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War in Ukraine. White House: Russia’s offensive in Ukraine has failed, Russia has lost over 100,000 troops since December

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The White House estimated that the resources of the Russian army in Ukraine have decreased by more than 100,000 soldiers since December alone. It is reported that this number includes 20,000 dead soldiers. About half of these losses are Wagner Group mercenaries.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby presented declassified US intelligence information during a Monday briefing. According to him, the Russian offensive in Donbass to Avdiivka and Wuhledar, among others, it has lost momentum, and the only place where the Russians are making gradual progress is Bakhmut, which has no strategic value.

“This attempt was terribly, terribly expensive. Russia has exhausted its military resources and we estimate it has suffered more than 100,000 casualties since December alone, including more than 20,000 killed in combat,” Kirby said.

About half of these losses were mercenaries from the Wagner Group, most of them ex-convicts. In March, representatives of the administration USA they estimated total Russian losses since the beginning of the invasion at over 200,000.

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As Kirby pointed out, these figures give the lie to the claims of the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who said that he lost only 94 soldiers. The representative of the White House noted that Russian losses in Donbass are higher than those suffered by the US troops during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II (19,000 dead, 80,000 wounded) and three times higher than during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific.

Russian soldiers in CrimeaPhoto from February 2022Sergei Malgavko/TASS/Forum

Asked about the prospects for an expected Ukrainian counter-offensive, Kirby said he did not intend to speak for the Ukrainian armed forces on this matter, but added that the U.S. had given the Ukrainians “almost everything they asked for” in recent weeks and that the equipment would “allow them to have what they what they need to break through Russian defences.”

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He also announced that soon the administration Joe Biden will announce another armament pack for Ukraine.

The Wagner Group is a company associated with a pro-Kremlin businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. Since mid-December 2021, it has been subject to European Union sanctions for torture, executions and killings, including in Libya, Syria and Donbass. During the invasion of Ukraine, the Wagnerians have so far been one of the most important components of the Russian army, operating in particularly difficult sections of the front, including near Bakhmut in the Donetsk Oblast.

>> ISW: The Kremlin is trying to stop the head of the Wagner Group

During the war, the mercenaries from the Wagner Group became known for their cruelty not only towards Ukrainians, but also towards Russian soldiers, recruited, among others, in prisons.

Advertising of the Wagner Group on a billboard in Podolsk, Moscow regionPAP/EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Main photo source: Sergei Malgavko/TASS/Forum



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