The Russian army is unlikely to return to its full force in the near future after it has incurred significant losses of troops and military equipment during its four-month war in Ukraine, the investigative outlet iStories reported Monday.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the country’s army was ranked the second-best in the world. As a result of its invasion and ensuing Western sanctions, the Russian military has lost its advantages in both personnel and equipment that will take years to regain, experts say.
“Russian military power as of Feb. 23, 2022, is already an unattainable ideal. It is irreproducible and irreplaceable,” independent military expert Pavel Luzin told iStories.
Russia has lost 2-4% of its military manpower since the start of the war, iStories reported, citing the most recent estimates from British intelligence and the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Between 15,000 and 33,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in Ukraine, iStories wrote, citing the British and Ukrainian estimates.
“When we see figures that Russia now has more than 33,000 irretrievable losses, it means that about half of them are killed,” Luzin said.
The losses include an estimated 581 generals and high-ranking officers, who take more years and resources to train.
Russia’s Defense Ministry last updated its official death toll in Ukraine on March 25, when it reported 1,351 killed soldiers.
In June, State Duma deputy Andrei Kartopolov said that the number hasn’t been updated since then because Russia “pretty much stopped losing people.”
iStories’ report also assessed that Russia has lost 23-42% of its tanks and up to 14% of its armored vehicles.
Experts told the outlet that it will take years for Russia to recover its losses of materiel, as Western components and technologies used in their manufacture are now off-limits due to sanctions.