Russian troops fighting in Ukraine are disillusioned with the old vehicles they are forced to use because of huge equipment losses, according to British defense officials.
The U.K. Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that in the middle of October, Russian forces were losing more than 40 armored vehicles a day, which is roughly the equivalent of a battalion’s worth of equipment.
Meanwhile, over recent weeks Russia has been forced to turn to Belarusian stocks to acquire at least 100 additional tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.
British defense officials said that the Russian troops “are likely frustrated that they are forced to serve in old infantry combat vehicles which they describe as aluminum cans.”
With armored units and artillery key to how Russia fights the war, it said that its forces are “struggling partially due to difficulties in sourcing both artillery ammunition and sufficient serviceable replacement armored vehicles.”
Newsweek has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry about the daily British update which emphasizes Russian losses and Ukrainian gains.
As of Thursday, the Oryx website, an open-source outlet that tracks military-equipment usage and losses, said that since the start of the invasion Russia had lost 5,420 tanks and 7684 armored fighting vehicles, including destroyed, damaged and captured vehicles.
Since the partial mobilization was announced, many Russian conscripts have complained of being given inadequate or no equipment. Some are paying for their own thermal underwear and even body armor.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged last month that Russia does not have enough equipment for its mobilized soldiers following a draft in which it said 300,000 reservists had been called up. He said that a council created by President Vladimir Putin was working on trying “to rectify the situation.”
On Tuesday, the Russian-installed head of the partly-occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, told Russian state TV program Solovyov Live that there were problems with training and equipment.
Russia’s problems with kitting out its forces come as fresh attacks by Putin’s troops were reported across Ukraine.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s biggest, has been disconnected from the power grid after Russian shelling damaged the remaining high voltage lines and left it just with diesel generators, according to Ukraine nuclear firm Energoatom.
Russian strikes were also reported in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih and in Sumy and Kharkiv in the northeast with heavy fighting ongoing in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Southern Command said on Thursday that its forces had carried out 150 fire missions and an airstrike in the south, destroying four Russian ammunition depots and fuel tanks.
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