During the classified briefing on Wednesday, the Biden administration officials told US Congress members that Russian casualties and wounded in the Russia-Ukraine war have exceeded 75,000.
Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan said after the briefing that despite the fact that 75,000 is huge and that 80% of Moscow’s land forces are bogged down, that’s still the Russian military, which has got incredible amounts of investment in their land forces.
A senior US defense official said last week that Russian forces are suffering hundreds of casualties – including lieutenants and captains – every day and that roughly half of the Russian forces sent to Ukraine have been killed or wounded.
The Ukrainian military’s update Thursday morning claims, however, that since the war began, the Russian military has suffered around 40,230 casualties.
Slotkin, who recently traveled to Ukraine, believes the next three to six weeks would be critical for how the conflict unfolds, adding there’s bipartisan support for sending ATACMS long-range missiles – that can strike as far as 280 km away- to Ukraine.
However, it’s highly doubtful that the US would be providing such missiles to Kyiv, as per National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s statement last week, because they could escalate the war even further if used to strike into Russian territory.
Sullivan’s words got additional weight after the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, threatened during a live broadcast on Wednesday that Kyiv will not hesitate to attack Russian soil, adding that Kyiv is well aware of all the locations in Russia from which the attacks have been carried out.
Danilov reiterated Ukrainian President Zelensky’s statement about Ukraine retaliating against those locations as “proof” of Kyiv’s political will and determination.
Ukraine’s military intelligence spokesman, Vadim Skibitskiy, claimed earlier last week that they could target Crimea or the Crimean Bridge – which they consider a key supply route for Russian forces – by US-supplied М142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS multiple launch rocket systems.