Russia has lost a “staggering” 87% of the total number of active-duty ground troops it had before launching its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. It also no longer has two-thirds of its tanks. before the war, according to a source. familiar with a declassified assessment of US intelligence provided to the US Congress revealed to the North American network CNN.
Yet despite heavy losses in men and equipment, Russian President Vladimir Putin is determined to move forward as the war approaches its second anniversary early next year and U.S. officials warn that Ukraine remains deeply vulnerable. The long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive launched late, not in the spring but already during the summer, and stalled until the fall, and U.S. officials now believe it is unlikely Kiev is making major progress in the coming months.
The assessment, sent to Capitol Hill last Monday and revealed yesterday by CNN, comes as some Republicans have opposed the United States providing additional funds to Ukraine and the Biden administration has launched an intense push to attempt to obtain additional funds through Congress.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in Washington on Tuesday to meet with U.S. lawmakers and President Joe Biden in a desperate attempt to secure military and economic aid that he says is vital to Ukraine’s ability to continue the fight against Russia.
Russia was able to maintain its war effort despite heavy losses by relaxing recruiting standards and dipping into its reserves of older Soviet-era equipment. Nonetheless, the assessment finds that the war “significantly set back 15 years of Russian efforts to modernize its ground force.”
Of the 360,000 troops who entered Ukraine, including contract and conscript personnel, Russia lost 315,000 on the battlefield, according to the assessment. According to the American assessment, 2,200 of the 3,500 tanks were lost. 4,400 of 13,600 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers were also destroyed, a loss rate of 32 percent.
“By the end of November, Russia had lost more than a quarter of its pre-invasion stockpile of ground equipment,” the document reads. “This has reduced the complexity and scale of Russian offensive operations, which have not made significant progress in Ukraine since early 2022.”