Russia’s Forces Against Ukraine Have Shrunk, Pentagon Says
Despite Russia’s 150,000-strong “combat power” in Belarus and western Russia before the invasion, the Pentagon estimates that Russian casualties to Ukrainian soldiers have lowered its “combat power” in Ukraine to less than 90% of its previous level.
Officials say Russian troops are “struggling on many fronts” in Ukraine. Unconfirmed reports suggest Russian troops were evacuated due to cold.
“Even our best estimations are simply that,” a Russian official claimed. According to the US secret intelligence group, at least 7,000 Russian personnel were killed.
Defense Department officials have stated that losing 10% of a military force, including those dead and injured, leaves a single unit unable to carry out combat-related functions. Such losses also affect a military unit’s morale and cohesion.
Russian forces have not shown any signs of preparing to use chemical or biological weapons, according to the Pentagon official.
It is possible that Russia’s President Vladimir V. Putin may use such prohibited weapons. On Monday, Vice President Biden raised this possibility. At a meeting of business leaders, Vice President Biden observed, “His back is against the wall.”
Because Russian soldiers had been unable to take population centers like Kyiv on the ground, Russian forces were still relying on long-range artillery and rocket attacks, a senior defense official said.
To now, no one has reported Russian warships in the Sea of Azov firing indiscriminately on Mariupol for the first time in the past 24 hours, according to the official.
A senior Russian official told reporters at a briefing that “we have seen clear proof that undoubtedly over the last or two weeks the Russians have deliberately and consciously targeted” civilian facilities, including hospitals and shelters. There are signs that Russian forces are also committing war crimes on the ground, according to the US State Department.
According to a senior administration official, “the administration will be assisting in a number of investigations that are currently underway, but we see clear evidence that they are committing war crimes through these indiscriminate and intentional attacks on civilian targets and the people of Ukraine.”