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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Russia is losing troops so fast they could ‘collapse’ by year’s end: ex-general

Ben Hodges, a retired US Army officer who served as commanding general of US Army Europe, predicted that before the end of the year Russian forces could “collapse” and succumb to the battle of attrition in Ukraine.

“Russia is being worn down at such a rate that it could collapse before the end of this year, provided the West delivers on time what we have promised. War is a test of will and a test of logistics,” Hodges tweeted, referring to an assessment by military expert Marcus M. Keupp, who heads the military economics department at the Military Academy at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Keupp, in a recent interview with the German news agency t-Online, said that the Ukrainian armed forces would soon have an impact on the war as the West continues to provide them with military aid and Russia is losing more troops.

Despite some recent advances, Russian forces in Ukraine have experienced a series of setbacks, including shortages of fighters and equipment. Meanwhile, Western nations, including the United States, have continued to provide military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Combat between Ukrainian and Russian forces has spread to major Ukrainian cities since the war began, including Kiev, Odessa and Kherson, with no end in sight to the war.

Most recently, Bakhmut in Ukraine’s Donetsk region was the scene of months of intense fighting between Russian and paramilitary forces against Ukrainian troops.

During his interview with the German news agency, Keupp agreed that the battle at Bakhmut illustrated the meaning of the “war of attrition” in reality.

“The current situation in Bachmut particularly symbolizes this fact. A look at the numbers makes this clear: in order to take the city, the Russian leadership sends out battalions in mindless frontal attacks, the units are quickly shot to pieces. If they lose a battalion every day, they have to get replacements. But from where? So other parts of the front are being thinned out,” he said.

The military expert continues: “Just to classify the geographical area we are talking about: the front section in Bakhmut is 20 kilometers long, but the entire front from Kherson to Kharkiv is over 1000 kilometers long. The dogged attack by the Russian units no longer has anything to do with military rationality.”

As Ukrainian forces continue to fight, Kiev recently reiterated its pledge to retake Crimea, illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014. Ukrainian media recently reported that Russian forces on the annexed peninsula of Crimea “called for a possible forced evacuation.”

In another tweet on Friday wrote Hodges“Crimea under Ukraine’s control is a key to real peace and prosperity.”

news week emailed the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

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