Russian forces are continuing to consolidate and reorganize as they refocus their offensive on the Donbas region in the east of Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense tweeted on April 4, referring to its latest Defense Intelligence Update.
"Russian troops, including mercenaries from the Russian state-linked Wagner private military company, are being moved into the area," UK intelligence said.
On March 29, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that the main tasks of the first stage of the so-called "special military operation" had been completed, so Russia would focus on the "liberation of the Donbas."
The shelling of Ukrainian settlements in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts has significantly increased after his statement. The invaders are trying to surround the Ukrainian military in the Donbas warzone.
U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby at a briefing on March 30 said there were about 1,000 Wagner private military company mercenaries in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.