Per BBC journalist Mark Urban, the “number of Russian battalion tactical groups (700-1k soldiers each) rendered combat ineffective in the Ukraine war so far has been reassessed at 37-38 according to a western official, leaving 90 operational,” a conclusion that “suggests heavier losses than previously thought.” Foreign Policy journalist Jack Detsch added — possibly citing the same official, since the posts went up around the same time Monday — that “Russia has moved some battalion tactical groups that were stationed near Ukraine’s Sumy & Chernihiv out of the fight,” per a senior U.S. official. Detsch explained: “Some of the [Russian] units have been rendered “combat ineffective” after over 40 days of war, & it remains unclear if they will return.”
NEW: Russia has moved some battalion tactical groups that were stationed near Ukraine's Sumy & Chernihiv out of the fight: senior US defense official
Some of the 🇷🇺 units have been rendered "combat ineffective" after over 40 days of war, & it remains unclear if they will return
— Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) April 11, 2022
Russian forces fighting in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine are believed to have already seen the deaths of thousands upon thousands of individual troops, in addition to substantial equipment losses and strategic setbacks, such as the strategically successful Ukrainian defense that kept Russians from taking Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Following recent departures of Russian ground troops from areas including the Kyiv locale, Putin’s forces are further focusing their violence in the eastern and southern portions of Ukraine. According to ABC reporter Luis Martinez, there are “55 Russian… Battalion Tactical Groups in southern Ukraine stretching from Kherson in the west to Luhansk” according to a high-ranking United States official — representing a staggering military build-up in those areas. (The Luhansk region is in Ukraine’s east.) Russian forces may re-target Kyiv as the fighting continues. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov — who’s unreliable but a Putin ally involved in the Ukraine war — “said in a Telegram post on April 11 that a Russian assault will be conducted against Mariupol, and in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts, after which Russian forces will take Kyiv,” The Kyiv Independent summarized. (Ukraine is divided into administrative districts called oblasts.)
NEW 55 Russian BTG's Battalion Tactical Groups in southern Ukraine stretching from Kherson in the west to Luhansk, first we've heard this.. from Sr. US official
— luis martinez (@LMartinezABC) April 11, 2022
In a new address to South Korean leaders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pinned the number of fatalities from Russian attacks in Mariupol in the tens of thousands. “Mariupol has been destroyed, there are tens of thousands of dead, but even despite this, the Russians are not stopping their offensive,” he said, as reported by Reuters. Mariupol was a considerably large city prior to the war, with a pre-conflict population of over 400,000. The city has been targeted by Russian personnel for weeks, who’ve left civilians trapped there unable to access necessities such as running water amid relentless strikes. Some 300 people are believed to have died in a single Russian attack on a theater in Mariupol that was in use as a shelter by civilians. Mobile crematoriums operated by Russian personnel were recently reported to have begun functioning in the city. Active threats have not completely disappeared from Kyiv — air raid sirens went off in the area once again early Monday in Ukrainian time, according to reports.
⚡️ Defense Ministry: Possibility of a Russian attack on Kyiv will depend on fighting in Donbas.
According to Defense Ministry spokesman Motuzyanyk, Russia kept units in the Gomel region of Belarus and the Bryansk & Kursk regions of Russia to stretch Ukraine’s defenses up north.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) April 11, 2022