In turn, British military intelligence reports that Russia is transferring up to 2,000 soldiers from Georgia to fight in Ukraine.
On Thursday, British intelligence said that from 1,200 to 2,000 Russian servicemen in Georgia are being reorganized into 3 battalion tactical groups and these groups are being transferred to Ukraine.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video message to the nation that the Ukrainian military had pushed Russian troops away from Kyiv and Chernihiv, but the situation in the south and in the Donbass remains extremely difficult. Zelenskiy confirmed that Russia is building up forces around the besieged Mariupol.
The Reuters news agency reports that, according to the estimates of the Mariupol Mayor’s office, about 5 thousand people died in the city and about 170 thousand more remain blocked in residential areas: in the middle of ruins, without food, heat, electricity and water supply.
In his video message, Zelensky also said that he fired two USS generals on Thursday, as “they were traitors.” These are the ex-heads of the main Department of Internal Security of the USS Andrei Naumov and the Department of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Kherson region Sergey Krivoruchko.
Meanwhile, a senior Pentagon official, commenting on Thursday on the withdrawal of Russian troops to positions north and east of the Ukrainian capital, said that “Kyiv is still in danger and airstrikes continue.” He added that “we haven’t seen a big difference in the last 24 hours, there hasn’t been… mass movement, at least at the moment.”
According to a Pentagon spokesman, the redeployment of Russian troops from Kiev indicates that Russian military leaders understand that their attempt to take the capital has failed.
He also noted that the morale of Russian soldiers is low. “We are still seeing problems of unit cohesion, problems with command and control, and problems with competent leadership,” the U.S. military spokesman said.
The Pentagon says that they have heard anecdotes about poor performance on the battlefield and the depression of Russian soldiers, but “all this is at the level of rumors and anecdotes, and it is impossible to say with certainty whether it is only in some parts or it is more general trends.”
Nevertheless, the Pentagon representative believes that all these stories only confirm some of the main problems that have emerged in the Russian Armed Forces.
“This is an army that does not have a non-commissioned officer corps like in the West, so there is no effective command of small units in it and you will not even see any initiative at the grassroots level…” a Pentagon spokesman said.