Russia includes occupied territories in its Southern Military District — UK intelligence
The Russian Federation added the occupied territories to the Southern Military District (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
Russia has included the parts of Ukraine currently under its military occupation in its Southern Military District, UK Defense Intelligence wrote in its latest summary on Twitter on Feb. 4.
The department states that on Feb. 3, the Russian TASS propaganda agency reported that the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson oblasts have been placed under the three-star command with headquarters in Rostov-on-Don.
“This follows Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s January announcement that military expansion would include the establishment of ‘self-sufficient force groupings’ in Ukraine,” the intelligence agency said.
The agency stressed that the move “highlights that the Russian military likely aspires to integrate newly occupied territory into a long-term strategic posture.”
“However, it is unlikely to have an immediate impact on the campaign — Russia currently deploys forces from across all of Russia’s military districts, commanded by an ad hoc deployed headquarters,” the report said.
Russia has lost about half of the Ukrainian territory it seized at the beginning of its full-scale war and invasion, which started on Feb. 24. Before that, it had already occupied parts of Luhansk and Donetks oblasts and Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014.
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