The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on 20 September that the Russian military leadership has decided to withdraw units of the 217th Guards Airborne Regiment from Syria and move them to Ukraine.
The move comes as Russia struggles to beat back the Ukrainian military’s counter-offensive that has retaken large areas of Russian-occupied territory.
Russia decided to pull units from its 217th Guards Airborne Regiment, part of the 98th Guards Airborne Division, from Syria and redeploy them to Ukraine, according to a Facebook post by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, quoting spokesperson Alexander Stupun.
Russian forces have been present in Syria since 2015 where they have helped prop up President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“Due to the unsuccessful covert mobilization effort, the military and political leadership of the Russian Federation made a decision to withdraw the units of the 217th Parachute Regiment from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic and further prepare them for transfer to the territory of Ukraine,” the statement reads.
The Ukrainian military reports that the Russian military death toll in Ukraine currently stands at over 54,000, with 160 servicemen killed in the past day alone.