Russia army in panic as morale collapses and Ukraine gets new German missiles

Moment Ukraine bomb obliterates Russian command post

Vladimir Putin is facing a serious military crisis after morale among Russian troops was said to be notably plummeting.

The potential collapse in Russian army morale may yet open the way for Ukraine to make big advances in its summer counteroffensive.

Kyiv launched its much-awaited military campaign at the beginning of June but has met stiff resistance as it battles to regain territory from the Russian occupiers.

Russian mines have presented a major and lethal obstacle to Ukraine’s army, which is attacking on three fronts.

Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s Defence Minister, has called on Western allies to urgently provide more de-mining equipment to his beleaguered troops.

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According to the minister, in some parts of the frontline, there are five mines per square metre.

A military expert said the scale of mine usage in Ukraine by Russia resembles the battle of El Alamein 80 years ago, when German General Erwin Rommel laid a million of the deadly munitions.

It took the British army ten days to work its way through the minefields, even though it enjoyed a huge advantage in artillery, control of the skies and plenty of mine-clearing tanks — none of which Ukraine has at the moment.

Despite these huge disadvantages, Kyiv’s army has made progress, particularly around Bakhmut in the east.

Ukraine is also using its growing qualitative advantage in precision artillery shells to take out Russian batteries.

Longer-range munitions such as Himars and Storm Shadow missiles are hitting logistical hubs and command centres, which is starting to take a toll on Putin’s army.

In its latest war bulletin, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that Russian front-line units, particularly in the south of the country, have struggled with falling morale following Ukrainian strikes on rear areas.

The Washington-based analysts described Russian morale as “demonstrably degraded” and that this “could threaten the stability of Russian defences on multiple critical areas of the front.”

They argued collapsing morale could spread quickly among frontline ranks, causing panic and a significant reduction in combat effectiveness among Russian units.

“A broken Russian frontline unit would threaten the integrity of other frontline defences, and such a break in the Russian frontline would provide a vulnerability that Ukrainian forces could exploit,” the ISW added.

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They noted in addition that Moscow’s forces likely lack the necessary reserves to rotate out or quickly replace a broken unit, making the preservation of morale in front-line units imperative.

A lack of reserves has posed a serious problem to Russian commanders on the ground, as exhausted troops come under increasing pressure from Ukraine’s army.

Alexander Khodakovsky, a Russian battalion commander in Urozhaine, complained that he was not getting reserve troops to stem a mounting disaster.

The village was eventually retaken by Kyiv’s army last week, with the help of its recently acquired cluster bombs.

Ukraine’s stock of precision long-range artillery weapons could be set to receive another huge boost.

Germany is reported to be preparing to send 400 or so Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

These missiles would allow Kyiv to strike Russian-occupied Crimea, analysts said.

Russia is also said to have lost 75 percent of its stock of attack helicopters since hostilities broke out in February last year.

At the start of the war Moscow had about 100 Ka-52s but may now have as few as 25 left.

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