Vladimir Putin has been forced to use mobilised conscripts to plug holes in the 1st Guards Tank army after the elite unit suffered heavy losses in Ukraine.
The latest Ministry of Defence intelligence briefing states: “Elements of Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army are likely deployed along the defensive line near the Luhansk Oblast town of Svatove.
“The supposedly elite 1GTA took heavy casualties earlier in the war, including during the retreat from Kharkiv oblast in September 2022.
“It has now been partially reinforced with mobilised reservists, although remaining well below its authorised strength of 25,000 personnel.
“Russia has now completed continuous trench systems along the 60km between Svatove and the Russian border.
“Despite the length of these works, however, the depth of the defence remains unclear.
“The effectiveness of the 1GTA and other formations’ defensive operations will largely depend upon the extent of mutually supporting fullback-positions.”