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Western official says Russia will need time to pivot forces to east Ukraine

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By Reuters
Western official says Russia will need time to pivot forces to east Ukraine
Western official says Russia will need time to pivot forces to east Ukraine   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

LONDON – Russia will struggle to rapidly redeploy the forces it has withdrawn from the area around Ukrainian capital Kyiv to the Donbas region in the east as units need reconstituting and re-equipping, a Western official said on Wednesday.

The official said the withdrawal of Russian forces from the north of Kiev and around Chernihiv was largely complete, but Russia would need “some considerable period of time in order to reconstitute, refurbish, re-equip and integrate new troops into those formations.”

“That is going to be, probably, at least a week, quite possibly a number of weeks for them to be made more effective,” the Western official said on condition of anonymity, adding Russia’s redesigned plan was to concentrate on the Donbas region in the east of the country.

“Whilst there is the desire to move on that quickly, there is not an enormous increase in the level of forces available at present to be able to do that… bringing more forces to bear is still a problem for them.”