“The 25th army has already been fully staffed, its number has grown. If earlier we talked about 12,000, now its number is 17,000. They took up positions near Kreminna,” said Ilia Yevlash, a spokesperson for Ukraine's eastern group of forces, as cited by state news agency Ukrinform.
He added that “the main part of the personnel of the 25th army was made up of [Russians] recruited under a contract or those transferred from other Russian units.”
Yevlash stated that the new 25th Combined Arms Army has replaced Russia’s 41st army and the 76th division in this direction, which were “already affected quite badly” thanks to the work of the Ukrainian defense forces in that direction.
He noted that “the main task of the Russian 25th army is to hold the direction, they do not conduct assaults yet, but the enemy is actively using aviation, and the artillery has been withdrawn to a maximum distance in order to protect it from the strikes by the Ukrainian troops.”
The UK’s defense ministry had reported in a war intelligence update on Wednesday that Russia has most likely sent elements of its new 25th Combined Arms Army to the frontlines in Ukraine for the first time.
It said: “With 25th Combined Arms Army (25 CAA) apparently being deployed piecemeal to reinforce the over-stretched line, a concerted new Russian offensive is less likely over the coming weeks.”