The Pentagon has stated that Russia’s military may never recover from the losses sustained in Ukraine.
Colin Kahl, the undersecretary for defense, disclosed that half of Vladimir Putin’s tanks have been destroyed and the majority of his precise missiles have been expended in the roughly eight months since he authorized the invasion.
Before even considering the ‘tens of thousands of casualties’ experienced since February 24th, it will be ‘very difficult’ for Moscow to restore its troops to pre-war levels due to sanctions, according to Kahl.
According to the Pentagon, Russia has lost half of its tanks and the majority of its precise missiles in Ukraine and will find it “very difficult” to replace them.
In a CNN interview, he stated, “Putin has failed.” Russia will emerge from this conflict weaker than before…
Putin entered this conflict in an effort to eliminate Ukraine as an independent, sovereign, democratic nation. He has failed, and that will not change.
A sovereign, independent, and democratic Ukraine will persist.
The precise extent of Russia’s losses in Ukraine are unknown, although they are believed to be substantial.
Given that Putin has just mobilized 300,000 reservists to fill gaps in his lines, it is highly unlikely that Moscow has lost 6,000 men.
James Heappey, the British minister of armed forces, stated at the end of September that around 25,000 Russian soldiers had been killed.
In addition, Kiev asserts that Russia has lost over 2,800 tanks, over 5,500 armoured personnel carriers, and 4,000 smaller vehicles.
Putin has “failed” in his war efforts, according to the undersecretary of defense, and Russia will end the battle weaker than it entered it.
Near the beginning of the war, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that Washington’s objective was to “weaken Russia to the point where it can no longer do what it has done in invading Ukraine.”
Though he has not used the word since, the upgrade of Ukraine’s military resources to make their force more lethal and the imposition of severe sanctions against Russia indicate that this remains the objective.
On February 24, Putin initiated what he anticipated to be a days-long war to remove the Ukrainian government and reclaim control of the country.
It was intended that simultaneous air, land, and sea attacks from all directions on nearly every section of the country would overwhelm the Ukrainian army and finish the conflict before it began.
This plot, however, was defeated by a fierce resistance headed by the charismatic President Volodymyr Zelensky and masterminded by General Valerii Zalutyi.
First, Russia was forced into a humiliating withdrawal from Kiev after failing to capture the capital, the major objective of the conflict.
Then, its drive to ‘liberate’ eastern Donbas ground to a halt, with huge portions of the territory still under Ukrainian control.
Near the eastern town of Bakhmut, the sole area where Putin’s army is still attempting to advance, Ukrainian troops fire an artillery shell towards Russian forces.
Now, Ukraine is beginning to expel Russia from some of the land it has captured, including the entire northern Kharkiv region.
The city of Kherson, the lone provincial capital held by Putin’s forces, is also under increasing threat, as Western diplomats report that Russia is considering a retreat.
Zelensky asserts that his objective is to reclaim all territory that Russia now holds, including portions of the Donbas and Crimea captured during the 2014 war.
While this outcome is by no means assured, Ukraine has demonstrated an aptitude for attack, and support for the continuation of the war shows no indication of abating.
Meanwhile, Putin’s support within Russia appears to be eroding as elites within his regime vie for power and hundreds of thousands flee the country to avoid conscription.
Even though there is no indication that he is about to lose power or is prepared to end the conflict, he has few viable options and almost no viable path to victory.
Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power grid and threats of nuclear holocaust indicate that he considers destroying Kyiv’s will to fight and the solidarity of its allies to be his best choice.
As winter approaches, energy costs increase, and hundreds more Ukrainians begin to freeze in their homes, it remains to be seen how this strategy will play out.
There are currently few indications that it will be successful. If this gamble fails, Putin will have few other options