Russia could 'run out of infantry manpower' says expert

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Major General Chip Chapman, former senior British military adviser to US central command, told Sky News Russian forces will be “in trouble” in the coming weeks if they do not solve their shortage of soldiers. He said Putin was “having to draw on partnered or proxy forces” to maintain the offensive in Ukraine but that the shortage was proving a debilitating “weakness” that could compromise the success of their invasion.  

Major Chapman said: “Kramatorsk would be in trouble in two or three weeks’ time if the Russians do not culminate. 

“Because one of the problems that the Russians have is a lack of personnel. 

“They’re having to draw on partnered or proxy forces such as the Chechens, the Wagner group and the naval infantry. 

“That is their weakness, that sooner or later they are going to run out of infantry manpower.”

Ukraine’s general staff gave an update today on the extent of Russian losses during the war since its invasion on February 24. 

They reported that Russia had lost 1,430 tanks, 3,484 armoured fighting vehicles, 2,455 vehicles and fuel tanks, 178 helicopters, 212 aeroplanes, 582 drones, and 13 boats.

Regarding weapons systems, they claimed Russia had lost 715 artillery systems, 226 multiple launch rocket systems and 97 anti-aircraft systems. 

Additionally, they said Russia had lost roughly 32,150 soldiers, an estimate far higher than what Moscow has suggested. 

And Western experts have claimed Russians are allegedly disappearing from checkpoints in the south of Ukraine as their forces appear stretched thin. 

Ukrainian forces have proven more resilient than expected having managed to push Putin’s soldiers back towards the east and south of the country. 

But the US-based Institute for the Study of War said as Ukraine uses the last of its stocks of Soviet-era weapons and munitions, they will require consistent Western support.

It comes as Russia looks to target Western weapons supplies to Ukraine to minimise their impact on the battlefield. 

Moscow has repeatedly slammed the United States and other nations for supplying Ukraine with weapons. 

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President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month Russia would strike new targets if the West supplied longer-range missiles to Ukraine for use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.

Ukrainian leaders have renewed pleas to Western countries in recent days to speed up deliveries of heavy weapons as Russian forces pound the east of the country with artillery.

Russian forces fired cruise missiles to destroy a large depot containing US and European weapons in western Ukraine’s Ternopil region, Interfax reported on Sunday. 

The governor of the Ternopil region said a rocket attack on the city of Chortkiv fired from the Black Sea had partly destroyed a military facility, injuring 22 people. A local official said there were no weapons stored there.

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