Russia is trying to create new assault units to build up its armed forces in the face of Ukraine’s counter-offensive; however, “endemic mobilization issues” persist, Russian media and the Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) reported.
Russian outlet Izvestia, citing sources in the Russian military, reported that “a decision has been made to create separate reconnaissance and assault brigades. The recruitment of new units has already begun. The new formations will be part of the combined arms armies, as well as newly formed army corps.”
The new units will include assault troops designed to break through Ukrainian layered defenses, as well as reconnaissance units capable of conducting reconnaissance at tactical depth. “The brigades will receive their own tanks, light armored vehicles, artillery, as well as a wide range of drones,” according to Izvestia.
Colonel Valery Yuryev, chairman of the Union of Russian Paratroopers, told Izvestia: “The military operation showed the need to have specialized units for storming fortified areas. At the initial stage, there were many problems due to the fact that the scouts were used not for their intended purpose, but as attack aircraft. Because of this, many highly qualified specialists were lost. Separate assault units and formations are necessary. Their specificity is that they must be equipped with a variety of fire weapons - mortars, machine guns, large-caliber artillery.”
Izvestia underscored that the primary purpose of these newly established brigades is to surmount pre-existing Ukrainian defensive positions, specifically in regions of the Donbas where Ukrainian forces have been enhancing and fortifying their defenses since Russia's initial invasion in 2014.
ISW wrote in an assessment: “The Russian military has previously attempted to adapt to lessons learned in Ukraine by forming similar assault-focused company-sized units intended to target urban and fortified areas in the form of ‘Storm-Z’ companies, which have been primarily active and mostly unsuccessful along the Donetsk City-Avdiivka frontline and on the Luhansk-Kharkiv Oblast front.”
It added: “It remains unclear how the Russian force generation apparatus will be able to recruit, train, and staff brigade, army, or army-corps level formations considering the multitude of endemic mobilization issues the Russian army faces at this time.”