Tags: russia | ukraine | armed forces | offensive | united kingdom | defense secretary

UK Defense Secretary: Russia Has 97 Percent of Armed Forces Deployed in Ukraine

By    |   Wednesday, 15 February 2023 03:48 PM EST

Russia has already deployed approximately 97% of its armed forces in Ukraine, according to U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

In a TV interview with BBC, Wallace also stated the Russian troops are having trouble breaking through the Ukrainian forces' frontlines in the eastern part of that country.

"We now estimate 97% of the whole Russian army is in Ukraine," Wallace told the BBC on Wednesday.

According to reports, Ukrainian officials have been bracing for a renewed Russian onslaught, coinciding with the upcoming anniversary date of the Russia-Ukraine war launch (Feb. 24, 2022).

"We haven't actually seen this massing of a single force to punch through in a big offensive," Wallace told BBC. "We've just seen an effort to advance, and that has come at a huge cost to the Russian army."

At the same time, Western officials are skeptical of Russia forging an all-out offensive next week, partly because it has already activated the vast majority of ground forces inside Ukraine territories.

Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine's military intelligence, said Russian forces have been moving quickly to gain ground, before Kyiv can amass sufficient combat power for its own onslaught.

However, according to The Wall Street Journal, Western officials are not expecting Ukraine to possess the resources for mounting a counteroffensive until the spring.

"The Russians understand that the continuation of the Ukrainian counteroffensive and operations to liberate our territories are inevitable," Yusov said. "That's why the enemy is in a hurry."

The Journal also reports the eastern city of Bakhmut has been the epicenter of recent military conflict, with the Ukrainian troops resisting the Russians' efforts to encircle the city.

In a recent address to his citizens, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the situations in Donetsk and Luhansk remain difficult to manage.

"We must understand the significance of these battles," Zelenskyy said. "That is where the unprecedented destruction of Russian potential is taking place now."

There are no current estimates of how many troops the Ukrainian armed forces have burned through over the 12 months.

This week, Kyiv's allies reportedly pledged more air-defense systems and subsequent high-tech training to Ukraine's war effort.

As part of that training, from a munitions perspective, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Western countries are working to reduce Kyiv's firing rate by improving Ukrainian tactics and coordination.

"Russia continues to pour large numbers of additional people into the fight," Austin told reporters at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. "And those people are ill-trained and ill-equipped and because of that, we see them incurring a lot of casualties."

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Russia has already deployed approximately 97% of its armed forces in Ukraine, according to U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
russia, ukraine, armed forces, offensive, united kingdom, defense secretary
Wednesday, 15 February 2023 03:48 PM
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