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Russian combat strength not altered without Wagner: Lawmaker

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, an influential lawmaker who chairs Russia's lower house of parliament's defense committee. (Via TASS)

The combat strength of Russian forces is not impacted by the departure of the Wagner private military group, says the chairman of Moscow’s legislative lower house defense committee, as Ukrainian authorities reported Russia’s advances in multiple war fronts.

"No new wave of mobilization will be required," insisted the influential lawmaker, Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, in an interview published Monday by TASS news agency, adding that Russia’s regular army forces have effectively repulsed Ukraine's latest counteroffensives without Wagner fighters.

He further pointed out that the withdrawal of Wagner forces following the short-lived mutiny staged by its chief commander last week poses no risk to Russia's combat potential, "both in the mid-term and long-term perspective."

The mutiny began over differences between Wagner’s boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and promptly ended with a deal between the two sides brokered by Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.

Kiev admits Russia advancing in multiple fronts

The development comes after senior Ukrainian military authorities confirmed that Russian forces were advancing in the country's eastern regions amid what they described as "fierce fighting."

Kiev's Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar declared on Sunday that Russian troops were advancing near Avdiivka, Mariinka, Lyman and Svatove.

"Fierce fighting is going on everywhere," Maliar said in a social media post, emphasizing that "the situation is quite complicated."

Maliar further claimed that Ukrainian troops were advancing with "partial success" on the southern flank of Bakhmut in the east and near Berdyansk and Melitopol in the south.

Russia launched what it described as a "special military operation" in Ukraine in February 2022 in response to the unyielding eastward expansion of the US-led NATO military alliance despite Moscow's pleas for security guarantees.

Russia regards NATO’s efforts to make Ukraine a member of the alliance and deploy missiles closer to its borders as a direct threat to its national security.

The West, meanwhile, has supplied Kiev with tens of billions of dollars worth of various weaponry since the onset of the raging conflict largely fueled by Ukraine's Western backers.

Moscow has denounced the West's incessant arming of Kiev as counterproductive measures that would only prolong the conflict.

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