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Putin’s forces ‘retreating and running out of food’ after suffering ‘irreversible losses’

Unexploded Russian missile lodges itself into Ukrainian home

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Ukraine’s military issued an update on Tuesday morning, where they claimed Russia has “lost its offensive potential and has been forced to retreat and call in extra troops a month into its invasion”. In addition, Russian forces are said to have failed to capture Makariv, seen as a strategic location some 37 miles from Kyiv.

In their morning update, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said Russia had suffered “large irreversible…losses of personnel, including command”.

The update said following a counter-attack launched by Ukrainian forces in the south, “the enemy is compelled to retreat to unfavourable borders” towards Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea.

Officials added: “Having lost its offensive potential, the Russian occupation forces continue to form and move reserves from the depths of the Russian Federation to the borders of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian forces have been fighting back in Makariv in order to prevent Russian forces from surrounding the capital.

Ukrainian think tank The Centre for Defence Strategies claimed Russian troops in the Okhtyrka region of Sumy “left the area of operations”.

The think tank, said: “Russian forces are aware of the hopelessness of their situation and increasingly choosing desertion to avoid death.”

They also claimed that in Havronshchyna, in the Makariv district, Russians stole cars and changed into looted civilian clothes before driving towards the Belarusian border.

East of Kyiv, it added Ukrainian forces attempted to resume an offensive in the direction of Brovary, “the enemy suffered significant losses” and Russian forces “retreated and are trying to restore combat capability”.

The think tank said: “In almost all directions, the enemy continues to move to positional defence, fortifies the achieved frontiers, and is trying to restore the logistical support of troops.”

The Centre for Defence Strategies said in some areas, Russia was attempting to bring in resources to resume its offensive.

It comes after the UK Ministry of Defence said attempts by Moscow to capture the southern city of Mariupol “continue to be repulsed” amid heavy fighting.

They added: “Russian forces elsewhere in Ukraine have endured yet another day of limited progress with most forces largely stalled in place.

“Several Ukrainian cities continue to suffer heavy Russian air and artillery bombardment with the UN reporting that more than 10 million Ukrainians are now internally displaced as a result of Russia’s invasion.”

It comes after pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda reported almost 10,000 Russian troops had been killed in the war in Ukraine, before quickly deleting the figures from its website.

Komsomolskaya Pravda later released a statement claiming it was hacked, but previously cited the Russian Ministry of Defence its the source.

The report said that 9,861 Russian troops had died and 16,153 had been injured since February 24.

A lower US intelligence estimate reported by the New York Times held around 7,000 Russian troops were killed in the fighting.

Four Russian generals have died, with the Times also reporting on March 16 that between 14,000 and 21,000 Russian troops had been injured.

Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) military scientist Justin Bronk also told MailOnline extremely poor planning, morale and coordination among Russian forces meant their “initial aims of overthrowing the Ukrainian government in Kyiv and setting up a client state in its place are no longer achievable”.

Mr Bronk added the Ukrainian army has successfully targeted Russian supply lines, meaning that tired and hungry soldiers on the frontlines will be forced to ransack towns and villages in search of provisions.

A senior US defence official told Voice of America the increase in Russia’s indiscriminate bombing campaigns witnessed in cities such as Mariupol and Kyiv is “a desperate attempt to gain some momentum because they are stuck where they are”.

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