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The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has attracted significant attention and concern from the international community, with many countries closely monitoring the situation and providing aid to the Ukrainian government. The latest update on the conflict comes from the UK’s Defense Minister, Ben Wallace, who recently claimed that almost all of Russia’s army is now deployed in Ukraine, making it hard for Russia to have enough trained troops to reverse its losses in the war.
In an interview with the BBC, Wallace stated that Russia had been unable to amass a single force to “punch through” Ukrainian defenses, resulting in a significant cost to the Russian army. He went on to estimate that 97% of the Russian army is currently committed to the conflict in Ukraine, with a high attrition rate and a potential 40% reduction in combat effectiveness, as well as significant losses in tanks and equipment.
The UK Defense Minister also reiterated the importance of the UK’s military support for Ukraine, noting that “helping Ukraine defeat Russia in Ukraine actually adds to our own security at home.” He argued that if 97% of the Russian army is now committed to the conflict in Ukraine, it could have a direct impact on the security of Europe, making it essential for the international community to provide support to Ukraine.
While the exact number of troops Russia has in Ukraine is unclear, the high attrition rate and the potential loss of combat effectiveness among the Russian troops have significant implications for the conflict. Russia may still add more troops to the conflict, but many of these soldiers may not have military experience, and Russia would need to invest time and resources to train them before they could enter Ukraine with any real skills.
The situation has also highlighted the risks and challenges of the ongoing conflict, with significant consequences for the region’s stability. Russian defectors and Western intelligence have repeatedly highlighted that many Russian troops received almost no training before being sent to Ukraine. Some troops called up in the September mobilization reportedly received so little training that some were sent home in body bags within just one month of being called up to fight in Ukraine.
Furthermore, experts caution that a high troop death rate does not appear to bother Russia’s leaders, and indeed fits into its strategy when fighting Ukraine, a country that has Western help with troop training. The conflict has reached almost First World War levels of attrition, with success rates of a matter of meters rather than kilometers. As a result, it is increasingly important for the international community to support Ukraine and work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict to ensure the stability and security of the region.