While it has long been fairly clear that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not going according to plan, it has been rather to come by a quantitative way to express just how poorly the Kremlin’s fighting force is performing.
Sure, we’ve seen plenty of indications of trouble, including reporting of Russia soldiers shooting themselves in the legs with looted Ukrainian ammunition so that they could get sent home for treatment without catching military punishment.
This week, British intelligence officials were finally able to put a number on the trouble Russia faces...and it’s not pretty.
More than a quarter of troops that Russia sent to fight in Ukraine are now believed to be “combat ineffective,” the United Kingdom announced Monday.
The startling statistic comes as Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine is in its 68th day. Prior to the assault from Vladimir Putin’s army, it was estimated that Moscow assembled around 150,000 soldiers to participate in the war.
“At the start of the conflict, Russia committed over 120 battalion tactical groups, approximately 65 percent of its entire ground combat strength,” the U.K. Ministry of Defence said in a tweet. “It is likely that more than a quarter of these units have now been rendered combat ineffective.”
Even more alarming is the caliber of those lost to war.
“Some of Russia’s most elite units, including the VDV Airborne Forces, have suffered the highest levels of attrition,” the Ministry also said. “It will probably take years for Russia to reconstitute these forces.”
Given this new information, it may be best for Russia to simply cut their losses and avoid any further bloodshed and embarrassment.