Russia has suffered more than 100,000 casualties since December, according to new estimates announced by the Biden administration on July 1st.
Previously, Western intelligence reported Russian casualties more than 200,000 by November 2022.
As reported by CNN, the United States government defined the term “casualty” as both wounded and killed, and the numbers suggest that Russia’s winter offensive has “backfired.”
White House official John Kirby said in a statement to the press that Russia has “exhausted its military stockpiles and its armed forces.”
According to the BBC and other media outlets, the US estimates more than 20,000 Russian troops have been killed in action in recent months.
When he spoke to the press, Mr Kirby also noted that “nearly half” of those casualties were fighters with the Russian private company Wagner, whom CNN has reported have experienced horrific experiences on the battlefield following minimal training and little leadership.
Furthermore, John Kirby dismissed recent assertions from Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, who claimed his group had only suffered 94 casualties, calling his comments “just a ludicrous claim.”
However, as the New York Times pointed out in an article on the subject, John Kirby’s “claims could not be easily and independently verified.”
In his statement to the press on the situation in Ukraine, Kirby declined to provide information on Ukrainian casualties, noting that the US has “never” provided such information and would defer to Ukraine on the matter.
As collected by CNN, Kirby added that the Ukrainians “are the victims here, Russia is the aggressor, and I’m simply not going to put information in the public domain that’s going to, again, make it any harder for the Ukrainians.”
In addition, the US official said “most” of Russia’s efforts have “stalled and failed” as the battle for the eastern city of Bakhmut continues, and Russia has made “incremental” gains in a town that has “very little strategic value.”
Kirby went on to say any decision about a spring counteroffensive from Ukraine would be “for President (Volodymyr) Zelensky to make,” but the US will continue to provide military aid and support.
How the United States arrived at the number of Russian losses since December is unclear, when asked during the press conference Kirby simply said the numbers were “based on some downgraded intelligence that we’ve been able to collect.”
Unsurprisingly, the Kremlin responded to John Kirby’s assessment of the situation in Ukraine. According to CNN, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, told the news outlet that “Washington has absolutely no way to give any correct numbers.”
Peskov went on to tell CNN that the Ministry of Defense would share the information in “due time” with the public in reference to the number of Russian casualties in the war.
CNN reported that on July 2nd, Sergei Shoigu made an attempt to clap back at the American claim that Russia is doing poorly in the war, saying, “Despite the unprecedented military assistance from Western countries, the enemy is suffering significant losses. Over the past month alone, they have lost more than 15,000 people.”
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