Russia loses 15,000 soldiers after 61 days of Ukraine invasion, MPs told

MPs were given an update on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
MPs were given an update on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

About 15,000 Russian troops have been killed since President Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine nearly nine weeks ago, according to British intelligence.

Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, told MPs yesterday that more than 2,000 Russian armoured vehicles had either been destroyed or captured, as he pledged to send more weapons to Ukraine.

Equipment losses include at least 530 tanks, 530 armoured personnel carriers and 560 infantry fighting vehicles. Wallace said that Russia had also lost more than 60 helicopters and fighter jets, as well as its Black Sea flagship, the Moskva missile cruiser.

The figures mark the first time Britain has given its own estimate of Russian kit destroyed and the death toll. Russia has lost more troops in 61 days of fighting in Ukraine than the US and its allies lost in 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ukraine’s estimates put the Russian losses higher.

Mr Wallace told MPs: “I don’t celebrate the loss of anyone’s life and when I see the huge casualty rates of Russian soldiers, as a former soldier I think it is a disgrace, a betrayal of those young men.”

He said that about a quarter of Russia’s battalion tactical groups — approximately 30 — were no longer combat-effective as a result of the losses. “It is our assessment that approximately 15,000 Russian personnel have been killed during their offensive . . . the offensive that was supposed to take a maximum of a week has now taken weeks,” he said.

The former Scots Guard said the next three weeks of Russia’s war were critical and that Ukraine’s military needed more long-range artillery and ammunition as well as anti-ship missiles. He said that Britain was considering sending the 105mm L118 Light Gun, which has been in service since 1974.

For true peace to be achieved, he suggested that Putin should leave all occupied territory in Ukraine, including Crimea.