Russia is clear that to conquer a single inch of land in Ukraine it will have to use all its strength in the face of the fierce defense that Ukrainian troops are carrying out of their occupied territory. Therefore, to try to continue advancing in the seizure of cities, Russian commanders are creating specialized, company-sized units within key front-line formations engaged in urban combat to bolster combat effectiveness as most of their units are depleted by heavy casualties. .
A Ukrainian reserve officer reportedly released a document allegedly captured on April 6 from the Russians detailing the recruitment of personnel (who receive BARS reservist status) to form new “Storm Z” companies within elements of the 8th Army of Combined Arms (Southern Military District) and the 1st Army Corps, the armed forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Each of these “Storm Z” companies are created outside of the conventional army unit structure and are apparently made up of newly recruited reservists attached in some way to existing Russian regiments and brigades, rather than adding additional assets or providing training. specialized to existing blue chip companies. It is unclear at this time how these “Storm Z” units fit into Russian command structures at the battalion level and above. and why Russian units are forming new companies. continue a permanent Russian tendency throughout the war in Ukraine to break doctrinal unit structures.
Each company consists of 100 personnel, divided into four capture squads (10 personnel each), four fire support squads (10 personnel each), a 2-person company command element, a combat engineering group of 5 people, an 8-person reconnaissance group, a three-person medevac group, and a 2-person UAV crew.
The “Storm Z” companies are intended to carry out urban combat operations or operations in complicated geographical areas to capture important and strategic objects. such as fortresses, command posts, and communication centers. The Ukrainian reserve officer noted that the personnel working in these companies receive 10-15 days of refresher training.
The “Storm Z” companies are likely to be deployed mainly along the Avdiivka-Donetsk city front line, where units of the Southern Military District (SMD) are heavily engaged in continually unsuccessful offensive operations.
The Ukrainian reserve officer stated that the document requires the establishment of “Storm Z” companies in several separate motorized rifle brigades of the 1st Army Corps (forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic) and motorized rifle regiments, tank regiments and brigades separate motorized rifle division of the 150th Motor Rifle Division (part of the 8th Combined Arms Army).
As observed by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), DNR forces along the entire Avdiivka-Donetsk City front line are in a weak condition and exposed to enemy fire; in addition, the 150th Motor Rifle Division has been particularly active in Marinka, on the southwestern outskirts of the city of Donetsk.
Russian offensive operations along this front line remain largely unsuccessful and have failed to secure more than tactical advances in the area.. The Russian military command is likely to seek to create “Storm Z” companies and link them to already compromised elements to bolster minor tactical success and encourage further operations and offensive gains. However, due to the rickety construction of even more ad hoc Russian units, as well as the already degraded quality and low morale that is prevalent within DNR units in this area, the use of these formations is unlikely to grant an advantage. significant offensive to the front line of the Russian forces.