Russia has rushed the deployment of military elements from its new 25th Combined Arms Army (25 CAA) to Ukraine ahead of schedule as Moscow grapples with an “over-stretched force” at the battlefronts, a UK intelligence update revealed on Wednesday.
“Elements of Russia’s new 25th Combined Arms Army (25 CAA) have highly likely deployed to Ukraine for the first time. The formation is likely focused on Luhansk Oblast in the north-east of the country,” the British ministry of defense said in its war intelligence update.
It added: “As recently as August 2023, recruitment adverts for 25 CAA claimed it would only deploy to Ukraine from December 2023.”
The British intelligence report highlighted: “It is likely that units have been rushed into action early partly because Russia continues to grapple with an over-stretched force along the front and Ukraine continues its counter-offensive on three different axes.”
Yet, the report noted that “there is also a realistic possibility that Russia will attempt to use parts of 25 CAA to regenerate an uncommitted reserve force in the theatre to provide commanders with more operational flexibility.”
Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) wrote in an assessment in July that Ukrainian officials expected the newly formed Russian formations to not be combat-ready until at least 2024. The 25th Combined Arms Army will include a motorized rifle division with two motorized rifle brigades and a tank brigade, according to Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Department of the Ukrainian General Staff, General Oleksii Hromov.
Earlier in September, the think tank cited Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi as saying that elements of the newly formed Russian 25th Combined Arms Army (reportedly formed under the Eastern Military District) continued replacing unspecified Russian units operating in the Lyman direction.