Greater than 75,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded in the course of the battle in Ukraine, Biden administration officers advised US lawmakers throughout a categorized briefing on Wednesday.
“We had been briefed that over 75,000 Russians have both been killed or wounded, which is large, you’ve got received unbelievable quantities of funding of their land forces, over 80% of their land forces are slowed down, they usually’re drained,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, a Democrat who serves on the Home Armed Providers Committee and lately visited Ukraine, advised CNN. “However they’re nonetheless the Russian navy.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov disputed the determine in regard to a New York Occasions report.
“This isn’t a press release from the American administration,” Peskov stated throughout a name with journalists on Thursday. “It is a newspaper article. These days, even probably the most respected newspapers don’t draw back from spreading all types of fakes. This, sadly, is a observe that’s changing into an increasing number of frequent. That is the way it ought to be handled.”
It is tough to independently gauge casualty figures within the battle. Each Russian and Ukrainian officers, in search of to achieve the higher hand in propaganda efforts, have at instances exaggerated navy developments and downplayed setbacks. The Kremlin doesn’t frequently present updates on casualties; on March 25, Russia’s Ministry of Protection stated 1,351 of its troopers had died within the first month of the invasion, however it has not shared any updates since.
Final week, Richard Moore, the pinnacle of MI6, stated on the Aspen Safety Discussion board that he believes the Russians will start to lose steam within the coming weeks as a result of they’re operating out of manpower.
And the following few weeks of the battle might be essential, US and Western officers have stated, as a result of the Ukrainians are going to attempt to mount a serious counteroffensive within the south earlier than the winter. Ukraine is in search of further reinforcements, lawmakers had been advised in Wednesday’s briefing.
Ukraine will intention to take again the southern metropolis of Kherson, which has been occupied by Russia since March, US and western officers consider.
“The kind of major dialog within the briefing was, you realize, what extra we are able to and ought to be doing for the Ukrainians, actually within the subsequent three to 6 weeks, very urgently. Ukrainians need to go to the south and do operations within the south. And we wish them to be as profitable as attainable,” Slotkin stated.
“I believe that what we heard very firmly from President Zelensky and strengthened at this time is that the Ukrainians actually need to hit Russia within the enamel a couple of instances earlier than the winter comes, put them in one of the best place attainable, significantly hitting them down south.”
In the course of the briefing, Slotkin stated there was bipartisan assist for sending Ukraine long-range missiles, generally known as ATACMS, that may strike so far as 180 miles away.
The Ukrainians have been urging the US to supply these methods for months, as a result of the HIMARS they possess can solely strike distances of round 49 miles.
However nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan stated final week on the Aspen Safety Discussion board that the US wouldn’t be offering the ATACMS, as a result of they may very well be used to strike into Russian territory, which might escalate the battle even additional.