LONDON: British military officials say the heavy losses suffered recently by a column of Russian armor demonstrate the pressure Moscow’s commanders are under to make progress in eastern Ukraine.
The UK Ministry of Defense on Friday confirmed news reports that Ukrainian forces prevented the Russian column from crossing the Siverskyi Donets river, west of Severodonetsk, on a pontoon bridge.
Russia lost “significant” elements of at least one battalion tactical group, as well as equipment used to quickly deploy the floating bridge, the ministry said.
“Conducting river crossings in a contested environment is a highly risky maneuver and speaks to the pressure the Russian commanders are under to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry said in its daily intelligence update.
The Ministry said Russia has failed to make any significant advances, despite concentrating forces in the Luhansk and Donbas regions of eastern Ukraine after withdrawing troops from other areas.