Ukraine conflict: Russia 'increasingly struggling to motivate the auxiliary forces' in Donbas - MoD

Russia is likely increasingly struggling to motivate auxiliary forces, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD said Russian commanders are likely resorting to direct financial incentives, while adding that some combat units are deemed too unreliable for offensive operations.

The intelligence update read: “Russia is likely increasingly struggling to motivate the auxiliary forces it is using to augment its regular troops in the Donbas. Commanders are probably resorting to direct financial incentives, while some combat units are deemed unreliable for offensive operations.

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"A consistent contributing factor to these problems is Russia’s classification of the war as a ‘special military operation’, which limits the state’s powers of legal coercion.”

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The update also gave an update on footage from last week that showed soldiers of a pro-Russian Luhansk People’s Republic refusing to fight with the MoD.

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The update said: “On August 15, 2022, Ukrainian social media channels circulated a video which reportedly showed elements from a military unit of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) delivering a declaration outlining their refusal to be deployed as part of offensive operations.

"In Donetsk Oblast. The fighters claimed they had fulfilled their duty in securing the LPR’s control over all of Luhansk Oblast, which was secured in July 2022, and were unwilling to fight in Donetsk Oblast despite threats and intimidation by senior commanders.”

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Russian soldiers patrol an area of the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal, in Mariupol, on the territory which is under the Government of the Donetsk People's Republic control, eastern Ukraine, on June 13, 2022.

On Sunday there were widespread fears in the West that Russia could encourage its ally Serbia into an armed intervention in northern Kosovo that would further destabilise the Balkans and shift at least some world and Nato attention from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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The president of Serbia has called on Nato to “do their job” in Kosovo or he says Serbia itself will move to protect its minority in the breakaway province.

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The Investigative Committee branch for the Moscow region said the blast on Saturday night was caused by a bomb planted in the SUV driven by Daria Dugina.

The 29-year-old was the daughter of Alexander Dugin, a prominent proponent of the “Russian world” concept ideology and a vehement supporter of Russia’s sending of troops into Ukraine.