Russia’s ‘Erosed’ Ground Forces Encounter ‘Big Problems’ — US General

The commander of U.S. forces in Europe, Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, has warned that Russian forces still pose a serious threat to the NATO alliance despite “huge problems” during the disastrous invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking at the Lennart Meri conference in Tallinn, Estonia on Sunday, Kavoli urged Western observers not to jump to conclusions based on the Russian army’s repeated battlefield failures in Ukraine.

“The destruction of Russian forces in Ukraine needs to be studied very closely,” the general said. “The situation was not smooth. It would be easy to see that the Russian army collapsed or was in serious trouble. But it was not smooth.

“The ground forces are heavily depleted, they are in big trouble. And they are losing a lot of men, a lot of equipment. On the other hand, they are also taking a lot of men. And you know. , Russian and ground forces are larger today than they were when this conflict began, and they still exist.

Wreckage of Russian military vehicles, equipment and ammunition on display in Tsyrkny village, Kharkov region, Ukraine, May 5, 2023. The commander of US forces in Europe warned that Russian forces remain a serious threat to NATO. .Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images

“The Air Force has lost less than 100 fighters and bombers. There are about 1,000 left. The Navy has lost almost nothing. Cyber ​​has lost nothing. Space has lost nothing. So really, when we talk about the Russian military, we need to study ”that spans all domains. And we must be prepared to deal with Russian forces on all fronts in the future. ”

The extent of Russian personnel losses in Ukraine remains unknown. Kiev claims to have “purged” around 200,000 Russian troops since the full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022. This estimate is broadly in line with US estimates of about 200,000 Russian casualties during the same period.

As Kavoli spoke, recent Ukrainian gains were being reported around the devastated city of Bakhmut in Donetsk, ahead of the expected Ukrainian spring counteroffensive. Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.

European officials have previously said: Newsweek Russia’s elite forces, including those historically deployed along NATO borders as part of the vanguard of a virtual invasion, suffered losses of 30-40 percent, he said.

Some of these units have been reorganized with the help of Russian “partial mobilization”, but the loss of experienced junior officers and specialized contract units has left these units understrength and their overall capabilities This means that there is a high possibility that the activity will decrease.

The demands of the war forced Moscow to redeploy troops from border areas to Ukraine. Kavoli said it was unclear how long it would take Russia to regain its pre-war strength, but said the relative health of the Kremlin’s air force and navy meant the danger of an escalation of the war remained. rice field.

“How long will it take to rebuild? The question is, how long will it take to do what?” said the general. “They can still do things today.

“From now on, we must continue to be prepared to defend our nations and, in the case of alliances, the territories of our allies,” he added.

Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, speaks at the Annual Social Defense Conference in Salen, Sweden, January 9, 2023.Henrik Montgomery/TT/AFP via Getty Images

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