According to the ministry’s assessment, Russian commanders are highly likely to continue to be faced with the competing operational priorities of reinforcing the Donbas offensive, and strengthening defenses against anticipated Ukrainian counterattacks in the south.
It noted that Russia likely plans to resource a large proportion of 3 AC from newly formed “volunteer” battalions, which are being raised across the country, and which group together recruits from the same areas.
“Russian regional politicians have confirmed that potential 3 AC recruits are being offered lucrative cash bonuses once they deploy to Ukraine,” the ministry said.
“Recruitment is open to men up to 50 years old and with only middle-school education. A Russian army corps typically consists of 15-20,000 troops, but it will probably be difficult for Russia to bring 3 AC up to this strength, given very limited levels of popular enthusiasm for volunteering for combat in Ukraine.”
According to the UK intelligence, “3 AC’s effect is unlikely to be decisive to the campaign.”
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