Russian commanders are being forced to use “undermanned, inexperienced units” as they try to gain territory in the Ukraine war, according to UK intelligence.
Senior Kremlin officials are piling pressure on their military to make “sweeping advances” as the first anniversary of the start of the conflict approaches.
But Russia is only managing to gain “several hundred meters of territory per week” because they lack the necessary munitions and their troops are not up to the task, the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) says.
In their latest intelligence update on the war, the MoD said Russia has been trying to restart major offensive operations in Ukraine since early January.
“Its operational goal is almost certainly to capture the remaining Ukrainian-held parts of Donetsk Oblast,” the MoD said.
“Russian forces have only managed to gain several hundred meters of territory per week. This is almost certainly because Russia now lacks the munitions and maneuver units required for successful offensives.
“Senior commanders likely make plans requiring undermanned, inexperienced units to achieve unrealistic objectives due to political and professional pressure.
“Russian leaders will likely continue to demand sweeping advances. It remains unlikely that Russia can build up the forces needed to substantially affect the outcome of the war within the coming weeks.”
Last week the MoD said there are “significant tensions” emerging between a prominent paramilitary group and the official Russian ministry of defense.
One of the few successes Moscow has seen recently was in Soledar, the Ukrainian town where paramilitaries in the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group managed to force Ukraine’s troops back — which Russia took as a victory.
But, the MoD now believes a rift is emerging between the Wagner Group and the Russian ministry of defense.
The MoD has previously speculated that the Wagner Group relied on “poorly trained convicts” who are just given a smart phone or tablet and told to follow a pre-planned route using commercial satellite imagery to launch their offensives.