Russia has lost more than 160,000 soldiers since the start of the war, Kiev claims

Russia has lost more than 160,000 soldiers since the start of the war, Kiev claims

Russia has lost more than 160,000 soldiers since the beginning of the war;

Destroyed Russian tanks and other military equipment on display in the center of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, March 12, 2023.

Kyiv – Ukrainian forces during Monday repulsed more than a hundred Russian attacks on five sections of the front. Russian losses since the beginning of the war have exceeded 160,000 soldiers, according to the Ukrainian General Staff. Similar claims by hostile parties cannot be verified from independent sources in the conditions of a war conflict. Russia's war against Ukraine continues today for the 384th day.

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Russia has lost more than 160,000 soldiers since the start of the war, they claim ; Kyiv

Russia since the beginning of the war withš more than 160,000 troops, Kiev claims

Russia has lost more than 160,000 soldiers since the beginning of the war, they claim ; Kyiv

Russia from the beginning of the war withš more than 160,000 troops, Kiev claims

“Despite significant losses, the enemy continues offensive operations in the direction of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdijivka, Marjinka and Shakhtarsk. During the past 24 hours, Ukrainian troops have repelled more than 100 enemy attacks on the indicated sections of the front,” writesthe Ukrainian command in the morning overview of the situation on the battlefield. According to the General Staff, Russian troops are trying to break through the Ukrainian defenses near Kupjansk and Lyman, and they are not stopping even in their efforts to control Bakhmut. In the south of the country, in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, Russian forces remain on the defensive, but continue shelling the villages around the front.

The Ukrainian command estimated Russian losses since the start of the war to 160,540 troops, including 720 on Monday, and thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, guns and other weapons.

The shortage of artillery ammunition among the Russian troops has probably worsened in recent weeks to such an extent that in many parts of the front there is an extremely economical rationing of shells. This has almost certainly been a key reason why no Russian group has been able to mount an operationally significant offensive operation recently, British military intelligence believes. According to her, Russia has probably already resorted to using old stocks of ammunition, which it previously considered unfit for use.

Intelligence also pointed out that President Vladimir Putin's decree earlier this month laid out measures that allow the Ministry of Trade and Industry to circumvent the powers of managers of armories not meeting production targets. Russia is increasingly applying the principles of a command economy in the military-industrial sphere, realizing that its defense production capacity is a key weakness in an increasingly exhausting “special military operation,” as Moscow calls the war against Ukraine.

A draft law to raise the conscription age of conscripts from 18 to 27 to 21 to 30, which Russian lawmakers began to consider on Monday, suggests that the Kremlin is not going to undertake full mobilization, they believeanalysts of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The timeline in the proposal may also indicate that the Kremlin does not expect the war in Ukraine to last more than the next three years.

According to ISW experts, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov's visible nervousness during his meeting with Putin on Monday may indicate Kadyrov's fear of losing Putin's favor, as he cannot boast much about the military achievements of the Chechens in the war against Ukraine. Currently, Chechen troops play a minimal role on the Ukrainian battlefield; they attack near Bilohorivyka in the east of Ukraine, but they otherwise supervise order in the rear of the occupied part of Ukraine. From the meeting, Kadyrov apparently promised to improve and strengthen his reputation, while Putin apparently exerted pressure to increase the Chechen role in combat operations due to the losses of mercenaries from the Wagner (in the Russian transcription Vagnero) group and units of the Russian regular forces, according to ISW.

The American newspaper The Washington Post warned, that the quality of Ukraine's forces, considered a substantial advantage over Russia, has deteriorated due to losses that have sidelined many of its most experienced soldiers. That, along with a shortage of ammunition, raises doubts about Kiev's readiness to launch a spring offensive.

American and European officials have estimated that about 120,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded since the Russian invasion, compared to 200,000 on the Russian side, which has but three times more inhabitants. Ukraine does not disclose its losses.

“The most valuable thing in war is combat experience. A soldier who survived half a year of fighting and a soldier who came from the shooting range are different soldiers,” the paratrooper battalion commander, nicknamed Kupol, told the newspaper, adding that he unfortunately only has a few experienced soldiers in the unit, the others are dead or wounded. He added that Western partners will provide Ukrainian soldiers with better training, and he also hopes that the units the command is saving for a counteroffensive will be more successful than the inexperienced soldiers now defending the front.

Perhaps, however, the current situation on the frontline does not fully reflect the state of Ukrainian forces, as Kiev trains counter-attack units separately and keeps them away from the current fighting, The Washington Post admitted. According to him, the situation in Russia can be even worse. “I don't think we have exhausted our potential. In every war, there comes a time when you have to train new people, which is happening right now,” Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine's presidential office, told the newspaper. The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, believes that it is realistic that Ukraine could win the war by the end of the year – if it receives the promised Western aid.

However, the daily reminded that losses in attack tend to be higher than in defense, and cited unnamed Ukrainian representatives complaining about delayed deliveries of Western tanks and looking pessimistically at the possibilities of the offensive, which, according to American expectations, should begin in late April or early May. According to the newspaper, the Americans are aware of the necessity of supplying arms to Ukraine because the protracted war is burdening Russia, which has more people, more money and more weapons production capacity.