As the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to unfold, a declassified US intelligence report has shed light on the staggering toll Russia has endured in the war, stating that nearly 90% of its troops have been lost, with 315,000 dead and injured soldiers. The report suggests that Moscow’s losses, both in personnel and armored vehicles, have set back its military modernization efforts by a substantial 18 years.
The Cost of Conflict
The assessment indicates that Russia, with an initial force of 360,000 personnel, commenced its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since then, 315,000 Russian troops, accounting for about 87% of the total soldiers, have either been killed or injured in the conflict. This stark reality has led Russia to implement extraordinary measures to sustain its military capabilities, including a partial mobilization of 300,000 personnel in late 2022 and a relaxation of recruitment standards, allowing the enlistment of convicts and older civilians.
Impact on Military Capability
The losses have significantly impacted Russia’s military strength, forcing it to backfill its tank force with outdated T62 tanks produced in the 1970s. The report reveals that of the 3,100 tanks Russia had at the war’s outset, 2,200 have been lost, leaving only 1,300 tanks on the battlefield.
Controversy Surrounding Casualty Estimates
Russian officials dispute Western estimates, asserting that the death tolls are exaggerated and consistently downplay Ukrainian losses. The report’s revelations align with a broader conversation on the human cost of the conflict, with Western and Ukrainian estimates suggesting significant casualties on both sides.
Desperation and Drastic Measures
The assessment underscores the desperation faced by Russia, necessitating drastic measures such as the relaxation of recruitment standards. The partial mobilization and recruitment of convicts and older civilians signal the depth of the challenges Russia confronts in sustaining its military campaign in Ukraine.
The conflict’s ramifications extend beyond the immediate military losses, impacting Russia’s long-term military modernization plans. The setback of 18 years, as indicated in the report, raises questions about Russia’s strategic position and its ability to recover from such substantial setbacks.
As the conflict evolves, the world watches closely, and the revelations in this intelligence report contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the toll exacted by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
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