Ukrainian tank appears to destroy Russian APC in Rubizhne
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With the war entering its third month, Russian advances into northern and central Ukraine were defended heavily by Ukrainian forces who pushed back against advances, leaving Moscow to retreat and regroup. Russian forces have now started phase two of the so-called “special operation” in eastern Ukraine, where once again tough resistance has kept advances in the Donbas region to a minimum.
However, the invasion of Ukraine has cost Russia dearly.
Reports suggest up to 23,000 Russian troops have lost their lives in the assault.
Add to this the financial sanctions which have rocked the Russian economy, and the situation appears dire for Putin and his cronies.
However, on a military scale, the Kremlin has witnessed huge losses too.
With nearly 1,000 tanks destroyed, 185 shot down, 150 helicopters mangled to pieces and 400 artillery units obliterated, to name a few of the losses, Putin’s army may not fight again for a long time.
According to Washington based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, “It will take years for Russia to rebuild its inventories.”
Supplies are so low, that Russia may now struggle to overcome Ukrainian resistance in eastern Ukraine and claim the Donbas region in the process.
With the West collectively gathering together and pouring defensive weapons into Ukraine, Putin’s dreams of building a land bridge between the mainland and the Crimea peninsula are rapidly fading.
However, Moscow may still have a caveat to the situation.
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.
However, due to the age of the cold-war era equipment very few current soldiers would be able to use the reserves.
Speaking to the Times, Mr Boyd said: “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.”
With many of the conscripts drafted into the war, much of the equipment will be older than the operators trying to use it should this become an option.
Speaking of Russian prospects in eastern Ukraine, Britain’s Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said: “The Donbas will be a difficult nut for the Russians to crack.”
The Minister added: “Both sides are evenly matched.”
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Mr Heappey this week also encouraged Ukraine to strike targets within Russia using some of the British made and supplied equipment given to Ukraine.
Yesterday, an arms storage dump was seen to explode in the town of Belgorod.
Due to intense anti-aircraft fire around the time of the incident, it is widely believed the explosion came from a Ukrainian attack on the depot.
Flames and smoke could be seen pouring from the storage unit, with the local mayor later sending a message stating no civilians had been injured or killed during the strike.
Has the war with Ukraine cost Putin Russia’s formerly fearsome reputation? Can Ukraine’s defences push back Russian advances to the east? Will Putin now declare “desperate times call for desperate measures” and ramp up the attack against Ukraine with a nuclear or chemical strike? Let us know what you think by CLICKING HERE and joining the debate in our comments section below – Every Voice Matters!
Russia is now intensifying its resources to the south of Ukraine from the Black Sea as reports emerge of 20 Russian warships and submarines gathering in the strategic waters.
The news comes from the latest British Ministry of Defence intelligence report which states: “Approximately 20 Russian Navy vessels are currently in the Black Sea operational zone, including submarines.”
However, since the loss of the flagship Moskva, Russia has been unable to replace the missile cruiser as the Bosporus Strait, a vital choke point into and out of the Black Sea remains closed to all non-Turkish warships.
MoD officials now believe the Russian Navy will play a vital part in the next stages of the war and will pose a significant threat to Ukraine.
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