Ukraine conflict: MoD suggest new deployment of Russian forces as Putin pursues major tactical priority

Russia have deployed their only operational tank support vehicle company as part of the campaign to gain control of the Donbas region according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD)

Russia have now turned attention to elsewhere in Ukraine after claiming full control of the Azovstal steel plant, which for weeks was the last hold-out in Mariupol and a symbol of Ukrainian tenacity in the strategic port city, now in ruins with more than 20,000 residents feared dead.

The Ukrainian government has not commented on Russia’s claim of capturing Azovstal, which for weeks remained Mariupol’s last hold-out of Ukrainian resistance.

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Ukraine’s military had told the fighters that their mission was complete and they could come out. It described their extraction as an evacuation, not a mass surrender.

An update from the MoD on the latest move from Russia read: “Russia’s only operational company of BMP-T Terminator tank support vehicles has likely been deployed to the Severodonetsk axis of the Donbas offensive.

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"Their presence suggests that the Central Grouping of Forces (CGF) is involved in this attack, which is the only formation fielding this vehicle. CGF previously suffered heavy losses while failing to break through to eastern Kyiv in the first phase of the invasion.

"Russia developed Terminator after identifying the need to provide dedicated protection to main battle tanks it used during the Afghan and Chechen wars.

Ukrainian soldiers sit on a armoured military vehicule in the city of Severodonetsk, Donbas region,

"The Severodonetsk area remains one of Russia’s immediate tactical priorities. However, with a maximum of ten Terminators deployed they are unlikely to have a significant impact on the campaign.”