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The war between Russia and Ukraine is “about to enter a new phase,” British intelligence officials said on Saturday.
UK Defense Intelligence said in an intelligence report that Russian forces were “certainly building up” in southern ukraine and that strategic fighting would now shift from the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine to the area between Mykolaiv Oblast, Kherson and the Crimean peninsula in the south.
“The Russian War with Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, with the heaviest fighting shifting to an approximately 350 km front line stretching southwest from near Zaporizhzhya to Kherson, parallel to the Dnieper River,” the Ministry of Defense said. UK Defense.
“Russian forces are almost certainly concentrating in the south in anticipation of Ukraine’s counteroffensive or in preparation for a possible assault,” the intelligence report added.
the UK Ministry of Defense it also detailed a major movement of Russian troops, tanks and support vehicles into the southern region.
“Long convoys of Russian military trucks, tanks, towed artillery and other weapons continue to move away from the Ukrainian region of Donbas and head southwest. It was also reported that equipment was moving from Melitopol, Berdiansk, Mariupol and mainland Russia occupied by Russia across the Kerch Bridge into Crimea,” the intelligence update said.
“The Battalion Tactical Groups (BTG), which commit between 800 and 1,000 troops, have been deployed in Crimea and would almost certainly be used to support Russian troops in the Kherson region,” the report added, noting that another BTG is likely to join these forces “in the coming days.”
After more than 160 days of fighting in a war that many experts thought would have lasted less than two weeks, Ukraine successfully launched counterattacks and recaptured territory on its eastern front once held by Russia.
The country has also been successful in targeting critical transportation infrastructure that Russia was using to help forces on its front lines.
“Ukrainian forces are targeting bridges, ammunition depots and rail links with increasing frequency in the southern regions of Ukraine, including the strategically important railway branch linking Kherson with Russian-occupied Crimea, almost with certainty using a combination of blocking, damaging, degrading, denying, destroying, and disrupting effects to try to affect Russia’s ability to logistically resupply,” the report says.
The report comes as Ukrainian authorities shifted and responded to a Russian offensive in Kherson last month.