Russia has committed about 65 percent of the country’s combat force to the invasion of Ukraine, but a strong defense and a growing amount of firepower, mainly supplied by NATO members, has slowed the advance, according to an analysis released Monday by the British Ministry of Defense.
At the start of the conflict in February, Moscow engaged more than 120 battalion tactical groups in the battle. More than a quarter of the units have been made “combat efficient” since the first Russian tanks rolled across the border, the analysis said. The staggering losses may point to a justification for Moscow’s decision to reverse its original goal of totally exposing the country in favor of consolidating its remaining troops in the disputed Donbas region.
Some of Russia’s most elite military units, such as the VDV Airborne Forces, have suffered the highest levels of attrition in combat, the analysis said.
“It will probably take years for Russia to reconstruct these forces,” British defense intelligence officials said in a Twitter post.
Pentagon officials believe the Kremlin has not yet resolved the fundamental problems of the invasion of Ukraine, including poor leadership at the highest level, poorly managed logistics and even basic combat tactics.
“The problems did not just exist inside Ukraine, they existed outside Ukraine and still exist,” a senior Pentagon official said Friday.