Vladimir Putin facing fresh hell as Ukraine ‘slaughters 90 percent of invasion force’ | World | News

Vladimir Putin’s army is struggling to keep up its momentum in its Kharkiv offensive, as it continues to suffer huge casualties.

The Russians caught Ukraine off-guard when they launched a surprise incursion into the Kharkiv region in early May.

Initially, Putin’s troops made rapid gains and quickly closed in on the city of Vovchansk, just 73km from Ukraine‘s second-largest city.

The Kremlin claimed it wanted to create a buffer zone to prevent cross-border raids and shelling by Kyiv’s army.

Last week Russia‘s Ministry of Defence claimed it had captured half of Vovchansk, forcing Ukrainian troops to retreat. However, Russia‘s gains have come at the cost of huge casualties.

Back in December, US officials estimated that Russia had sustained at least 315,000 casualties, almost 90 percent of its original invading force.

Ukraine‘s army has in recent days fought back strongly and has reportedly regained territory in a counterattack.

New supplies of weapons and ammunition have started to flood in from the US, helping Kyiv’s military to turn the tide on the battlefield.

Ben Barry, a senior analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told Bloomberg that Russia‘s chances of securing victory in Ukraine this year had reduced significantly.

He added: “Russia might have the largest number of soldiers, but a lot of their first-rate armoured vehicles have been destroyed and it’ll take years to rebuild the army to its 2022 level.”

But Putin’s army continues to suffer crippling losses, which the UK Ministry of Defence said were running as high as 1,200 per day in May.

Russia‘s much larger population has allowed the Kremlin to plug the gaps in its frontline troops to a certain extent.

In August 2022, Putin ordered a 13 percent increase in the number of active soldiers— around 137,000 troops.

This was followed by a “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 reserves, with the Kremlin now aiming to enlist at least another quarter of a million in 2024.

Despite their superiority in both manpower and weapons, Russian commanders are failing to drive home their advantage.

Dara Massicot, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: “Russian commanders waste manpower in pursuit of their goals and Ukrainian forces are effective on the defence when they are supplied with men and material.

“There are still meaningful limits to Russian military power.”

Source link