Live: Ukraine war latest

A Ukrainian soldier helps a wounded fellow soldier on the road in the freed territory in the Kharkiv region

A Ukrainian soldier helps a wounded fellow soldier on the road in the freed territory in the Kharkiv region CREDIT: AP PHOTO/KOSTIANTYN LIBEROV

13 SEPTEMBER 2022 • 9:40AM

The Russian armed force’s most prestigious and leading tank formation, designed to defend Moscow, has been “severely degraded”, according to British intelligence.

The 1st Guards Tank Army, of the Western Military District, will require “years” to rebuild its capability as the main unit designed to defend Moscow and lead counter-attacks in the case of war with Nato, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday.

Elements of the so-called 1 GTA were amongst the Russian forces withdrawn from the Kharkiv Oblast last week after Ukraine launched a lightning strike on positions against Russian-held positions in the north-east of the country.

In its daily intelligence briefing, the MoD said: “Elements of the Russian forces withdrawn from Kharkiv Oblast over the last week were from the 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA), which are subordinate to the Western Military District (WEMD).

“1 GTA suffered heavy casualties in the initial phase of the invasion and had not been fully reconstituted prior to the Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kharkiv.”

British military officials added: “1 GTA had been one of the most prestigious of Russia’s armies, allocated for the defence of Moscow, and intended to lead counter-attacks in the case of a war with Nato.”


Fighting still raging in Kharkiv region

Fighting is still raging in the Kharkiv region but Ukraine’s forces are making good progress because its troops are highly motivated and its operation is well planned, deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar told Reuters on Tuesday.

“The aim is to liberate the Kharkiv region and beyond – all the territories occupied by the Russian Federation. Fighting is continuing (in Kharkiv region). It is still early to say full (Ukrainian) control has been established over Kharkiv region,” Malyar said in an interview.

Russian soldiers flee across border

Russia has largely ceded its gains near Kharkiv and many of the withdrawing Russian soldiers have fled across the border into Russia, a senior US military official said on Monday.

Reports of Russian forces abandoning their equipment “could be indicative of Russia’s disorganised command and control,” the official said.

It follows a weekend of rapid gains for Ukrainian forces. Ukraine’s general staff said its soldiers had recaptured more than 20 towns and villages in just the past day, as Ukrainian forces swept deeper into territory seized from fleeing Russian troops.

The official said: “On the ground in the vicinity of Kharkiv we assess that Russian forces have largely ceded their gains to the Ukrainians and have withdrawn to the north and east. Many of these forces have moved over the border into Russia.”

Elsewhere, Ukraine’s southern command said its forces had recaptured 500 square km of territory in the south, killing 59 Russian troops in the past 24 hours and destroying 20 pieces of equipment.

Russian army assigned to defend Moscow ‘severely degraded’

It is likely to take Russia years to rebuild the army it has allocated to lead counter-attacks in the event of a war with Nato, a British intelligence update has suggested.

Elements of Vladimir Putin’s forces withdrawn from the Kharkiv region of Ukraine over the past week were from the 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA), which had already suffered “heavy casualties” in the initial phase of the invasion, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

This army – one of the most “prestigious” in Russia – is allocated to the defence of Moscow and intended to lead counter-attacks in the case of a war with Nato, the department said.

Now that it has been “severely degraded”, Russia’s conventional force designed to counter the Western alliance is badly weakened, the MoD said, and is likely to take years to rebuild.

US supplied intelligence to help Ukraine’s counteroffensive

The US supplied intelligence to help Ukraine’s counteroffensive, US officials have confirmed.

They declined to say how much information the US had provided, or whether Western officials had helped strategise the idea to throw Russian forces off guard by calling attention to attack plans in the south, while actually plotting a more formidable campaign in the east.

The US provided information “on conditions” in the country, said one of the officials, but “in the end, this was the Ukrainian choice. The Ukrainian military and the Ukrainian political leadership made the decisions on how to conduct this counteroffensive.”

4 comments

  1. I’m sure that we’ve helped Ukraine with all manner of intelligence in all its forms. But, a good teacher must have a good student, who, in turn, must be able to adopt the knowledge gained to construct it into useful ways.

    Liked by 4 people

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