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US intelligence leak, Ukrainian UAV in Moscow suburbs, saboteurs enter Russia’s Bryansk region. What happened on the front line on April 6?

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Ukraine is preparing eight new storm brigades totalling 40,000 soldiers for an upcoming counterattack against Russian forces, according to a Reuters report. The names of the units that have been recruited for the counterffensive are Hurricane, Spartan, Chervona Kalyna, Frontier, Rage, Azov and Kara Dag (a mountain in Crimea). If the operation fails, the West may start pushing Ukraine to negotiate with Russia, according to the news agency.

Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin criticized “military-related officials” over Ukrainian drones frequently flying into Russian territory. “As for the overflights of these UAVs. The military-related officials are responsible for this, who hope that at some point they’ll open their eyes and everything will be fine, and their mother will be holding their hand. One shouldn't hope for that. Mommy's gone. Mommy’s dead.”

Russian troops have withdrawn equipment from a storage base in northern Crimea. The latest satellite images show that there were tanks, armored vehicles and artillery at the site a month ago, reported Brady Africk, a specialist at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Africk also noted that Russian troops have built several fortifications near Medvedivka in northern Crimea.

Vuhledar direction. Pro-Russian Telegram channels posted a video allegedly depicting an air defense missile striking a HIMARS MLRS missile.

Bakhmut direction. The Russian army shelled Bakhmut with the TOS-1A Solntsepyok heavy flamethrower system. A video of the destruction of yet another part of the city was published by a channel associated with the Wagner PMC. The location was confirmed by the Ukrainian OSINT project CyberBoroshno.

Donetsk. The city’s Kalinin district came under fire from the Ukrainian army. At least 9 people were killed and 7 more were wounded as a result of the attack. According to pro-Russian Telegram channels, the shelling was carried out with GMLRS missiles from HIMARS or M270 rocket launchers.

Belarus. At least 10 tanks from the Belarusian army’s 120th Brigade were redeployed to the border with Lithuania overnight, the Belaruski Hayun project reported. On the night of April 6, a train with at least 20 Belarusian army vehicles was redeployed to the railway station of Gudogay, nine kilometers (5.6 miles) from the border with Lithuania. There were at least 10-15 T-72B/B3 tanks, BTR-series APCs, BMP-series IFVs and MT-LB light armored multi-purpose tractors among the equipment on the train. According to Belaruski Hayun, the transported vehicles were originally stationed in Uruchye, Minsk. Lithuania is currently hosting NATO military exercises under the codename Rising Bull.

Artillery and air attacks

Two drones have crashed in the suburbs of Moscow, according to reports from multiple Russian media outlets. One fell in Khimki, reported state-run news agency TASS, being found by security guards after crashing on the territory of the “Fakel” engineering design bureau, a company specializing in the production of the Tor and S-400 air defense systems. According to reports from Telegram channels, the drone was equipped with a photo and video camera. The second drone crashed in an industrial area in Podolsk, reported the SHOT media project. The UAV crashed near several factories specializing in the production of railway rolling stock and hydraulic motors.

“In the East, the Ukrainian 45th Artillery Brigade hit a Russian T-90M tank with a captured 9K129-series Kornet ATGM system, then used a drone to drop two 'Molotov Balloons' on the damaged tank,” wrote Ukraine Weapons Tracker.

The story with a downed Ukrainian light aircraft in the Bryansk region continues to develop. Earlier, the detained pilot claimed that he had agreed to fly behind a second plane for 50,000 hryvnias (approximately $1360) and take pictures on command. According to the pilot, he was unaware that the planes were already in Russian airspace. On April 6, the Telegram channel Baza reported that the planes had dropped two aerial bombs on the Rosrezerv “Slava” plant.

A Ukrainian UAV was shot down in the Belgorod region, according to reports from Russian pro-war Telegram channels and regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. The aircraft – reportedly a Poseidon H10 reconnaissance drone – was allegedly intercepted by the air defense system in the region’s Valuyskiy municipality.

The pro-Russian Telegram channel Military Informant (“Voenny Osvedomitel”) reported that on April 4, Su-35S fighter jets carried out two airstrikes with guided air bombs on the village of Pecheniuhy in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region. Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) volunteer Kateryna Yushchenko and radio-electronic reconnaissance systems operator Oleksandr Zhuk were killed as a result of the strikes. Yushchenko and Zhuk’s deaths were reported by Ukrainian media.

