"LPR" fighters refuse to fight in Donetsk Oblast, denting Russia's chances of further mass recruitment in Luhansk — ISW
16 August, 2022

A split continues among the militants of the Russian-controlled forces. Recently, a video appeared with fighters of the self-proclaimed "LPR" who refuse to fight on the territory of Donetsk Oblast. American analysts believe that such a division can affect "mobilization" in the occupied territories, according to the latest report of the American Institute for the Study of War.

A video from the "LPR" battalion, which refuses to fight for the "DPR" was shared on the Internet. The militants claim that they were already "celebrating the victory" when the formations of the "LPR" allegedly reached the administrative borders of Luhansk Oblast, so they feel they have achieved their objectives.

According to analysts, the goals set by Russia in Donetsk Oblast resonate with the audience of the self-proclaimed "DPR". On the other hand, the "LPR" got tired of exhausting offensive operations.

ISW cannot independently confirm the origin or authenticity of the video. However, the narratives from the video point to a broader trend: the low morale of the fighters and the decrease in support of the Russian war on the part of the "LPR" elements.

"This trend is particularly dangerous to Russian forces seeking to recruit still more new soldiers from Luhansk Oblast to make up for recent losses. Further division within Russian-led forces also threatens to further impede the efficiency of the Russian war effort," the analysts note.

The institute emphasizes that this is not the first time that militants have recorded similar appeals to refuse further participation in the war. Previously, such appeals from the militants of the "DPR" were recorded when they were transferred to Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Kherson oblasts.

Illegal mobilization of Ukrainians

As reported by the Ukrainian military intelligence, a new wave of forced mobilization began on August 1 in the territory of the "L/DPR" to equip units of the mobilization reserve. People who are unfit for service and those who had a "deferral" are already being taken there.

At the same time, among the already mobilized men of the "L/DPR" there is growing dissatisfaction with the terrible attitude of the command of the occupying army towards local fighters, according to intelligence. In particular, information is spreading that Russians are given modern bulletproof vests and helmets, and locals are given ammunition from 1941-1945.