Russia ‘almost certainly’ has established major new ground force to fight in Ukraine: UK intelligence

Russia has "almost certainly" deployed large new ground forces in a village east of Moscow to gain the upper hand in its war with Ukraine, according to British intelligence.
Britain's Defense Ministry said in a tweet on Wednesday that the Russian government is likely planning to divert resources for a large part of the armed forces from newly formed "volunteer" battalions being recruited across the country.
The ministry said Russian regional politicians have confirmed that recruits will be offered "lucrative" cash rewards once posted to Ukraine, and recruitment is open to men up to the age of 50 and only with a secondary school education.
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A Russian army corps typically consists of 15,000 to 20,000 soldiers, but Russia will likely struggle to keep the new force at that level, according to the ministry.
The ministry said enthusiasm for volunteering in Ukraine was low and the new force is unlikely to be crucial in the campaign.
Ukraine is reportedly planning a counteroffensive to retake territory in Kherson, a city captured by Russia early in the war. The ministry said Russian commanders are likely to continue to face competing priorities, namely completing the Russian attack on the Donbass region and strengthening forces in the southern part of Ukraine against counterattacks.
Russia took control of Donbass' Luhansk province last month and is attempting to seize control of the region's other province, Donetsk, but is struggling to advance.
The State Department announced on Tuesday that it would provide $89 million to help Ukraine clear mines, a day after announcing that the United States would provide Ukraine with $1 billion in military equipment. her biggest package yet.
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