Losses

The official Telegram channel of the Ukrainian Land Forces reported that a Russian Ka-52 helicopter was destroyed on the eastern front on April 5. This was indirectly confirmed by the pro-Russian channel Fighterbomber, which published a photo of the helicopter with the caption “Earth to heavens, brothers!” Notably, the channel posted a photo of the Mi-24, not the Ka-52, indicating that the former type of aircraft was likely shot down as opposed to the latter.

Arms supplies

Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that Warsaw would supply the Ukrainian Armed Forces with three batteries (24 units) of 120 mm M120 Rak self-propelled mortars. Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller also announced that Ukraine had increased its order of Rosomak armored personnel carriers (APCs) from Poland from 100 to 150 units.

Meanwhile, the EU cannot reach an agreement on where to buy ammunition worth €1 billion for Ukraine, despite approving a joint purchase of ammunition for Kyiv earlier. The bone of contention is whether these arms contracts will be awarded only to EU companies or whether they will also be open to third-party manufacturers, according to a report by Politico.

The US intends to transfer experimental anti-drone weapons to Ukraine, according to a report by Defense One. The weapons are “10 mobile c-UAS laser-guided rocket systems” from the US company SAIC, which have the following capabilities:

  • laser systems to damage drones;
  • radio electronic systems for jamming and hindering normal operation;
  • drone-based capture systems for physically capturing drones;
  • kinetic systems for destroying UAVs with missiles or small arms.

Poland and Ukraine will produce 125mm tank ammunition, which is used by most Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian tanks. Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and a Ukrainian company signed an agreement in the presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and his deputy, Minister for State Assets Jacek Sasin.

Ammunition production is also underway in Russia – Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu inspected several manufacturing facilities on April 6. Shoigu visited defense plants in Nizhny Novgorod oblast, where he inspected progress on a government defense contract for the production of artillery and aviation ammunition. He was shown the recently produced large-caliber FAB-1500 M-54 air bombs.

Leaked and photoshopped US intelligence report

The Wagner PMC-affiliated Telegram channel Grey Zone published a report on April 6 stating that by April 1, planned deliveries of weapons to staff nine new AFU brigades had been completed. Grey Zone also published the amount of equipment for each of the brigades in detail. An allegedly leaked US intelligence briefing document with the data was also published in other Telegram channels. According to the brief, the total number of weapons required for the nine brigades is 253 tanks, 381 tracked vehicles, 480 wheeled vehicles, 147 artillery pieces, and 571 armored HMMWVs.

Reports later revealed that the figures in the losses section of the brief were photoshopped in the version shared by pro-Russian Telegram channels: Russian military losses were reduced almost threefold, fighter aircraft losses were reduced tenfold, and ground-based equipment losses were also reduced tenfold. Ukraine's military losses were grossly overstated by a factor of 4.5. The source of the original document is also unclear, as it was published on the anonymous forum 4chan. It is impossible to confirm the reliability of the figures on the supply of equipment, although they do not seem to contradict data from open sources.

  • The document originally published on the forum
  • Photoshopped version actively published by Russian pro-war channels
  • Data on losses quoted in the original document
  • Data on losses in the photoshopped version actively published by Russian pro-war channels

Second incursion reported in Russia's Bryansk region

The governor of Russia’s Bryansk region, Alexander Bogomaz, announced that another group of saboteurs had allegedly infiltrated the region, marking the second such incident over the past two months. “The Border Department of the Federal Security Service of Russia in the Bryansk region has foiled an attempt by a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance of 20 men to penetrate the territory of the Russian Federation near the village of Sluchovsk [in the] Pogarsky district. Units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, together with units of the border troops, engaged the enemy,” he wrote in his Telegram channel.

Former “LPR” fighter Andrei Kurshin also reported the incursion on his Telegram channel Moscow Calling. According to Kurshin, the group was made up of fighters from the so-called “Russian Volunteer Corps” (“Russkiy dobrovol'cheskiy korpus” or RDK) – a paramilitary unit known for claiming responsibility for an attack in the Bryansk region in early March 2023. The post was later deleted. RDK’s Telegram channel also posted about the incursion. The post was accompanied by a video that did not show Russian security forces.

The FSB border guards, upon arrival at the site of the group’s infiltration of the border, only managed to record an empty tube from an M136 grenade launcher left on the road, wrote the pro-Russian Military Informant channel.

For a summary of the main events on the front line in Ukraine on April 5, click here.

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