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Muzhenko: Russia ails to create 3rd army corps in Donbas

"It will be a third fist for flexibility, sabotage operations, counterattacks and offensives, while the two other corps hold the line."

Muzhenko: Russia ails to create 3rd army corps in Donbas
Photo: Photo: mil.gov.ua

The Chief of General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces, Colonel-General Viktor Muzhenko says that Russia is going to increase its presence in the Donbas region and create there a "3rd Army Corps."

In an interview with The Times, Muzhenko said that the Kremlin was funnelling more soldiers over the border while amassing tens of thousands of new troops in Crimea and in the southwest of Ukraine. "We are not talking about weak and uncontrolled insurgent groups," he said.

"There is a military hierarchy among them with a robust command and control system. There are plans to establish a third army corps, which will be drawn from professional Russian soldiers. "

There are no data on the size of this alleged third formation, but General Muzhenko suspects that the Kremlin is preparing thousands of troops, comprising three to five brigades.

The Times writes that "a Russian army insider", based in Luhansk, agreed. "It will be a third fist for flexibility, sabotage operations, counterattacks and offensives, while the two other corps hold the line."

There are two Russian army corps in the rebel-controlled areas of Ukraine - one in Donetsk, the other in Luhansk - made up of local separatists, regular Kremlin troops, military contractors and volunteer fighters.