Russia rebuilds forces despite heavy losses — Expert interview

Russian occupiers on a tank on the street in Donetsk, April 2024
Russian occupiers on a tank on the street in Donetsk, April 2024

Russia continues to enhance its capabilities deployed in the war despite the significant losses inflicted by Ukrainian Armed Forces, a Corresponding Member of the Royal Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI), Oleksandr Danylyuk, said in an interview with NV Radio.

Russia is larger, with a bigger economy and population, Danylyuk said.

"Despite these colossal losses — amounting to hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded soldiers, over 14,000 destroyed armored vehicles, and 7,000 tanks — Russia maintains not just its combat capability (at least in numerical terms) at the same level as a year ago but is also dynamically increasing its capacities involved in this war."

Read also: NATO chief confirms Russian setbacks in Kharkiv offensive

Russia is "regenerating" and increasing the number of troops engaged in Russia's war against Ukraine not only through conscription but also by equipping them, he said.

"It is easy to mock the quality of the weapons and military equipment provided to Russian soldiers, considering the age of the tanks and armored vehicles, among others," Danylyuk said.

Read also: Ukraine reports Russian military’s daily losses: 1,290 troops and 65 artillery systems on June 3

"Our Territorial Defense brigades (and not only them but also the Ground Forces brigades) would be absolutely satisfied if they had even such outdated equipment as the Russians are using. Often, there is simply nothing, that's the first issue. Secondly, the Russians do not face a shortage of ammunition, which is a significant problem."

Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said on April 3 that, according to U.S. estimates, Russia has "almost completely restored" its military capabilities over the past few months. This suggests that Russia is preparing and may already have enough manpower and equipment to significantly intensify its current offensive operations or initiate offensive actions in new front areas, ISW warned.

Moscow has sharply increased its defense spending since 2022 — to 6% of the national GDP in the 2024 budget. This increase is part of broader Kremlin efforts to shift its economy, particularly the defense industry, to a war footing.

Russia reportedly partly achieves this through support from China, North Korea, and Iran.

Campbell and another senior administration official, who spoke to journalists anonymously, said that China has helped Russia "survive" economic and military setbacks over the past two years.

Russian losses in the war against Ukraine

The spokesperson for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Andriy Kovalyov, clarified on Feb. 27 that Russia’s total losses published by the General Staff consist of two main indicators of losses suffered by the enemy during hostilities. Namely, irrecoverable losses and combat sanitary losses of the enemy.

Prior to that, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian losses amounted to 180,000 killed and up to 500,000 wounded.

Read also: Russian soldier laments ‘cannon fodder’ treatment in Vovchansk

Russia suffers 85% of its losses on the eastern front, Nazar Voloshyn, a spokesman for the Khortytsia operational-strategic troop grouping, said on April 25. This applies to both personnel and equipment.

According to French estimates, Russia has already lost 500,000 of its soldiers in the war against Ukraine, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said on May 3.

Russia loses about 24,000 soldiers killed and wounded in Ukraine every month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on May 26.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine