Russia has probably lost a 3rd of the invading force it started with in February, UK defense ministry says

Russia has probably lost a 3rd of the invading force it started with in February, UK defense ministry says
Russia's offensive in the Donbas has "fallen significantly behind schedule," the UK said.Bai Xueqi/Xinhua via Getty Images
  • The UK on Sunday said Russia had probably lost a third of the invasion force it deployed in Ukraine.
  • It also said Moscow had lost critical equipment including recon drones for its push into the Donbas.

The UK's defense ministry estimates that Russia has most likely lost a third of the ground troops it deployed in February for the invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow's renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine — the invasion's focus for the past month — has also "lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule," the UK defense ministry tweeted Sunday.

"Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining a high level of attrition," it said in its assessment. "Russia has now likely suffered losses of one-third of the ground combat force it committed in February."

As such, the UK said it considered Russia unlikely to dramatically accelerate its advance over the next 30 days. Losses could include not just troops who've been killed but also ones injured or captured.

The ministry said losing "critical enablers" such as "bridging equipment, surveillance, and reconnaissance drones" would further delay the Russian advance, adding that Moscow's drones had been vulnerable to Ukrainian weapons.


The ministry's assessment said poor morale and reduced combat effectiveness had also "increasingly" affected Moscow's forces.

On the same day, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the war was "not going as Moscow had planned," according to the Associated Press.

"Ukraine can win this war," Stoltenberg said, per the AP.

Though Russia has withdrawn from areas around Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, and appears to have pulled back from the city of Kharkiv in the northeast, it has seized territories in Ukraine's southeast and the eastern Donbas region, which is partially held by pro-Russian separatists.