Russian elite units humiliated as they fill with convicts given low-priority

Ukraine: Russian armoured vehicle destroyed by drone

Once elite Russian military squads are now filled with convicts and given low-priority support, according to the British MoD.

The Ministry of Defence has released an intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine, focusing on Russia’s “elite” squads.

First fielded in 2022, these company-sized groups were likely envisioned as “elite” organisations which could “seize the tactical advantage”.

And Russia largely continues to rely on these specially designated ‘Storm-Z’ units for local offensive operations in Ukraine.

But since spring of this year, they have effectively become penal battalions, manned with convicts and regular troops on disciplinary charges.

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Accounts suggest they are given the lowest priority for logistic and medical support, while repeatedly being ordered to attack.

The Ministry of Defence added that Russian troops have often conducted an effective defence but that the existence of ‘Storm-Z’ highlights the difficulty Russia has in generating combat infantry capable of conducting effective offensive operations.

Yesterday’s (October 23) update revealed how Russia’s government spending has become increasingly focused on the war with Ukraine.

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The state’s 2024 budget proposes a 68 per cent increase in defence spending compared to 2023, putting it at six per cent of GDP.

Education and healthcare spending will be frozen at the 2023 allocation, with amounts to a real-term cut due to inflation.

The Ministry of Defence has said that consistently heightened military spending will likely contribute to inflationary pressures in Russia and would force the government to make difficult decisions about how to fund the war.

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