ISSN 2330-717X

At Current Rate Of Losses Russian Army Can Continue Fight In Ukraine For Very Long Time – OpEd

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Boris Sokolov, a Russian scholar who has specialized in the study of Russian military losses in the past, says the figures Kyiv is providing about Russian losses are accurate but those losses, which now amount to 53,000 dead, will not be sufficient to force Russia to end the war.

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Only if Ukraine gets more and better weapons from the West will it have the chance to increase Russian losses from about 200 to 300 a day to 1,000 a day as they were in the first weeks of the Russian invasion and thus force Moscow to consider pulling out or negotiating an end to the conflict on that basis (graniru.org/War/m.285295.html).

Sokolov, author of perhaps the most authoritative study of Russian war losses over the past century (Human Losses of Russia and the USSR in the Wars of the 20th and 21st Century (in Russian; Moscow, 2022), presents data showing that Kyiv has been telling the truth about Russian losses, despite some criticism in the West that it has not.

His most important conclusions, however, are these: “at the current level of losses, Russia will be able to fight in Ukraine for many years even without a general mobilization” and “Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield only if it has a better army and at least a parity in arms.”

Ukraine has achieved the former, but the achievement of the second “depends entirely on the United States and other NATO countries.”

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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