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Russia may move divisions eastward to advance before Ukrainian army receives US aid

Russia may move divisions eastward to advance before Ukrainian army receives US aid Russia may strengthen its offensive group in the Donetsk region (photo: Getty Images)

Russian forces may redeploy two airborne divisions from Zaporizhzhia to the Donetsk region to reinforce ongoing offensive operations. This will allow the Russian troops to maintain the situation and advance until the Armed Forces of Ukraine receive full military aid from the US, according to a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

It is noted that the Russian army may attempt to redeploy the 76th or 7th Airborne Assault Divisions from the area of the village of Roboryne in the Zaporizhzhia region to the east of Ukraine. This will support the ongoing offensive operations in the Donetsk region and allow the aggressor's forces to take advantage of the current vulnerability window before the Armed Forces of Ukraine receive full military assistance from the United States, according to a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The report states that currently, the Russians are trying to use tactical penetration northwest of Avdiivka to achieve a broader breakthrough in this area and are intensifying offensive operations to capture the strategically important city of Chasiv Yar.

Russian forces in the Avdiivka direction have formed a relatively cohesive grouping, consisting mainly of units from the Central Military District (CMD) and the 1st Army Corps (AC) of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). However, these forces are likely to be exhausted from conducting intensive offensive operations over the past few months, and the 76th and 7th divisions could serve as a striking force to continue the attacks in this region.

"Russian forces have established a less cohesive grouping of forces in the Bakhmut direction that is notably comprised of elements of several VDV divisions and brigades, and redeployments of elements of the 76th and 7th to this area could reinforce the ongoing offensive operation to seize Chasiv Yar," the ISW report said.

The Institute suggests that the Russian command may move parts of these two divisions to the Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, where Russian forces have resumed offensive operations along the entire front line.

At the same time, Russian forces seem to be trying to consolidate the entire sector under the responsibility of the Moscow Military District, and the redeployment of the 76th and 7th divisions may not be as useful in these efforts as in the case of more intensive combat actions currently underway in the Donetsk region.

It is noted that any redeployment of these units will allow Russian forces to intensify their offensive operations and exert increasing pressure on the defense forces, regardless of where they are located.

"ISW will continue to monitor reports about the possible redeployment of elements of the 76th and 7th VDV divisions as it poses a significant risk to Ukraine’s ability to slow ongoing Russian offensive operations in eastern Ukraine in the coming weeks ahead of the arrival of US security assistance," the ISW report said.

Frontline situation

On May 1, there were 100 recorded clashes on the front line. The enemy mostly targeted the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) in the Avdiivka direction and attempted to push against the Defense Forces near Chasiv Yar.

On May 1, Russian losses amounted to 1,120 soldiers. The total losses of the Russian army since the beginning of the large-scale invasion have reached 469,840 soldiers.