A top British defense official has stated that Russia’s combat capabilities have been significantly weakened since its invasion of Ukraine last year. Speaking at a parliamentary hearing, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, who served as the head of the United Kingdom’s armed forces and is the chief military adviser to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, revealed that Russia is now too weak to launch a counter-offensive of its own.
According to Admiral Radakin, Russia has lost almost half of the combat effectiveness of its army. He cited figures that indicate a steep decline in their military capabilities, such as the reduction in artillery shells fired from 10 million last year to a maximum capacity of producing only 1 million shells annually. Additionally, Russia has reportedly lost 2,500 tanks and can now only produce around 200 new tanks each year.
While Ukraine’s counter-offensive has faced criticism for its lack of progress, Admiral Radakin defended the strategy adopted by Kyiv. He explained that their approach, known as “starve, stretch, and strike,” is gradually wearing down Russia’s defenses. However, he acknowledged the challenges faced by Ukraine, including Russian mines, insufficient air defenses, and a shortage of requested equipment.
Admiral Radakin emphasized that the key to effectively countering Russia’s aggression lies in transforming the front line, which spans over a thousand kilometers, into a greater problem for Russia than for Ukraine. As a result, Ukraine has employed multiple attack axes and feints to keep the Russian forces off-balance.
The claims made by Admiral Radakin align with previous reports on Russia’s combat losses in Ukraine. Open-source intelligence group Oryx stated in February that more than 1,000 Russian tanks had been destroyed, with another 500 captured. Furthermore, a leaked classified US military assessment revealed that since February 2022, approximately 43,000 Russian soldiers had been killed, and 180,000 wounded during the conflict.
When Russia commenced its invasion, it was estimated to have had over 400,000 contract soldiers. However, significant casualties and losses have severely impacted their forces, particularly elite infantry and armored fighting brigades.
Experts have highlighted that these losses have dealt a significant blow to Russia’s ground forces. Jeffrey Edmonds, a Russia expert at the Center for Naval Analyses and former CIA military analyst, described the impact as the decimation of their best troops and a severe dent in Russia’s combat power.
In conclusion, Admiral Radakin’s remarks indicate that Russia’s military capabilities have been severely weakened following its invasion of Ukraine. The significant reduction in artillery and tank capacities, along with the high casualties suffered, has hampered their ability to wage a counter-offensive. However, Ukraine still faces challenges in its efforts to counter Russian aggression, requiring innovative strategies and support to turn the tide in the conflict.