Declassified US Intelligence Reveals Massive Russian Losses In Ukraine – Analysis


By Jeff Seldin

Newly declassified U.S. intelligence indicates Russia has suffered from some staggering losses as a result of its nearly two-year-old invasion of Ukraine, including major setbacks during its latest offensive.

The assessment, parts of which were shared with VOA, estimates more than 13,000 Russian forces have been killed or wounded since Moscow launched its October offensive along the Avdiivka-Novopavlivka axis in eastern Ukraine.

U.S. intelligence also believes Ukraine’s military has destroyed or immobilized more than 220 Russian combat vehicles, the equivalent of six battalions’ worth of vehicles.

“Russia’s attempt at an offensive has resulted in no strategic gains,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told VOA in a statement, describing the Russian losses as “severe.” 

“But Russia is determined to press forward,” she added. “Russia seems to believe that a military deadlock through the winter will drain Western support for Ukraine and ultimately give Russia the advantage despite Russian losses and persistent shortages of trained personnel, munitions, and equipment.”

The decision to declassify the latest intelligence Tuesday comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in Washington, visiting with U.S. lawmakers and with U.S. President Joe Biden.

During a speech at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday, Zelenskyy pleaded with U.S. lawmakers “not to betray” Ukraine’s forces and provide more weapons and support, warning Moscow sees Ukraine as “just a stepping-stone.”

“We know what to do,” he said. “You can count on Ukraine, and we hope just as much to be able to count on you.”

The White House has been pushing U.S. lawmakers to approve more than $61 billion in supplemental funding for Kyiv before the end of the year.

But some lawmakers have balked, with some Republicans insisting any deal to provide more money to Ukraine must also include provisions to strengthen U.S. immigration policies and security along the U.S. southern border with Mexico.

White House officials, however, point to the latest declassified intelligence to argue that funding for Ukraine simply cannot wait.

“This shows how Ukraine is having success stopping Russian forces, but Putin is continuing to order his troops forward,” a senior administration official told VOA, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the intelligence and the political negotiations.

“It’s critical we continue to support Ukraine and make sure they have what they need to defend themselves,” the official added.

Top U.S. military and intelligence officials have previously said Russia’s losses in Ukraine have set its military back by as much as five to ten years.

Still, the Pentagon warned Monday a failure to back Ukraine will send Russian President Vladimir Putin the wrong message.

“Despite his isolation, Putin still believes that he can outlast Ukraine, and that he can outlast America,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday, speaking with Zelenskyy at the National Defense University. “If we do not stand up to the Kremlin’s aggression today, if we do not deter other would-be aggressors, we will only invite more aggression, more bloodshed, and more chaos.”

Patsy Widakuswara contributed to this report.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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