About 80,000 Russian service members have died or been wounded in Ukraine since the start of the war on Feb. 24, a senior Pentagon official said on Monday.
“The Russians probably suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties in less than six months,” said Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl.
Kahl also assured that Russian forces lost “3,000 or 4,000” armored vehicles and may have exhausted their precision-guided missiles, after having fired a large amount into Ukraine.
These losses are “important considering that the Russians did not reach any of Vladimir Putin’s targets at the beginning of the war,” he told reporters, referring to the Russian president.
The official warned that the reduced use of longer-range, precision-guided missiles by Russian troops is an indicator that their arsenal is close to what should be kept in reserve for “other contingencies”.
Kahl acknowledged that the Ukrainians also recorded significant battlefield casualties, but gave no figures.
“Both sides are suffering casualties. The war is the most intense conventional conflict in Europe since the Second World War,” he said. “But Ukrainians have many advantages, one of them is their willingness to fight.”
Ukraine has recorded at least 10,000 dead and 30,000 wounded in its troops.
According to a military source who requested anonymity, the Ukrainian army had 170,000 active soldiers and 100,000 reservists at the start of the war on February 24. Later, the contingent was reinforced until reaching between 300,000 and 350,000 soldiers.
Before the invasion, between 150,000 and 200,000 Russian troops were deployed along the borders with Ukraine, according to Western estimates.