Ukraine War

British Intelligence Ukraine war map as of Dec. 1

As of December 1, British intelligence reports suggest that Russia’s airborne forces, known as the VDV, have initiated the deployment of the newly formed 104th Guards Airborne Division (104 GAD) in Ukraine. This marks a significant development in the ongoing conflict, as the division, re-established by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in August 2023, is likely assembling in Kherson Oblast.

Background on 104 GAD:

The 104 GAD, once a smaller, brigade-sized formation until its downsizing in 1998, is now being reactivated as part of Russia’s military strategy in the region. The division’s subordinate units are believed to include the 337th regiment, an additional manoeuvre regiment, and the 52nd Artillery Brigade. The addition of the 104 GAD will increase the number of divisions in the VDV’s order of battle to five.

Training and Standards:

Despite its reactivation, intelligence assessments suggest that the 104 GAD may be poorly trained and unlikely to meet the elite standards associated with the VDV. This raises questions about the division’s effectiveness on the battlefield and its potential impact on the overall dynamics of the conflict in Ukraine.

Scrutiny and Command Oversight:

British intelligence emphasizes that the deployment of the 104 GAD is expected to receive close scrutiny from General Colonel Mikhail Teplinsky, the Russian General responsible for Kherson. In his routine role as the overall commander of the VDV, General Teplinsky is likely to play a crucial role in overseeing the division’s activities and ensuring coordination with broader military objectives in the region.

Conclusion:

The deployment of the 104th Guards Airborne Division by Russia in Ukraine, as reported by British intelligence, adds a new dimension to the evolving dynamics of the conflict. As the international community closely monitors these developments, the reactivated division’s capabilities and impact on the ground remain subjects of keen interest and concern. The coming weeks may provide further insights into the role and effectiveness of the 104 GAD in the ongoing Ukraine War.

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