Putin’s Army Suffers Devastating Combat Losses In Ukraine

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Russia’s invading forces in Ukraine have lost between 15 and 20 percent of their so-called combat power since Putin’s unfolding attack on Ukraine began, according to estimates shared by a senior official at the U.S. Defense Department. The Ukrainian defense has been strikingly robust — Russian forces have been held back from making certain high-profile territorial gains, such as taking the capital, although these details obviously don’t mean that the Russian onslaught hasn’t still been devastating. Hundreds of civilians were killed just in Bucha, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and elsewhere, assaults on cities such as Mariupol are continuing. But Russia’s strategic losses have been significant. Recently, a senior official involved in NATO estimated that Russia could’ve already seen the deaths of 15,000 troops, although the same official estimated Russian troop deaths also could have been somewhere around 7,000.

The broad range illustrates the difficulty of pinning down certain numbers as conflict continues, but thousands of troops lost in the span of the war that’s already unfolded represents, by all appearances, a large strategic setback for Putin’s forces — although again, fighting isn’t ceasing. “As Russian troops retreat from some Ukrainian cities, some of the Russian battalion tactical groups (or BTGs, with roughly 800-1,000 troops each) that have withdrawn back across the Belarusian and Russian borders have been essentially “eradicated” from the fighting in Ukraine, according to the senior defense official,” as summarized by ABC. As that official put it, describing the situation for these groups: “There’s just nothing left of the BTG except a handful of troops and maybe a small number of vehicles.” Furthermore: “In terms of total losses — counting troops, tanks, aircraft and missile inventory — Russia has lost between 15-20% of the combat power it originally had arrayed against Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion, according to the official,” as ABC explained.

As fighting in Ukraine is proceeding, Russian forces are further focusing their aggression in the eastern and southern parts of the country, which include Mariupol. Those areas also include Kramatorsk, where a recent Russian missile strike on a crowded train station in use by evacuating civilians killed over 50 people and wounded many more, with children among those hit. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian troops “continue to prepare for an offensive in the east of our country in order to establish full control over the territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” as shared this weekend by Ukrinform. The U.S., meanwhile, is continuing to provide defense support to authorities in Ukraine. “Now is no time for complacency,” President Joe Biden said on Friday. “The Russian military may have failed in its objective of capturing Kyiv, but it continues to inflict horrific acts of brutality on the Ukrainian people. As the Russian military repositions for the next phase of this war, I have directed my Administration to continue to spare no effort to identify and provide to the Ukrainian military the advanced weapons capabilities it needs to defend its country.”