Attracting “high-quality” Wagnerites to the assault on Avdiivka, the “nuclearization” of Belarus: an analysis from ISW



An interview with Vladimir Putin on March 25 made a lot of noise. However, his scandalous statements are more aimed not at the domestic consumer, but at the West.

This is stated in the new report of the American Institute for the Study of War. Analysts say that even Russian military bloggers reacted with restraint to the Russian president's announcement of deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

Many Russian bloggers and news aggregators have simply amplified various points from Putin's March 25 interview that artificially inflate the capabilities of the Russian military and defense industrial base to support a sustained military effort, as well as the very announcement of deploying nuclear weapons.

One Millblogger rightly pointed out that the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus does not improve the Russian military situation in Ukraine, arguing that Russian forces need to prepare for a future Ukrainian counteroffensive, and criticized the ongoing problems of Russian military command and organization. analysts added.

Another military blogger acknowledged that Putin aimed his nuclear deployment announcement at the West and praised the prospect of becoming a “nightmare” for the US.

What is the situation at the front

The Russian military leadership likely brought a limited number of highly trained Wagner Group units into the Avdiivka offensive to consolidate recent tactical gains in the area.

The speaker of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky, said on March 25 that Ukrainian intelligence predicts that the Wagner may appear in the Avdiivka direction.

The Russian military leadership may have decided to move certain Wagner units to the Avdiivka area in recent weeks to support depleted and inferior DPR units in their efforts to take over the village, the ISW admitted.

If the Wagner fighters fought near Avdiivka, their participation may explain the limited tactical gains made in the area over the past week.

Earlier, military expert Oleg Zhdanov said that Russia could shift its main efforts to Avdiivka. Perhaps this city will become a hotter destination than Bakhmut. According to him, this week we should expect that there will be a positional war.

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