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31 Jul, 2023 14:30

Russian defense chief provides new estimate of Ukrainian losses

Kiev lost nearly 21,000 troops in July alone, according to Sergey Shoigu
Russian defense chief provides new estimate of Ukrainian losses

Russian forces have stopped Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive dead in its tracks, inflicting tens of thousands of casualties on Kiev’s troops, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Monday.

Speaking at a conference attended by senior military commanders, Shoigu noted that Kiev “is desperately throwing new forces in a bid to storm our positions” but the Russian military thwarted all breakthrough attempts by relying on well-built and organized defenses, adding that the endurance of military personnel played an instrumental role in the success.

As a result, in July, Ukraine lost 20,824 service members and 2,227 units of military equipment, including 10 German-supplied Leopard tanks, 11 US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and 50 self-propelled guns from several Western countries, the minister stated.

According to Shoigu, on July 26 and 27 alone Ukraine lost more than 400 service members and 31 tanks and other heavy weaponry near the settlement of Rabotino in Russia’s Zaporozhye Region. Last week, a video surfaced on social media purporting to show a “graveyard” of Bradleys filmed at the same location.

“It is obvious that the Western-supplied weapons are failing to bring success on the battlefield and only prolong the military conflict,” Shoigu said.

Short of any combat accomplishments, “the Kiev regime, with the support of its Western sponsors, is now focused on carrying out terrorist attacks on civilian infrastructure” in Russian cities, Shoigu noted, adding that Moscow has introduced additional security measures and ramped up attacks on Ukrainian military facilities. 

Kiev launched its much-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian defenses in the early days of June, but failed to gain any ground, according to the Defense Ministry in Moscow. Ukrainian officials have attributed the difficulties to delays in Western arms shipments, extensive minefields, lack of air support and stiff Russian resistance. 

Meanwhile, several media reports have suggested that Kiev’s Western allies have grown “alarmed” at the slow progress on the battlefield, while being “jolted” by Ukrainian losses in armor. In addition, a Financial Times report from late June suggested that future Western support would depend on the results of the counteroffensive, which have so far been underwhelming.