Russia Loses 25 Percent Of ‘Combat Power’ As Putin’s Losses Mount

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Russian forces have lost 25 percent of their previously established combat power in Ukraine, according to U.S. assessments shared by a Biden administration official. That figure represents an across-the-board assessment, covering troops and equipment. “This is across all functions… It’s infantry, its artillery, it’s aviation – both fixed and rotary – it’s ballistic missiles [and] cruise missiles,” as the official explained it. According to U.S. News & World Report, these assessments also incorporate “the battalions of troops [Russia] ordered to retreat into Belarus or Russian territory to prepare for its latest invasion into eastern Ukraine, an area known as the Donbas.”

In a recent analysis shared by a group called the Institute for the Study of War, expert observers concluded that “frequent reports of disastrously low Russian morale and continuing logistics challenges indicate the effective combat power of Russian units in eastern Ukraine is a fraction of their on-paper strength in numbers of battalion tactical groups.” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych stated in remarks reported on Thursday by the Ukrainian government information source known as Ukrinform that Russian forces had failed to advance in key areas. “I would like to note that, over the past day, the enemy has failed to advance both in Luhansk Region and in the direction of Huliaipole,” he said. In a related development, Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently opted to tone down the fighting around the Azovstal steel plant in the long-besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Instead of continuing to press to seize the plant, Russian forces will be keeping it under siege, according to Putin’s orders to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Civilians are among those trapped at the plant. Across Mariupol, tens of thousands are believed to have died in the Russian invasion, although exact numbers are obviously difficult to conclusively determine at this juncture. Despite Ukrainian strategic successes, the tolls inflicted on civilians across the targeted country have been devastating. A Kyiv-area police leader named Andriy Nebytov recently revealed that the number of civilian corpses found in the administrative region around the capital had surpassed 1,000. Most of the victims were shot, he also revealed. Although Russian forces never seized the capital itself, they temporarily occupied areas around it, including smaller jurisdictions such as Irpin and Bucha. In Bucha alone, the bodies of over 420 people have been discovered, according to Nebytov. Images from Bucha showing the indiscriminate carnage left behind by departed Russian soldiers have been among those to shake the world. Among other steps to support the Ukrainian defense, the U.S. recently announced a new cache of defense assistance for the country, consisting of various weapons valued at some $800 million. The delivery of that equipment was set to quickly unfold — seven flights of it were slated for earlier this week.