Russia Likely Lost a Third of Troops in Ukraine, British Intelligence Say

Published May 16th, 2022 - 09:55 GMT
Russia Likely Lost a Third of Troops in Ukraine, British Intelligence Says
A Ukrainian soldier stands on the wreckage of a burnt Russian tank outside of the village of Mala Rogan, east of Kharkiv, on April 1, 2022, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces on March 28, 2022 recaptured a small village on the outskirts of Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv, as Kyiv's forces mount counterattacks against a stalling Russian invasion. Members of the Ukrainian army were clearing and securing destroyed homes in the settlement of Mala Rogan, about five kilometres (three miles) from Kharkiv, after pushing out Russian forces. (Photo by Sergey BOBOK / AFP)

Russia has likely lost a third of its ground troops in Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry said in an intelligence update Sunday.

The British Defense Ministry said in the statement that the Russian military has "lost momentum" in the Donbas region after refocusing its assault to eastern Ukraine last month.

The Donbas region, comprising Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, has largely been held by Russian-backed separatists since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

Before the start of the invasion on Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the two oblasts as independent republics. Experts have said that President Vladimir Putin will try to annex the Donbas region into Russia in coming months.

"Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining consistently high levels of attrition," the British Defense Ministry said.

"These delays will almost certainly be exacerbated by the loss of critical enablers such as bridging equipment and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drones."

The British Defense Ministry confirmed Friday that Ukrainian forces repelled attempts by Russian troops to cross a strategic river in eastern Ukraine and shared photos showing a destroyed pontoon bridge and armored vehicles.

"Russian bridging equipment has been in short supply throughout the conflict, slowing and restricting offensive maneuver," the British Defense Ministry said Sunday.

The British Defense Ministry said that Russian drones "are vital for tactical awareness and directing artillery" but have been thwarted by Ukraine's anti-air capabilities. The United States has committed more than 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, among other defense systems, to Ukraine for its defense.

"Russian forces are increasingly constrained by degraded enabling capabilities, continued low morale and reduced combat effectiveness," the British Defense Ministry said. "Many of these capabilities cannot be quickly replaced or reconstituted and are likely to continue to hinder Russian operations in Ukraine."

The British Defense Ministry said that Russia "is unlikely to dramatically accelerate its rate of advance" in the next month under current conditions.


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