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Operation in Belgorod region exposed grave failures of Russian defense

May 26, 2023

The operation of the RDK and the Legion of Freedom of Russia in the Russian Belgorod region revealed serious flaws in the region's defense line.

This is reported with reference to the ISW report.


Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov previously reported that the Russian authorities had spent 10 billion rubles (about $132 million) to build a line of fortifications along the border of the Belgorod region with Ukraine.

The head of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, also announced earlier the construction of a set of fortifications called the “Wagner Line” throughout Luhansk, Donetsk, and Belgorod regions in October 2022, and directly criticized the Russian bureaucracy for not supporting the construction of the line.

As the report notes, new calls to strengthen defenses along the Russian-Ukrainian border are likely to have little effect, as Russian forces misallocate forces better suited to support active offensive operations by manning these fortifications.

Existing fortifications and defensive preparations did little to thwart the limited May 22 raid into Belgorod. Prigozhin is likely taking advantage of information space anxieties surrounding this reality following the raid to build out his own domestic influence, the analysts conclude.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 26/05/2023

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