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British intelligence officials reported that Russia’s Donbas offensive has “lost momentum” as the military falls “significantly” behind schedule.
The Defence Ministry’s update Sunday provided a number of new details about the lack of progress the Russian military has made over the past week, blaming “consistently high levels” of troop losses. The ministry estimates Russia has lost one-third of the ground combat forces it committed in February. At that time, forces were estimated at 190,000 military personnel along the border.
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Multiple equipment and infrastructure losses, such as a lack of bridging equipment and drones, will have “almost certainly” exacerbated Russia’s difficulties.
Ukraine’s anti-aircraft capabilities have helped cut Russia’s drone use, essentially blinding the Russian troops and restricting their intelligence on the battlefield. Any remaining capabilities will continue to degrade, the Defence Ministry said.
“Many of these capabilities cannot be quickly replaced or reconstituted and are likely to continue to hinder Russian operations in Ukraine,” the ministry wrote. “Under the current conditions, Russia is unlikely to dramatically accelerate its rate of advance over the next 30 days.”
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Some analysts had anticipated that Russian President Vladimir Putin would declare “all-out war” during Russia’s Victory Day celebrations as a means of allowing him to legally deploy conscripts and military cadets, whom he had allegedly already utilized in the conflict.
Putin in his May 9 Victory Day speech accused the West of propping up a “threat” on Russia’s borders and attacking “historical territories,” such as Crimea.
“They have threatened to use nuclear war, and the West has supported these military actions carried out in our neighborhood, and that is why it was a threat we couldn’t accept,” Putin stated.
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He also condemned the U.S. by name, saying it has “tried to denigrate the memory of the Second World War.”
But Russia did not boost its offensives following the celebration and may have actually signaled intent to wrap up the invasion with the integration of the Kherson region.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said completion of the “special operation” would stop the West’s attempts to “promote a unipolar world,” which Lavrov defined as “attempts to undermine international law.”
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This marked the first time since the beginning of the invasion that any senior official has mentioned the idea of ending the “special operation,” according to former DIA officer Rebekah Koffler.
Fox News’ Tyler O’Neil contributed to this report.