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09:46 02 Dec 2022

russian forces cannot defend critical areas amidst increasing Ukrainian strikes in Zaporizhzhia region — ISW

The movement of the occupiers in Zaporizhzhia indicates their unwillingness to defend key positions.

This conclusion was made by ISW.

"russian military movements in Zaporizhia Oblast may suggest that russian forces cannot defend critical areas amidst increasing Ukrainian strikes on russian force concentrations and logistics. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on December 1 that russian forces withdrew or are currently withdrawing personnel from Polohy, Myhailivka, and Inzhenerne in Zaporizhia Oblast," the report says.

ISW suggests that russian forces may be withdrawing personnel from positions closer to the frontline in Zaporizhia Oblast to reduce the impact of increasing Ukrainian strikes on Russian manpower and equipment concentrations.

According to experts, the withdrawal from Polohiv is particularly noteworthy because the settlement is located at a critical road junction, and russian forces will likely find it more difficult to defend Tokmak during a Ukrainian counteroffensive without control of this junction.

ISW concluded that the withdrawal from a critical position might indicate that russian troops cannot protect the entire front line in the Zaporizhzhia region and are identifying priority locations for the concentration of forces.

However, it is equally likely that the russian forces are reorienting their group in the Zaporizhzhia region and may transfer various personnel back to these settlements.

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