Russian General Staff Assessment of the Military Operation in Ukraine
March 26, 2022 (EIRNS)—Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, first deputy head of the general staff of the Russian armed forces and chief of its main operational directorate, delivered an assessment of the special military operation in Ukraine to include, for only the second time since the operation began, updated casualty figures. Ukraine’s air and air defense forces have been almost completely destroyed, and the country’s navy has effectively ceased to exist, he said, reported Sputnik. “At present, the Ukrainian Air Force and the system of air defenses have been almost completely destroyed. The country’s naval forces have ceased to exist.” Rudskoy warned that Russia would “not leave unattended” any attempts to supply Kiev with new aircraft and air defense systems, and warned NATO against the implementation of a no-fly zone.
Rudskoy revealed that Russia has suffered 1,351 military personnel killed and 3,825 injured since the operation in Ukraine began on Feb. 24. Ukraine’s armed forces have suffered losses amounting to 30,000 people, including 14,000 killed and 16,000 injured during the same period, he said. These losses have affected all 24 groupings of the ground units which existed before the operation began, Rudskoy said. Ukrainian forces deployed in the Donbas have suffered 7,000 casualties, about a quarter of their strength. The Russian military has prevented the replenishment of these forces, taking control of railway junctions and key roads. The supply of missiles and ammunition, fuel and food to these units has been almost completely stopped, he said, with remaining stockpiles of weapons and fuel in the relevant areas being destroyed in strikes.
The Ukrainian military no longer has organized reserve forces available, and losses are being compensated by territorial defense troops who do not have the necessary training, which increases the risk of higher casualties, Rudskoy said.
Rudskoy also reported that Russian forces captured 113 tanks and other armored vehicles, as well as 138 trophy Javelin and 67 NLAW anti-tank missile systems have been transferred to the Donetsk and Luhansk militias by Russian forces.
Rudskoy also indicated that the much-vaunted “Foreign Legion” that Zelenskyy claimed was coming to save Ukraine is not actually working out all that well. Russian military intelligence estimates that a total of 6,595 foreign mercenaries and terrorists from 62 countries have been concentrated in Ukraine to date. “Today, the number of foreign mercenaries is decreasing. This was facilitated by high-precision strikes against bases and camps where they were being trained. Just at Starychi and the Yaroviv base on March 13, over 200 were killed and over 400 were injured,” he said. He warned that the rules of warfare do not apply to mercenaries, and that they would be destroyed without mercy.
Rudskoy also reported that over 23,000 foreign nationals from 37 governments have volunteered to fight alongside D.P.R. and L.P.R. units, but that the republics have rejected their help. “We proposed to the L.P.R. and D.P.R. leadership that they accept this assistance, but they said they would defend their lands themselves. They have enough forces and means to do so,” he said.
Commenting on the situation in Mariupol, the major southeastern Ukrainian coastal city which has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks, Rudskoy said that over 7,000 Ukrainian militants, among them Azov, Aidar and Right Sector neo-Nazi units, are concentrated in the area, taking cover behind civilians and using them as human shields. “Fighters from the Azov Regiment are driving women and children out of basements, threatening them with weapons, and directing them toward advancing D.P.R. units in order to impede their advance. This has become common practice for them,” he said.