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The war between Russia and Ukraine “is entering a new phase,” British intelligence officials said on Saturday.
British Defense Intelligence said in an intelligence report that Russian forces are “certainly gathering” in southern Ukraine and that strategic battles will now move from the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine to the area between Mykolaiv Oblast, Kherson and the Crimean Peninsula in the south.
“Russia’s war with Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, and the fiercest fighting will move to an approximately 350-kilometer frontline stretching southwest from the Zaporozhye region to Kherson, parallel to the Dnieper,” said the British Ministry of Defense.
“Russian forces are almost certainly gathering in the south in anticipation of a counter-offensive from Ukraine or in preparation for a possible attack,” added the intelligence report.
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The British Ministry of Defense also detailed the heavy movement of Russian troops, tanks and support vehicles in the southern region.
“Long convoys of Russian military trucks, tanks, towed artillery and other weapons are still moving away from the Ukrainian Donbas and heading southwest. Kerch Bridge to Crimea ”- we read in the update of the interview.
“Tactical Battalion Groups (BTGs) that compromise between 800 and 1,000 troops have been deployed in Crimea and will almost certainly be used to support Russian troops in the Kherson region,” the report added, noting that another BTG was likely to join the force. “in the days to come.”
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After more than 160 days of fighting in a war that, according to many experts, lasted less than two weeks, Ukraine successfully launched counterattacks and reclaimed territories on its Eastern Front that were once occupied by Russia.
The country has also been successful in combating the critical transport infrastructure Russia used to support forces on its front lines.
“Ukrainian forces are concentrating on bridges, ammunition depots and rail links with increasing frequency in the southern regions of Ukraine, including the strategically important railway stimulus that connects Kherson with Russian-occupied Crimea, almost certainly using a combination of blocking, destroying, degrading, denying, destroy and disrupt the effects to try to influence Russia’s ability to supply logistics, ”the report reads.
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The report comes as Ukrainian authorities changed and reacted to the Russian offensive in Kherson last month.