UK Officials: Russian Forces Are Facing Devastating Losses, Poor Discipline And Morale Issues

·3-min read
Russian troops walk at a destroyed part of Mariupol, the Ukrainian port city (Photo: via Associated Press)
Russian troops walk at a destroyed part of Mariupol, the Ukrainian port city (Photo: via Associated Press)

Russian troops walk at a destroyed part of Mariupol, the Ukrainian port city (Photo: via Associated Press)

Russia’s command system is struggling as the invasion of Ukraine heads into its fourth month, according to UK officials.

The ministry of defence revealed in its daily update on Twitter that Russian forces are likely to be suffering “devastating losses”, especially among mid and junior ranking officers.

This comes after Ukraine claimed it had taken out approximately 12 Russian generals in the first three months of the war.

The MoD explained: “Brigade and battalion commanders likely deploy forwards into harm’s way because they are held to an uncompromising level of responsibility for their units’ performance.

“Similarly, junior officers have had to lead the lowest level tactical actions, as the army lacks the cadre of highly trained and empowered non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who fulfil that role in Western forces.”

The west believes that Russia has hidden the true extent of its losses from its public to avoid losing support and even listing its dead as missing.

The US’s Pentagon estimates Russian president Vladimir Putin’s army may have lost up to 25% of its combat power, with Nato estimating it may have lost up to 15,000 troops.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy guessed the real number was much higher, at 23,000 on May 10.

As of May 30, Ukraine’s Armed Forces estimated that Russia has now lost a total of 30,350 troops.

If these estimates are correct, Russia is missing a large portion of its forces meaning it has having to rely on less experienced figures to lead the attack.

The MoD tweeted: “The loss of a large proportion of the younger generation of professional officers will likely exacerbate its ongoing problems in modernising its approach to command and control.

“More immediately, battalion tactical groups (BTGs) which are being reconstituted in Ukraine from survivors of multiple units are likely to be less effective due to a lack of junior leaders.”

Putin also dropped the upper age limit on Saturday for troops trying to enlist for the war effort, meaning over-40s can now serve.

The UK officials also suggested this lack of leadership was leading to disturbances within the Russian ranks.

The MoD tweeted: “With multiple credible reports of localised mutinies amongst Russia’s forces in Ukraine, a lack of experienced and credible platoon and company commanders is likely to result to a further decrease in morale and continued poor discipline.”

Away from the Russian system of command, things also aren’t going very well.

The Ukrainian city of Kherson, where Russia was using as a staging ground for operations, has just become the new focal point for the war after the Ukraine forces launched a surprise counteroffensive.

The EU also gathered on Monday to decide on its sixth batch of sanctions against Moscow, spelling further trouble ahead for the Kremlin.

Russian invasion of Ukraine (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)
Russian invasion of Ukraine (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)

Russian invasion of Ukraine (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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