Ukraine lost 20 pct of military equipment, weapons in counter-offensive: Report

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Ukraine has lost about 20 percent of its military equipment and weapons since it started its counter-offensive against Russia, the New York Times reported citing US officials.

“In the first two weeks of Ukraine’s grueling counteroffensive, as much as 20 percent of the weaponry it sent to the battlefield was damaged or destroyed,” NYT reported citing American and European officials.

This included some of the heavy weapons and equipment sent by Western allies such as tanks and armored personnel carriers.

Officials the steep rate of losses dropped to about 10 percent in the ensuing weeks, with Ukrainian forces preserving more of the troops and machines needed for the major offensive push that the Ukrainians say is yet to come.

Part of the improvement in Ukraine's military efforts can be attributed to a change in tactics, with a greater emphasis on using artillery and long-range missiles to wear down Russian forces rather than engaging in direct charges through enemy minefields and fire.

However, amidst this positive development, there are concerning realities to consider. The counteroffensive itself has faced challenges, with Ukrainian soldiers encountering formidable defenses that have slowed and, in some areas, even halted their progress. Despite their losses, the Ukrainians have only managed to advance five out of the 60 miles they aim to cover in order to reach the southern sea and divide the Russian forces in two.

On the other hand, due to Russia's significant preparation time, the frontlines are now strewn with mines, tank obstacles, and entrenched troops, while Russian reconnaissance drones and attack helicopters have been increasingly active in the area. Considering the formidable fortifications in place, it is understandable that Ukraine would experience relatively substantial losses during the initial phase of the campaign, as noted by experts.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged that the counter-offensive had slowed down in recent week, but blamed it on lack of equipment and munitions and demanded Western allies hasten the deliveries of promised military packages. He said in his nightly address: “Now, when the speed of ending the war directly depends on global support for Ukraine, we are doing everything possible to ensure that such support is as intensive and meaningful as possible.”

US Army Lt. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II, Director for Operations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week: “I think that's what we're seeing from the Ukrainians, is that they are really making a go of it in great order, really, across the battlefield. It may not be at the speed that we would prefer… So, this is hard warfare, it's in really tough terrain, it's under fire, and really, when you consider all of that, it's pretty remarkable.”

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