ISW: Russian forces that left Ukraine’s Lyman largely comprised of elite units

Premier units of the Russian army that were located in the north of the Kherson region and on the Lyman front were unable to resist the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the area, the daily bulletin of the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War reads.

Elements of the 144th Motorized Rifle Division of the 20th Combined Arms Army and the 76th Guards Air Assault Division, which were forced to retreat from Lyman, used to be considered some of Russia’s most elite forces, the institute claims.

“Their apparent failures to hold territory against major Ukrainian counter-offensive actions is consistent with ISW’s previous assessment that even the most elite Russian military forces are becoming increasingly degraded as the war continues,” the ISW stated.

In early September, the Russian army was forced to retreat from Izium, Kupyansk, and Balakliya. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated at the time that the Ukrainian military had liberated a settlement in the Donetsk region and two more in the south of Ukraine.

On 1 October, the Ukrainian army stated that they had liberated five settlements near Lyman in the Donetsk region and encircled the Russian troops there. On 2 October, Zelensky announced that Ukraine had established full control over Lyman. The Russian Defence Ministry confirmed that the Russian forces had withdrawn from the city.

After that, head of Russia’s Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov and founder of the Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin lambasted Aleksandr Lapin, the commander of Russia’s Central Military District, for retreating.

The New York Times earlier reported, citing US officials, that Russian army commanders had wanted to retreat from Ukraine’s Kherson to save the equipment and manpower, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin did not let them.

On 21 September, Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilisation” in Russia. The Russian Defence Ministry stated that up to 300,000 people would be drafted. Meanwhile, a source of Novaya Gazeta. Europe in the Kremlin stated that up to a million people might be drafted into the army in accordance with the hidden article of the mobilisation order. The Kremlin denied these reports.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.