Russia masses largest assault units in Donetsk as battle for East rages

General Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, said that eight Russian strike brigades have massed assault troops in the Pokrovsk and Kurakhove sectors of Donetsk Oblast.

Russia has deployed its largest concentration of assault units from elite strike brigades to the Donetsk region, according to Ukraine’s top military commander.

General Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, said that eight Russian strike brigades have massed assault troops in the Pokrovsk and Kurakhove sectors of Donetsk Oblast. The two directions have been the scene of some of the war’s fiercest fighting for months, making the battlefield situation in Donetsk the most difficult, Syrskyi stated after visiting the eastern front.

Russia is deploying its most capable assault formations as it renews efforts to capture the entirety of Donetsk, one of four Ukrainian regions Moscow illegally annexed last September despite not fully controlling them. Syrskyi indicated heavy fighting was also raging near the towns of Klishchiivka, Kalynivka, and Chasiv Yar – an elevated area that could open the way for further Russian advances.

In the Kharkiv sector, he said Russian forces are attempting to advance to create a security belt around occupied areas but are being repelled by Ukrainian defenders. Fighting is particularly intense around the embattled town of Vovchansk near the Russian border.

Further south in the Zaporizhzhia region, the Ukrainian general said Moscow’s troops are pushing toward the villages of Staromaiorske and Robotyne but without any success. Russia had previously claimed to capture the two settlements, which Kyiv denied.

The battlefield accounts highlight how much of the fighting in recent weeks has focused on villages and small towns as Russia tries to grind its way forward in the east. Each side has deployed significant numbers of reserves to replenish losses from months of attritional combat.

As Russia reshapes its force with elite assault units in Donetsk, it appears to be preparing for a new offensive push to make up for its slow gains since last summer. Ukraine is hoping new weapons supplies and reserve forces can halt the Russian advance and set the stage for a counteroffensive to regain occupied territory.

With both sides pouring in resources for a potentially decisive clash in the industrial heartland, the battle lines in eastern Ukraine could well see some of the war’s bloodiest combat in the coming weeks. Syrskyi’s accounts suggest Moscow may be massing its troops, raising the stakes as each side strives for momentum.