A new report says Russia lost 50% of its tanks during the war.
Six Russian balloons were spotted over Kiev, but most were shot down after engaging air defense forces, the military government in the Ukrainian capital Kiev said.
The balloon, which may have been equipped with corner reflectors and reconnaissance equipment, did not say when it flew over the capital, although an air alert was issued in Kiev on Wednesday.
“According to the information now uncovered, these were balloons that were propelled by the wind and moved through the air,” the military government wrote on its Telegram messaging app.
“The purpose of the balloon may have been to detect and deplete our air defense systems.”
Shortly before the announcement, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuri Inat said that Russia, which invaded Ukraine last February, is using balloons in a new drive to maintain its stockpile of reconnaissance drones. said it was possible.
“reconnaissance drone Like the Orlan-10, it is now used more sparingly. [by Russia], and they thought. That’s why they use them, ”Ihnat told Ukrainian television.
He later confirmed that air raid sirens sounded in the capital on Wednesday as balloons flew overhead.
Russia did not immediately comment on reports of balloons over Kiev.
“It took a lot of wear and tear”
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) reports that Russia has lost about half of its tanks since invading Ukraine a year ago, in addition to lack of drones.
But the research center also noted on Wednesday that Moscow has kept its air power largely intact. May deploy more aggressively In the next stage of war.
In its annual Military Balance Report, an important reference tool for defense professionals, the IISS found that Russia’s most modern class of tanks had a loss rate of as much as 50%, forcing them to rely on Soviet-era models. said.
The Institute’s land warfare expert, Ben Barry, said the loss of equipment was “extremely serious” for the Russian military.
He said that Norwegian and Estonian intelligence agencies had recently found that the imminent threat to their countries was “significantly reduced” due to the way the Ukrainian war “absorbed the Russian forces and caused them considerable damage.” He pointed out that he had issued a report that said,
“But we must not forget that much of the Russian Air Force, and much of the Russian Navy outside the Black Sea, still exists. I think they are right when they say it,” Barry told Al Jazeera.
IISS Research Fellow Henry Boyd estimates Russian tank losses to be between 2,000 and 2,300, and Ukrainian losses up to 700.
Ukraine has secured commitments for around 100 modern Western tanks, including the US Abrams, Germany’s Leopard and UK Challenger, far more capable than older Russian models.
“It can lead to aggression and low self-confidence. [Russian] Crews are more concerned about the level of threat presented to them, and thus the actions of tanks.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Air Force is suffering from an attrition rate of 28%, the report said.
IISS aerospace expert Douglas Barry said Ukraine’s effective air defenses and short supply of tactical short-range air-to-surface missiles meant Russia could keep its air force largely intact and operate remotely. said there is.
“Another Bloody Year”
But Barry said Russia may try to use air power more aggressively and take more risks to attack Ukrainian forces concentrated on the ground. .
“One of the challenges from the Ukrainian point of view is whether they have to repel Russia’s key ground forces or must they mobilize their own forces…you have to set yourself up against an air raid. and leave them vulnerable,” he said. “At that point, Russia may decide to take more losses just to inflict even greater losses on the other side.”
With Russia stepping up its offensive ahead of the one-year anniversary of the invasion, Barry said he was skeptical that Russian forces would be able to make any significant progress.
“My assessment is that it will be difficult to concentrate enough credible and capable forces to push back the Ukrainians significantly,” he said.[But] It is not clear to me whether Kiev will have enough combat power to quickly drive the Russian forces out…we can expect another bloody year. ”