia’s defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine,” he said last week.
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