Ukrainian partisan attacks in the occupied territories make it difficult for Putin’s soldiers to fight at the front. Because the Russians are increasingly forced to withdraw troops to secure their occupied territories. According to a recent analysis, however, Russia itself is to blame for this.

Increased attacks by Ukrainian partisans are forcing the Russian military leadership to withdraw troops from the front lines to secure their occupied territories. This is what the US think tank Institute for the Study of War writes in its latest analysis of the Ukrainian partisan attacks. Partisans are armed fighters who do not belong to an army and who voluntarily defend their country.

Given the lack of personnel, the Russian army would not be able to secure its occupied areas against partisan attacks. Their consequences: “The attacks reduce Russia’s ability to fend off Ukrainian counter-offensives, let alone launch their own offensives.”

The Russian state media largely ignores these attacks, according to the institute. They sometimes misrepresent these as conventional Ukrainian military attacks to downplay the partisans’ impact on Russian-held territories, the ISW reports.

According to officials, Ukrainian partisans aim to exhaust Russian forces and force Russia to transfer front-line troops to the occupied territories. There have been 34 such underground actions since the beginning of the war. So far, the partisans have killed at least eleven prominent collaborators and Russian occupation officials, writes the “ISW”. At the beginning of March, the pro-Russian mayor of the city of Kremmina was found dead as the presumed first victim of the partisans.

According to the analysis, Russia is partly responsible for the fact that this could happen. For example, the military failed to disguise the identities of pro-Russian collaborators and allow Russian occupation officials greater security in their homes and workplaces. In addition, the military would have insufficiently protected endangered sections such as railway connections and bridges, especially in rural areas.

This allowed partisans to collect information unhindered and pass it on to each other and to the Ukrainian military. Even after the sham annexation of four Ukrainian regions, partisan attacks increased in Cherson and Zaporizhia.

The Russian occupation authorities have repeatedly commissioned special units from Rosgvardia and the Federal Security Service (FSB) to secure the rear of the occupied areas. In the summer, Moscow had already sent special units to the city of Cherson, among other places. The Russian Interior Ministry is said to have mobilized personnel from St. Petersburg and Leningrad to conduct patrols in several cities in Luhansk. However, due to the lack of Russian personnel, the “ISW” considers it unlikely that Russia will be able to ward off the partisan attacks in the future.