ua en ru

Russia may have lost entire brigade in Vovchansk - Forbes

Russia may have lost entire brigade in Vovchansk - Forbes Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region may have been intended to capture a wide and deep swath of territory to bring heavy artillery closer to Kharkiv. Russian commanders may have hoped to reach Kharkiv itself, according to Forbes.

However, this did not happen. A few weeks after the offensive began, 30,000 Russian troops were bogged down in the city of Vovchansk. Ukrainian defenders reportedly defeated an elite Russian airborne brigade in the city.

Many of the Russian invaders refused to fight. If this is confirmed, it will be a heavy loss for the new northern grouping of Russian troops, which includes about seven regiments and brigades.

And the Russian losses in Vovchansk could be even worse, as the surviving members of an entire battalion - hundreds of soldiers - have been trapped in a chemical plant in the city center for two weeks.

The soldiers may not last long. The Ukrainian Air Force has been conducting precision bombing strikes on the chemical plant, gradually turning it into ruins.

The Russian 83rd Airborne Brigade is, or was, an elite group - one of a dozen brigade formations in the pre-war 40,000-strong Airborne Corps. As recently as 2019, the brigade practiced parachuting into combat on its light armored vehicles.

In Ukraine, the 83rd Airborne Brigade abandoned parachutes and fought as a mechanized unit in its tracked armored personnel carriers and wheeled armored personnel carriers. Moving hundreds of kilometers at a time in response to Ukrainian attacks and opportunities for Russian attacks, the brigade fought in the south of the country in 2023 and this spring took part in the Russian siege of the eastern town of Chasiv Yar.

Situation in Vovchansk

The situation in Vovchansk remains extremely tense. According to the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Oleh Syniehubov, fierce street fighting continues in the city.

Ukrainian forces are laying siege to a group of Russian occupiers who have taken refuge in the territory of the Aggregate Plant. Russian troops, in turn, are making fierce attempts to break through the defense and unblock their comrades.

At the same time, there are reports that several dozen Russian invaders are blocked at the Vovchansk's enterprise.