NewsRussia's 'north' group poised for new offensive against Sumy and Chernihiv

Russia's 'north' group poised for new offensive against Sumy and Chernihiv

War in Ukraine. There are new reports of the risk of an attack in northern Ukraine
War in Ukraine. There are new reports of the risk of an attack in northern Ukraine
Images source: © Facebook | Sztab Generalny ZSU

5:44 PM EDT, May 26, 2024

The formation likely preparing to launch an attack on a new front in the war in Ukraine is the "North" group, according to Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Maciej Korowaj in an interview with Wirtualna Polska. Ukrainian defenders fear the start of fighting around the cities of Sumy and Chernihiv, which were attacked in the early days of the war.

"The Russians might attempt offensive actions in the Sumy region. This way, they might try to stretch the front and force Ukraine to withdraw part of its forces from the main direction of attack," warned Andriy Demchenko of the Ukrainian State Border Service on May 21 (statement discussed by the Unian agency).

He indicated that the entire length of the Ukrainian-Russian border has no peaceful areas. It is a zone of continuous combat clashes, reconnaissance and sabotage group actions, constant shelling, missile strikes, and mortar attacks.

Meanwhile, social media circulated recordings from the Russian town of Yefremov. They document the passage of a military train heading towards Ukraine. A new sign is visible on the vehicles—no longer "V" or "Z," but a crossed-out rhombus.

"This is the 'North' group, including the 11th Corps from Kaliningrad, the 44th Corps, and the 6th Army. These units participated in the war but had to restore their capabilities after losses. The group was formed in January this year, and their new sign appeared shortly after that," says reserve Lt. Col. Maciej Korowaj, an expert in Russian military tactics and an analyst of events in the war in Ukraine.

He adds that the Russians currently report the activity of six groups on the front. Korowaj confirms fears that the "North" might enter the fight, creating a threat to Sumy and Chernihiv.

"The group comprises 50,000-60,000 soldiers and lacks modern equipment like tanks and self-propelled artillery. Among them are poorly trained Storm Z units, used for bloody assaults on Ukrainian positions. This is too little to capture Kharkiv. I think the battles will aim to exhaust Ukrainian reserves," assesses Lt. Col. Korowaj.

The interlocutor cautioned against underestimating Russian intentions. He estimates that apart from soldiers currently fighting on the front line, Russia has approximately 650,000 people in training. 350,000 are soldiers prepared for rotation, i.e., force replacement on the front, and 300,000 are conscripts. "Throwing these forces into battle would risk the Russians not having reserves. However, I remind you that Russian commanders sometimes take risks," adds Lt. Col. Korowaj.

On May 14, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, told journalists that he expects Russian attempts to launch an offensive in the Sumy region in the near future.

The cities of Sumy and Chernihiv were fiercely attacked in the initial stage of the war in 2022. Sumy was encircled and cut off for several weeks. A documentary film has been made about the defence of Chernihiv. Its creators believe that the stance of the defenders of both cities significantly contributed to the success of Kyiv's defense.

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