Russia is likely committing the entire ground force – comprising 462,000 soldiers and officers – to Ukraine as it lacks the capacity to fight a ground war elsewhere, an official from the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry (HUR) has said.
Vadym Skibitskyi, Deputy Chief of the HUR, told Ukrainska Pravda the estimation is based on the fact that Russia now lacks the capability to conduct land offensive operations in other nations.
“Our forecast, our assessment is very simple – today the Russian Federation does not have the capabilities to conduct strategic land offensive operations against other countries,” he said
“Because the entire resource of the land component is now targeted and located on our territory.”
However, he does not rule out the possibility of Russian missiles and airstrikes in other countries, though the chance is slim.
“Regarding the possibility of individual strikes by long-range aviation, strategic aviation is another matter. But right now, there is a challenge, but there is no direct threat that a war will start tomorrow in the Baltic countries,” he said.
“There is no one to fight, simply put.”
Skibitskyi placed the estimation of Russian Ground Force troops in Ukraine at 462,000 with an additional 35,000 Russian Guardsmen in occupied territories. He said the Russian Ground Forces are staffed at 92-95 percent on average.
“There were moments when the staffing of those units dropped to 89-90 percent, but due to continued mobilization, they manage to maintain this grouping at exactly this level, 92-95 percent,” he said.
He added that the current staffing allowed Russia to rotate its troops and avoid another wave of general mobilization, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has been reluctant to do since it might displease the Russian population ahead of the March presidential election.
Andriy Yusov, a representative from Ukraine’s Military Intelligence, said in October that Russia has concentrated over 400,000 of its soldiers on the territory of Ukraine.
At the time of writing, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense placed the Russian troop casualties at 367,620.
Prior to the full-scale invasion in February 2022, US intelligence believed Russia committed up to 190,000 troops in and near Ukraine.
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