Ukraine: Russia 'may be pushed back to starting line' says Hodges
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Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his country’s war in Ukraine exactly six months to this day after tens of thousands of his troops had spent several weeks massing along the border with its eastern neighbour. The invasion has left a path of destruction throughout Ukraine, with many cities reduced to rubble after fierce fighting and heavy shelling in several towns and cities. But Putin has seen Russia struggle to gain control of many regions it had been hoping to fully occupy and has been forced backwards by courageous Ukrainian opposition, heroically led by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
This has forced Russia to revert to more “modest objectives” in eastern and southern Ukraine – according to the MoD – while the offensive in the Donbas region “is making minimal progress and Russia anticipates a major Ukrainian counterattack”.
Tens of thousands of Russian troops have been killed in battle during the war, while thousands of military weapons and vehicles have also been wiped out.
The devastating consequence for Putin is that “morale is poor” in several parts of Russia’s military, the army is “significantly degraded” and its “diplomatic power diminished”.
The MoD wrote in its latest intelligence update on Twitter: “Today marks the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.
“Since 2014 President Putin has sought to use a mix of force and coercive diplomacy to increase and solidify Russia’s influence in Ukraine and interfere in its sovereign affairs.
“Russia launched a full invasion of Ukraine six months ago, with the aim of toppling the government and occupying most of the country.
“By April, Russia’s leaders realised this had failed, and reverted to more modest objectives in eastern and southern Ukraine.
“The Donbas offensive is making minimal progress and Russia anticipates a major Ukrainian counterattack.
“Operationally, Russia is suffering from shortages of munitions, vehicles and personnel.
The intelligence update concluded: “Morale is poor in many parts of its military and its army is significantly degraded.
“Its diplomatic power has been diminished and its long-term economic outlook is bleak.
“Six months in and Russia’s war has proven both costly and strategically harmful.”
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Russia has lost more than 45,000 personnel since the war began six months ago, according to the latest figures from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.
The latest numbers for the “losses of Russian occupiers in Ukraine”, posted on Twitter and citing reports from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, says there have been 45,550 “eliminated personnel” since February 24.
Russia has also seen thousands of its own military vehicles wiped out during the intense fighting in Ukraine – dealing a further massive blow to Putin’s plan to win the war
The new figures show Russia has lost 4,238 armoured combat vehicles, 3,150 vehicles and fuel tanks, 1,921 tanks, 1,033 artillery, 817 drones, 266 multiple launch rocket systems and 234 military jets.
In addition, 198 helicopters have been destroyed, as well as 196 cruise missiles, 146 air defence systems, 99 “special equipment” and 15 warships and boats.
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