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More than a quarter of the troops Russia has sent to fight in Ukraine are now considered “combat ineffective”, the United Kingdom announced on Monday.
The startling statistic comes as Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine enters its 68th day. Prior to the onslaught of Vladimir Putin’s army, it was estimated that Moscow had mustered around 150,000 troops to participate in the war.
“At the start of the conflict, Russia committed more than 120 battalion tactical groups, or about 65% of its entire ground combat force,” the official said. The UK Ministry of Defense said in a tweet. “It is likely that more than a quarter of these units have now been rendered combat ineffective.”
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“Some of Russia’s most elite units, including VDV airborne forces, suffered the highest levels of attrition,” the ministry also said. “It will probably take years for Russia to rebuild these forces.”
Combat ineffectiveness is the ability of a military unit to perform its assigned tasks and is affected by troop and equipment losses, according to The Associated Press.
On Monday, the Ukrainian military says Russia has lost nearly 24,000 troops, more than 1,000 tanks and around 500 artillery systems so far in the war.
The figures could not be independently verified.
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Among those troops still fighting, they continue to “carry out large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine and offensive operations” in the east of the country, the army added.
“The threat of missile strikes on military and civilian infrastructure from the territory of the Republic of Belarus by the Russian enemy remains,” he also said.
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