This post was originally published on this siteThe United Kingdom’s Defense Ministry said that Russia is “struggling” to give its military forces breaks as its months-long conflict with neighboring Ukraine continues to rage on. In a Twitter thread on Monday, the UK’s Ministry of Defence noted complaints from wives of...
This post was originally published on this siteRussia’s air force has “underperformed” in the almost four-month invasion of Ukraine, according to British military intelligence, contributing to Moscow’s “limited campaign success.” “In the conflict to date, Russia’s air force has underperformed,” the latest update from the British defense ministry reads. “Its...
This post was originally published on this siteThe United Kingdom’s defense ministry on Monday said Russia has likely experienced “devastating” losses among its mid- and junior-level military officers during its invasion of Ukraine. “Russia has likely suffered devastating losses amongst its mid and junior ranking officers in the conflict,” the...
This post was originally published on this site U.S. officials said they have reliable information that Russian military forces executed Ukrainians who were trying to surrender. The Ukrainians were killed “execution-style” with their hands bound, according to ambassador-at-large for global justice Beth Van Schaack, who said the U.S. had received...
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Parliament on Monday that about 15,000 Russian troops have died in Ukraine since the Kremlin invaded on Feb. 24, and about a quarter of the 120 battalion tactical groups Moscow committed to its invasion “have been rendered not combat effective.” Russia has also lost about 2,000 tanks and other armored vehicles, and more than 60 helicopters and fighter jets, Wallace added. “Russia has so far failed in nearly every one of its objectives.”
The estimate from British intelligence is in line with numbers published by the pro-Kremlin media outlet Readovka, citing a “closed briefing” from Russia’s Defense Ministry. In its report, since blamed on a hack, Readovka said Russia has lost 13,414 soldiers in Ukraine, 7,000 more are missing, and 116 sailors were killed up on the sunken Black Sea flagship Moskva.
“The Russian Ministry of Defense hides losses,” tweeted Sergey Smirnov, editor-in-chief of the independent Russian media site Mediazona, but “we found out exactly who is dying in this war on the part of Russia,” including “a lot of officers.” Mediazona based its numbers on 1,744 military deaths confirmed by the pro-Kremlin press, relatives of slain soldiers, local authorities, or educational institutions.
“At least 500 soldiers of the most combat-ready units — paratroopers, marines, and special forces — were killed,” Mediazona reports. “More than 300 officers were killed. Among them are two major generals and the deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet,” Capt. Andrei Paly, plus more than 70 National Guardsmen, 20 airplane pilots, and seven helicopter pilots. Ukraine has claimed that three other major generals and at least two lieutenant generals were killed, Mediazona adds, but it couldn’t confirm those deaths and did not count them in its tally.
This post was originally published on this siteSERGEI SUPINSKY Three separate mass graves have been found in Bucha as authorities there begin the grim task of trying to clean up the devastated town where Russian troops are accused of heinous war crimes, according to the mayor. And while the Kremlin...
Russia is redeploying 1,200 to 2,000 troops from Russian-occupied Georgia and reorganizing them into three tactical battle groups “to reinforce its invasion of Ukraine,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Thursday evening, its latest intelligence update. “It is highly unlikely that Russia planned to generate reinforcements in this manner and it is indicative of the unexpected losses it has sustained during the invasion.”
Russia has stationed its forces in parts of the former Soviet republic since invading it in 2008.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier Thursday signed a decree ordering that 134,500 Russian men age 18 to 27 be conscripted into the Russian army as part of its annual spring draft, but Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu suggested none of them will be sent to Ukraine. “Most military personnel will undergo professional training in training centers for three to five months,” he said in remarks published Tuesday. “Let me emphasize that recruits will not be sent to any hot spots.”
Mikhail Benyash, a lawyer representing Russian National Guard members who refused orders to go to Ukraine, told Reuters that under Russian law, these conscripts could actually be sent to fight after several months of training.
The issue of sending conscripts to war is politically fraught in Russia. Putin claimed in the beginning of March that no conscripts were “participating in hostilities” in Ukraine, but the Defense Ministry said that in fact there were conscripts in Ukraine and some had been taken prisoner by Ukraine, prompting Putin to order military prosecutors to find and charge the officials who had deployed the conscripts against purported orders.
“The Russians need more soldiers,” since “their invasion plan with over 55 percent of Russian ground forces has placed them in a very difficult spot,” retired Australian Army Maj. Gen. Mick Ryan tweeted Thursday. But even if Putin does intend to deploy the conscripts, that “will be of little assistance. It takes time to train soldiers.”
Western intelligence assesses that at least 1,000 private soldiers from the Wagner Group have already been deployed in eastern Ukraine, but Ryan said none of this will save Russia from its early miscalculations. “They will obviously use mercenaries, and second- or third-rate forces from elsewhere (such as Georgia). We should not expect their military effectiveness to be any better than the ‘theoretically elite’ formations which crossed into Ukraine on 24 February.”
Russia has been trying to make up for its setbacks on the ground in Ukraine with missiles and bombs, and the Russians have launched at least 1,200 missiles “of all stripes and sizes” in the first 28 days of their invasion, a senior U.S. defense officials said Wednesday. But not all of those missiles are hitting their marks. Three U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday that Russia is suffering failure rates as high as 60 percent for some of the precision-guided missiles it’s using to attack Ukraine.
“Such a high failure rate can include anything from launch failures to a missile failing to explode on impact,” Reuters reports. “The disclosure could help explain why Russia has failed to achieve what most could consider basic objectives since its invasion a month ago, such as neutralizing Ukraine’s air force, despite the apparent strength of its military against Ukraine’s much smaller armed forces.”
The failure rate for Russia’s missiles varies from day to day and depends on the type of missile being launched, the U.S. officials told Reuters, citing U.S. intelligence. Air-launched cruise missiles, for example, are failing at a rate of 20 percent to 60 percent. Two experts told Reuters that any failure rate above 20 percent would be considered high.
But Russia still has “the vast majority of their assembled available inventory of surface-to-air missiles and cruise missiles available to them,” the senior Pentagon official said Wednesday. “I mean, they’ve expended a lot, but they put a lot into the effort. And they still have an awful lot left.”
And even 40 percent of 1,200 missiles would do a lot of damage. On Friday, Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov claimed that Russia destroyed “the largest of the remaining fuel depot of the Ukrainian armed forces,” outside Kyiv” with “sea-launched Kalibr precision cruise missiles.”
But Russia’s failure to shock and awe Ukraine isn’t impressing the Pentagon. “I think with a high degree of certainty that Russia will emerge from Ukraine weaker than it went into the conflict,” Pentagon policy chief Colin Kahl said Thursday. “Militarily weaker, economically weaker, politically and geopolitically weaker, and more isolated.” Kahl added that an upcoming Pentagon defense strategy document would asses Russia as an “acute threat” that, unlike China, poses no long-term systems challenge to the U.S.
This post was originally published on this site Yet another Russian general, Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev, is reported to have been killed by Ukrainian forces in a conflict that is less than a month old. Mordvichev’s death was announced on Ukraine social media on March 20 2022, but has yet to...