A Russian tank rumbles through terrain amid concerns of a Russian offensive in Donbas (Picture: Russian MOD).
Russian forces in the Donbas (Picture: Russian MOD).
Ukraine

Russia highly unlikely to take Donbas by 15 Sept after missed deadlines, MOD says

A Russian tank rumbles through terrain amid concerns of a Russian offensive in Donbas (Picture: Russian MOD).
Russian forces in the Donbas (Picture: Russian MOD).

The MOD says Russian forces are "highly unlikely" to achieve their aim of 'liberating' Donbas by 15 September – under orders to do so by this date, according to Ukrainian authorities – after seemingly repeatedly missing deadlines.

According to UK defence intelligence, the Russian's political goal in the Donbas is to secure the whole of Donetsk Oblast and what Russia calls the 'liberation' of the region.

It said Russian troops' main axis of advance in the region are at Avdiivka near Donetsk City and around Bahkmut – 60km to the north.

However, the Ministry of Defence says that progress is slow, with troops only advancing around 1km per week towards Bakhmut.

It comes as the MOD says morale among Russian troops is suffering because of problems with their pay.

UK defence intelligence suggests there have been failures in giving troops basic entitlements like uniform, arms, rations and money.