Ukraine conflict taking ‘heavy toll’ on Russia’s elite units, says UK

Ukraine conflict taking ‘heavy toll’ on Russia’s elite units, says UK

In yet another indication of the extent of losses suffered by Russia during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and its failure to make significant inroads against its much smaller neighbour, the United Kingdom said on Friday that some of Russia’s ‘most capable units’ had suffered ‘heavy losses’, adding that it will take Moscow a ‘long time’ to reconstitute its armed forces.

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“The conflict in Ukraine is taking a heavy toll on some of Russia’s most capable units, and most advanced capabilities. It will take considerable time and expense for Russia to reconstitute its armed forces following this conflict. It will be particularly challenging to replace modernised and advanced equipment due to sanctions, restricting Russia’s access to critical microelectronic components,” the UK’s ministry of defence said on Twitter, in its latest update on the situation in the east European nation.

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The UK, which is among a host of countries to have imposes sanctions against Russia and has also supplied arms to Kyiv, further said that Moscow has lost at least one T-90M, its most advanced tank, during the fighting. The T-90M, it said, was introduced in 2016 and improved armour, an upgraded gun and enhanced satellite navigation system.

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“Approximately 100 T-90M tanks are currently in service amongst Russia’s best equipped units, including those fighting in Ukraine. The system’s upgraded armour, designed to counter anti-tank weaponry, remains vulnerable if unsupported by other force elements,” the statement read.

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Last month, Kyiv’s forces destroyed Russia’s flagship Moskva warship; after initial denial, Moscow acknowledged the attack, saying one crew member was killed while at least 27 others were missing.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, with President Vladimir Putin labelling the offensive as a ‘special military operation’. According to experts, Putin, on May 9, may make a ‘major announcement’ about the war. The day is observed annually as ‘Victory Day’ in that country.

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