In a startling revelation, newly declassified U.S. intelligence has shed light on the extensive losses suffered by Russia in its ongoing conflict with Ukraine. This intelligence indicates that Russia has lost a staggering 90% of its pre-invasion force, significantly altering the dynamics of the war.
The invasion, ordered by President Vladimir Putin, was expected to be a swift operation with the capture of Kyiv within days. However, the reality has been starkly different. Ukrainian forces have robustly countered the Russian advances, leading to a protracted and costly conflict for Moscow.
Accurate casualty figures have been elusive, as neither Ukraine nor Russia has been forthcoming with official statistics. However, Ukrainian estimates, which have consistently reported high numbers, suggest that as of December 13th, Russia's personnel losses have reached an alarming 341,500.
Though initially met with skepticism, these figures seem to align with the data from the U.S. intelligence.
Russia's Staggering Military Losses
According to this intelligence, reported by multiple international news outlets, Russia has sustained losses of approximately 315,000 personnel since the invasion began in February 2022.
This number represents about 87% of the original 360,000-strong invasion force, indicating a significant erosion of Moscow’s military strength. The impact of the war on Russia extends beyond human casualties. Moscow has also suffered extensive losses in its pre-war equipment and military vehicle stockpiles.
Reports suggest that as of late November, over a quarter of Russia's pre-invasion ground forces equipment was lost, much of it from older stockpiles. These equipment losses have directly impacted the scale and complexity of Russian operations in Ukraine, limiting their ability to make significant advances since early 2022.
The Wall Street Journal, citing the U.S. intelligence report, notes that Russia has likely lost nearly two-thirds of its pre-invasion tanks, with 2200 out of approximately 3500 destroyed.
Massive Russian Equipment Losses
This figure closely aligns with data from the Dutch open-source intelligence firm Oryx, which tracks military equipment and vehicle losses through verifiable photo and video evidence.
Oryx's findings indicate that Russia's verifiable tank losses stand at 2,541, with a significant portion destroyed, damaged, abandoned, or captured by Ukrainian forces. The U.S. intelligence report also highlights the loss of 4,400 out of 13,600 infantry fighting vehicles, representing a 32% loss rate for the Russian Armed Forces.
These figures are in close agreement with Oryx's documented losses of 3144 infantry fighting vehicles. The enormity of these losses has compelled Russia to take extraordinary measures to sustain its military efforts. This includes a partial mobilization of 300,000 personnel and the relaxation of recruiting standards to include convicts and older civilians.
This new intelligence from the United States not only confirms the extensive material and human losses suffered by Moscow but also provides a clearer context for understanding Russia’s setbacks in the Ukraine conflict.
As Warren Strobel of The Wall Street Journal points out, while it was assumed that Russia had incurred significant losses, these latest revelations offer a more detailed picture of the extent of the impact on Russian military capabilities.