Russian troops are struggling with supply lines and ebbing morale, according to the latest assessment of the Ukrainian war from British intelligence.
In a Twitter post shared Thursday morning, the ministry of defense explained how the Russians have shifted their lines of attack.
It wrote: “Progressing offensive operations in eastern Ukraine is the main focus of Russian military forces.
“Russian artillery and air strikes continue along the Donbas line of control.”
The Donbas region is in eastern Ukraine, and encapsulates Donetsk and Luhansk — areas partially occupied by pro-Russian rebels since the annexation of Crimea back in 2014.
This renewed focus on the east comes after troops withdrew from the Kyiv region — leading to the discovery of the Bucha massacre.
The U.K. officials also pointed out that Russian forces are trying to impact Ukrainian supplies.
“Russian strikes against infrastructure targets within the Ukrainian interior are likely intended to degrade the ability of the Ukrainian military to resupply and increase pressure on the Ukrainian government.”
However, the intelligence suggests that actually it is the Russians who are facing supply shortages – along with a lack of morale among its dwindling workforce.
The ministry of defense tweeted: “Despite refocusing forces and logistics capabilities to support operations in the Donbas, Russian forces are likely to continue facing morale issues and shortages of supplies and personnel.”
Russian losses are certainly high. At the end of last month, NATO estimated that up to 40,000 soldiers had been killed, wounded, captured or missing in action. This number is expected to have increased in April as Ukrainians managed to push the Russians out of various cities, including Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby went even further than the ministry of defense, and expressed his belief that the Ukrainian troops can win the war this week.
He told reporters on Wednesday: “Mr Putin has achieved exactly zero of his objectives inside Ukraine.
“He didn’t take Kyiv. He didn’t topple the government. He didn’t remove Ukraine as a nation state.
“And, he’s really only taken control of a small number of population centers and even those weren’t the ones he was really going after.”
He pointed out even Mariupol has not been taken – “the proof is literally in the outcomes you are seeing every day.”
Yet, a previous update from the Ministry of Defense, posted on Wednesday, explained that Ukrainians are still suffering, significantly, despite their various successes.
For instance, Mariupol, the coastal city in the east of Ukraine, is now under siege as the Russians attempt to cut off their links to the outside world.
“The humanitarian situation in the city [of Mariupol] is worsening,” officials explained.
“Most of the 160,000 remaining residents have no light, communication, medicine, heat or water.
“Russian forces have prevented humanitarian access, likely to pressure defenders to surrender.”
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