Russian army units that have taken heavy losses in Ukraine are rotating through Belarus for additional training for renewed combat, British officials said Thursday.
The latest unit is the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division (GMRD), which has been training in Belarus since last autumn. The 2nd GMRD, which is part of the Russian 1st Guards Tank Army, sustained major losses in the opening phases of the invasion that began almost a year ago, U.K. military intelligence officials said.
“The majority of the 2nd GMRD has now transferred back to Russia, before almost certainly being recommitted to operations in Ukraine,” British military officials tweeted.
Despite several weeks of additional training, the division’s combat effectiveness will likely be limited. “It is now primarily made up of mobilized personnel operating older equipment taken from storage,” British officials said.
Russia will likely use Belarus as a base for “rest and refit” operations to regenerate and prepare units to maintain its force in Ukraine, officials said.