According to a report released Wednesday by the British Defense Ministry, some Russian military units that suffered heavy losses in Ukraine have been forced to return to Belarus and Russia to resupply, putting additional strain on Russia’s already strained logistics.
According to the assessment, the issues demonstrate Russia’s difficulties reorganizing its units in Ukraine’s forward areas. According to the assessment, Russia will likely continue to compensate for its reduced ground-force capability “through mass artillery and missile strikes.”
Russia announced this week that it will reduce military activity in and around Kyiv, but Ukraine officials say the city is still being shelled by artillery. Last week, Russian military leaders said the first phase of their military operation was nearly complete, and that their forces would now focus on “liberating” the breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region.
“Russia’s stated focus on an offensive in Donetsk and Luhansk is likely a tacit admission that it is struggling to sustain more than one significant axis of advance,” according to the report.
According to the White House, President Joe Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday to discuss “our continued support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.” The call comes after Russian and Ukrainian negotiators failed to reach an agreement during peace talks in Turkey on Tuesday. Russia’s stated plans to reduce military presence near Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, have been met with skepticism by the Biden administration.
Biden told reporters Tuesday, “We’ll see.”
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, no significant progress was made in talks with Ukraine aimed at ending Russia’s invasion. Negotiators from the two countries met in Istanbul, Turkey, for about three hours on Tuesday. Russia then announced that its military operations around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv would be scaled back, but US and Ukrainian officials say missile attacks on the city continue unabated.
The Kremlin will not discuss issues that are “substantially on the negotiating table,” according to Peskov. He claimed that social media posts by Ukrainian officials, including those who aren’t involved in the talks, don’t help the talks succeed. “Nobody has claimed that the parties have made progress. Who claims that the parties have progressed?” “None of the officials involved in the talks described them as positive,” Peskov said.
A Ukrainian proposal to negotiate the status of the Crimean Peninsula over the next 15 years was also dismissed by Peskov. Peskove stated, “Crimea is a part of the Russian Federation.”
Estonia wants Europe to contribute to the development of Ukraine with the money it is set to pay Russia for its energy. Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said Wednesday that the funds should be deposited in a bank in Ukraine “to make an immediate impact and make Russia pay for what it has done.”
However, there is concern that Russia will refuse to accept any delayed payment and sell to other countries. Leaders of the European Union have been unable to impose sanctions on Russian energy exports because they fear that doing so would harm member states that rely heavily on Moscow’s fossil fuel supplies.
“The price of military action for Russia must be very high,” Liimets said, referring to the EU’s commitment to cut its fossil fuel supplies from Russia by two-thirds by the end of the year.
Estonia, which has a population of 1.5 million people and borders Russia, was a part of the Soviet Union until 1991, when it declared independence. In 2004, Estonia became a NATO member.
As the conflict in Ukraine entered its second month, Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the UN Security Council that Russia’s demilitarization is “well underway.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that his invasion was only intended to “demilitarize and de-Nazify” Ukraine. According to Kyslytsya, Russian forces lost over 17,000 soldiers, 1,700 armored vehicles, and nearly 600 tanks during the invasion.
Russia announced on Tuesday that military operations near Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, would be scaled back. Ukrainian military officials, on the other hand, have expressed their mistrust of Russia’s announced withdrawal, while American officials have remained skeptical.