Britain Says 50,000 Russians Dead or Wounded, Russia “Reinforcing” Defense Lines – Speaking to the BBC, British military Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the Chief of Defense of Staff, dismissed the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be removed in a coup – but also suggested that a coup may not be necessary, as Russia is experiencing heavy losses in Ukraine.
Radakin said that Ukraine’s defense against Russia, thanks to a supply of NATO weapons and ammunition, has set back any possibility of a swift and guaranteed victory for Russia.
“What that actually means is 50,000 Russian soldiers that have either died or been injured in this conflict,” Radakin said. “Nearly 1,700 Russian tanks destroyed, nearly 4,000 armored fighting vehicles that belong to Russia destroyed.”
While Russia has experienced some setbacks recently, however, it’s not all good news for Ukraine. Not only does Russia now have full control over Luhansk Oblast, one of the two regions in the Donbas that Russian President Vladimir Putin declared “independent” in February, but Russian troops are also preparing to step up military assaults against Ukraine in the coming weeks.
Starting with a series of cruise missile strikes in the city of Dnipro on Friday, Russia is stepping up artillery strikes and advances after a brief “operational pause.”
Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu ordered Russian units to step up operations to prevent any attacks on Russian-controlled areas, as part of an effort to reinforce defensive positions across the country.
British Intelligence Says Russia “Reinforcing” Defensive Positions
In an update on Sunday, Britain’s Ministry of Defence also described how Russia is reinforcing its defensive positions across occupied areas of southern Ukraine.
“This includes the movement of manpower, equipment and defensive stores between Mariupol and Zaporizhia, and in Kherson,” the update reads, adding that Russian forces in Melitopol “are also increasing security measures.”
Russia very quickly took control of some parts of Ukraine’s south as part of an effort to establish a land bridge between Crimea to the south and the contested Donbas region to the east. Melitopol was captured by the Russians only days into the war, with much of the rest of south-east Ukraine being captured in the months that followed. Now, though, Russia is looking to strengthen those positions following a number of successful Ukrainian strikes on ammunition depots and military positions using NATO-supplied HIMARS.
The update also described how Ukrainian forces have been pushing Russian troops back on the defensive line in Kherson Oblast for more than a month now, and that, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine expects to push Russia out of the areas it currently controls in due course.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.