Ukraine: Resilience against Putin 'is not fading' says Olga Tokariuk
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The nation’s capacity to fight in the way it has been doing so far is limited, which could see the quality of its military offensives decline.
Heavy losses of machinery, vehicles and artillery are compounded by the deaths of tens of thousands of Russians.
Last month, Elissa Slotkin, a Democratic House Representative in the US, said intel indicated “more than 75,000 Russians” have been killed so far.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr James Pritchett, a lecturer in war studies at the University of Hull, described how the Russian military lacks infantry due to a loss of soldiers in combat.
Dr Pritchett also pointed to the use of “low quality” and “shoddy” equipment as an issue for the Kremlin.
Military analysts suggest the use of HIMARS supplied by the West is forcing the slow down of Russia’s offensive – with ammunition depots and warehouses destroyed weekly.
This points to a tactical turning point as Ukraine’s fightback intensifies and Russian losses increase. However, Russia has by no means indicated any desire to move away from a war of attrition.
But Putin and his tacticians will be assessing their next moves.
And Dr Pritchett believes the looming issue of negative public opinion at home “could decide how soon the war ends”.
The expert noted: “If the situation deteriorates significantly for the Russians, to the point where the war became less popular [among the Russian population], this could decide how soon the war ends.”
Of aging and destroyed equipment, he added: “A significant amount of Russian equipment deployed is quite old and has been stored for a while so the tyres and engines were in disrepair.”
A recent Royal United Services Institute report discusses how Russia had prepared for a “short war”, with Putin expected to occupy Ukraine within the first few days of the onslaught.
However, six months on Moscow still hasn’t managed to seize control of the country.
To tackle the problems, Moscow could execute a strategic pause in fighting to replace lost resources and troops, the defence think tank predicted.
However, the report noted Russia’s ability to do this “depends on whether the Russian system is given the breathing space to conserve existing resources”.
Otherwise, it will not “be able to replace the capacity it is shedding at scale”, it said.
Dr Pritchett believes Russia could also use a pause to train up and deploy units for a second major offensive to deliver a powerful blow.
However, despite ongoing logistical issues, the professor said “It doesn’t seem like Putin has much of a reason to throw in the towel just yet” but this “depends on the situation on the battlefield”.
Earlier this week, Mark Hartling, a retired US general, said: “Russia’s ground forces have proven to be poorly led, ill-trained and with low morale, increasingly and significantly attritted in personnel and equipment, unable to regenerate.”
Russian forces also reportedly suffered severe losses in Crimea after explosions hit the occupied Crimean Peninsula earlier this month, which Ukraine officials declined to take responsibility for.
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