Up to 80,000 Russian Forces Killed or Wounded in Ukraine: Pentagon says

Russia has endured as many as 80,000 casualties since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February, according to the latest assessment from the Pentagon of the steep costs Moscow has paid.

A senior Pentagon official Colin Kahl told reporters that the number of Russian soldiers killed or wounded in the fighting is somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000.”

Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl also said Russian forces have also lost “three or four thousand” armoured vehicles, and could be running low on available precision-guided missiles, including air and sea-launched cruise missiles, after firing a large number on Ukraine targets since launching the invasion on February 24.

Those losses are “pretty remarkable considering the Russians have achieved none of Vladimir Putin’s objectives at the beginning of the war,” he told reporters, referring to the Russian president.

He said the slowdown in Russian forces’ use of longer range and precision guided missiles was an indicator that their supplies had fallen close to what Moscow needed to hold in reserve for “other contingencies.”

Kahl admitted that the Ukraine side also had significant losses of manpower on the battlefield, but gave no figures.

“Both sides are taking casualties. The war is the most intense conventional conflict in Europe since the Second World War,” he said.

“But the Ukrainians have a lot of advantages, not the least of which is their will to fight.”

In addition, the U.S. said Monday it would send another 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, C-4 explosives for demolition, 1,000 Javelin portable antitank missiles, and 20,000 rounds of mortar ammunition.

In all, the U.S. has provided Ukraine $9.8 billion in military aid under the Biden administration.

The package announced Monday was funded under the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows the president to pull weapons and equipment from existing U.S. military stockpiles. The U.S. last supplied Ukraine with roughly $1 billion worth of weapons in June, but $650 million of that funded manufacturing of the weapons and equipment. That usually takes longer than giving Ukraine weapons and equipment from existing U.S. supplies.

Ukrainian officials estimate the country faces a $5 billion-a-month fiscal shortfall – or 2.5 percent of pre-war gross domestic product – due to the cost of the war and declining tax revenues. Economists say that will swell Ukraine’s annual deficit to 25 percent of GDP, compared with 3.5 percent before the conflict.

The World Bank estimates that 55 percent of Ukrainians will be living in poverty by the end of 2023 as a result of the war and the large numbers of displaced persons, compared with 2.5 percent before the start of the war.

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