Russia’s military has lost so much equipment in Ukraine it will be incapable of fighting another war for ‘years’, analysts claim
Russia will be unable to fight another war for years because of catastrophic kit losses in Ukraine, defence experts said.
‘It will take years for Russia to rebuild its inventories’, according to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Wrecked Kremlin equipment now amounts to 939 tanks, 185 planes, 155 helicopters, 421 artillery units and eight ships, the Ukrainian army estimated this morning.
The Ukrainian Army updates its latest – and rising – estimates of Russian losses each morning
Kyiv estimates its forces have now killed 22,400 Russian soldiers, up from 22,100 yesterday.
Military analyst Henry Boyd from the International Institute for Strategic Studies said Putin could still draw on sizeable, Soviet-era reserve forces stationed across Russia.
But most Russian soldiers could be unable to use it, he added.
Mr Boyd told the newspaper: ‘They kept a large number of Soviet-era tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery.
‘You can probably compensate in terms of sheer numbers by reactivating older systems but there is a question mark over whether they will have the crews to man the vehicles and if they do, whether they have had sufficient training.’
Putin, pictured looking sheepish at a meeting yesterday with the UN Secretary-General, may be emasculated for years to come due to his military’s costly failure in Ukraine
The bad news for Moscow comes as Russia continues its pivot to the east of Ukraine, where it has had more military success than elsewhere in the country.
But UK armed forces minister James Heappey warned yesterday ‘the Donbas will be a difficult nut for the Russians to crack’.
Mr Heappey added Russian and Ukrainian forces are now ‘evenly matched’.
He also hit headlines yesterday when he backed Ukraine’s right to attack targets inside Russia using British-made equipment.
The Moskva battleship (pictured as it sunk two weeks ago) is Russia’s highest-profile loss so far
He told Times Radio: ‘It is completely legitimate for Ukraine to be targeting in Russia’s depth in order to disrupt the logistics that if they weren’t disrupted would directly contribute to death and carnage on Ukrainian soil.
‘There are lots of countries around the world that operate kit that they have imported from other countries; when those bits of kit are used we tend not to blame the country that manufactured it, you blame the country that fired it.’
When Russian forces entered Ukraine on February 24, the invading Moscow military dwarfed Ukraine’s, prompting many to believe the war would be swift and effective.
A man rides his bike next to a wrecked Russian tank in Chernihiv, northern Ukraine last week
Russia’s land army consisted of 280,000 full-time active soldiers compared with Ukraine’s 125,600.
But the amount of Russian soldiers needed to seize the whole country and control the entire population would be close to 1 million, according to Michael Clarke, a visiting professor at King’s College London’s Department of War Studies.
That suggests the Kremlin woefully underestimated the amount of force needed to pummel its neighbour into submission.
A flood of Ukrainian conscripts, high-tech weaponry sent by NATO countries and Russian strategic failures have all helped to turn the tide in Kyiv’s favour.
Ukrainian sappers search for unexploded bombs at the burnt remains of a Russian helicopter destroyed during recent fighting at Antonov airport in Hostomel on the outskirts of Kyiv
Russia’s fallen generals
General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led ‘anti-gay purges’ killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4
General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army killed on March 11
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea. He was killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major-General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March
Lt-Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev , commander of Russia’s 49th combined army. He was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25