British intelligence says Russian troops will move to Donbass after Mariupol
Once Russia has gained full control of Mariupol, it is likely to move its forces from the reduced port city to strengthen Donbass: British intelligence writes in its update on the situation in Ukraine, however, underscoring the re-employment of troops. With the risk of further friction between the troops, it could happen without adequate preparation.
A report released today by the London Defense Ministry shows that 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant, while an unknown number remain inside the plant.
The firm opposition of the Ukrainian forces to Mariupol since the beginning of the invasion means that they must be re-armed and replaced before the Russian troops in the area can be effectively re-established. But if done carefully it is a time consuming process.
However, the report concludes, commanders are under pressure and need to prove that they can achieve the operational objectives they set out to do: so the possibility of re-employing Mariupol soldiers is done relatively quickly with risks.
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