Russia appears to be praising commanders who launch futile counterattacks on Ukrainian positions in the south, top military analysts have said.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank noted that Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defence minister, had publicly commended an “odd group” of units operating in Zaporizhzhia.
Some normally credited with maintaining the Robotyne-Verbove line against pressure from Kyiv were ignored, while others like 70th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment were singled out for praise.
The ISW said: “Shoigu’s choice of units could indicate he seeks to highlight Russian commanders who continue to follow Russian military leadership’s orders for relentless counterattacks.
“Some of the formations Shoigu highlighted have been consistently counterattacking on the Robotyne-Verbove line to their detriment.”
It comes amid rumours that Shoigu has been given until the end of October by Vladimir Putin to stymie Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which is seeking to sever Russia’s “land bridge” with annexed Crimea.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said last month that Moscow had shown “minimal capability” in launching offensives, particularly around Bakhmut to the east and Orikhiv in the south.
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