Vladimir Putin may have lost a third of his troops in Ukraine because his invasion was being resisted in the face of fierce resistance, British military intelligence has said.
Russia has ‘lost momentum’ and is ‘significantly behind schedule’ in its neighbor’s eastern region, according to the UK’s Ministry of Defense (MoD).
At a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Berlin, Foreign Minister Liz Truss said it was essential to maintain support for the government in Kiev to help it ‘express Russia’.
In a statement, she said: “Putin must suffer a continuing defeat in Ukraine, Russia must be saved and such aggression must never happen again.
“Ukraine’s security must be able to defend itself. Allies must support Ukraine’s transition to NATO standard equipment, providing immediate artillery, training and the required expertise. ‘
NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said the Ukrainians were now in a position to defeat the Russians and win the war.
He told reporters: ‘Russia’s brutal invasion is losing momentum.
“With significant support from allies and partners in billions of dollars, in military support, in financial support, humanitarian aid, we know that with the courage of the Ukrainian people and army and with our help, Ukraine can win this war.”
The Russians shifted the focus of their offensive to the eastern region of the Donbas – already held in part by pro-Moscow separatists – after their advance on Kiev was driven out.
However, the MoD said despite small-scale initial progress, they had not made substantial territorial gains in the past month while suffering ‘consistently high levels of waste’.
It said the offensive was further hampered by the loss of ‘critical switches’ such as bridge equipment and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drones.
“Russia is now likely to suffer loss of one-third of the ground combat force it launched in February,” it said.
‘Russian troops are increasingly constrained by degraded capabilities, persistent low morale and diminished combat efficiency.
‘Many of these capabilities cannot be quickly replaced or reconstituted and are likely to continue to hinder Russian operations in Ukraine.
“Under current conditions, it is unlikely that Russia will dramatically accelerate its rate of progress over the next 30 days.”
Meanwhile, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has confirmed that his country intends to apply to join NATO, with Sweden expecting him to follow suit.
The Finnish parliament is expected to approve it in the coming days, followed by the submission of a formal membership application next week.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that if the two Nordic countries applied for it, it would be a ‘historic moment’ for the alliance.
“Their membership in NATO would increase our shared security, prove that the door of NATO is open and that aggression does not pay,” he said.
Boris Johnsonwho visited both countries last week, said the UK would strongly support its applications.
Finland, which has a long border with Russia, has never been a member of the Cold War defense alliance.
But the invasion of Ukraine paved the way for a new wave of thinking. The Kremlin said earlier that the move was possible ‘definitely’ a threat that would be met with ‘revenge steps’.
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Russia 'loses third of its forces' as Ukraine invades 'loses momentum'
Source link Russia 'loses third of its forces' as Ukraine invades 'loses momentum'