In three months of war in Ukraine, Russia is likely to have suffered casualty numbers similar to those experienced by the Soviet Union during a nine-year conflict in Afghanistan, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has claimed.
The MoD has listed a number of failures that have led to Russia experiencing heavy casualties in Ukraine, the numbers of which have continued to rise in its offensive in the east of the country.
In a daily briefing on Twitter on Monday, the MoD said: “In the first three months of its ‘special military operation’, Russia has likely suffered a similar death toll to that experienced by the Soviet Union during its nine year war in Afghanistan.
“A combination of poor low-level tactics, limited air cover, a lack of flexibility, and a command approach which is prepared to reinforce failure and repeat mistakes has led to this high casualty rate, which continues to rise in the Donbas offensive.”
About 15,000 soldiers from the Soviet Union were killed in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989, and thousands more were injured.
According to Ukraine’s armed forces, about 29,200 Russian troops have been killed since the invasion began on 24 February.
In an intelligence update posted on its Facebook page on Monday, the general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine said Russia had lost 150 more personnel over the past day.
Russia has not publicly announced how many losses it has suffered in Ukraine for several weeks, with its last update in March confirming about 1,300 deaths.
The MoD added: “The Russian public has, in the past, proven sensitive to casualties suffered during wars of choice.
“As casualties suffered in Ukraine continue to rise they will become more apparent, and public dissatisfaction with the war and a willingness to voice it may grow.”
In mid May, the MoD estimated that Russia had likely lost a third of its ground combat forces since February following a string of military failures.