'Vulnerable' Putin heading for defeat: Thousands of vehicles gone – Achilles’ heel exposed


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Little over six month’s after Russian troops marched over the Ukrainian border, reports suggests 5,000 of their “vehicles and other pieces of heavy equipment” have been lost. Dutch intelligence defence analysis website Oryx puts the total number at 5,010.

It adds that 3,193 of these have been destroyed, 103 damaged, 323 abandoned and 1,391 captured.

It is, perhaps, this last figure that Ukraine is seeking to capitalise on in an effort to big-up its resistance against Russia.

Volodymyr Zelensky is planning to tour an exhibition of destroyed Russian military vehicles across Europe to maintain Western attention on the war, according to Bloomberg.

Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in June: “We’ll help to ensure that Russian tanks are in Europe, but as scrap.”

At this time, Kyiv claimed Russia had lost just over 5,000 tanks and armoured vehicles.

Bloomberg said Russia had “destroyed” 3,696 of Ukraine’s stock, though did not draw attention to the numbers for damages, captures and Ukrainian abandons.

Such figures are difficult – if at all possible – to thoroughly establish during wartime efforts due in part to the desire of each side to inflate its victories and play down its losses.

Oryx now reports that Russia has lost 916 of its tanks through destruction and around another 800 through damage, capture and abandonment.

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The Financial Times last month questioned whether Ukraine’s backers are “running out” of ammunition to supply the country.

This came after the UK purchased howitzers from a third party to send to Ukraine because its own stockpiles were too low.

Analysts have pointed out that low stores in the West is a result of leaders over recent decades taking the false view that industrial-style warfare, wherein much ammunition and artillery is employed, was a thing of the past.

One Western defence advisor told the FT: “The received wisdom has long been that the West will never fight an industrial war again.

“As a result, almost nobody has kept up capacity to ramp up national production of key equipment.”

The Royal United Services Institute stressed, however, that the conflict in Ukraine marked “the return of industrial warfare”.


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