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Ukraine humiliates Putin as 'very limited success' exposed in damning report of losses

With the focus of Russia’s so-called “special operation” shifting to the east of the country, little gain has been made as Ukrainian defences hold strong. In spite of Russian claims of capturing the city of Severodonetsk, resistant defence forces have prevented Moscow from claiming an outright victory over the key town.

The latest progress report delivers a damming analysis of Russia’s stagnation in eastern Ukraine.

It states: “Russian ground and tactical air operations have remained focused on the central Donbas sector over the weekend.”

Yet, the key criticism comes against the Russian Air Force.

It continues: “In the conflict to date, Russia’s air force has underperformed.

“Its failure to consistently deliver air power is likely one of the most important factors behind Russia’s very limited campaign success.

“It cannot gain full air superiority and has operated in a risk-averse style, rarely penetrating deep behind Ukrainian lines.”

The news is consistent with the reported numbers of Russian losses since the start of the war.

According to the Kyiv Independent, Russia has lost significant numbers of aerial equipment.

Included in the alleged list, 216 planes have been shot down.

Furthermore, 181 helicopters have been destroyed, as well as nearly 600 UAVs.

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The British intelligence report has made attempts to understand why Russia is not able to rely on its all-powerful air force.

It read: “Some of the underlying causes of its difficulties echo those of Russian Ground Forces.

“For years, much of Russia’s air combat training has highly likely been heavily scripted and designed to impress senior officials, rather than to develop dynamic initiative amongst aircrews.”

The report also suggests the culture within the Russian Air Force is also a key factor in its failure to demonstrate its dominance in the skies above Ukraine.

It stated: “While Russia has an impressive roster of relatively modern and capable combat jets, the air force has also almost certainly failed to develop the institutional culture and skill-sets required for its personnel to meet Russia’s aspiration of delivering a more Western0style modern air campaign.”

Perhaps most damming of all, the report suggests Russian personnel are now on the verge of testing their physical limits to the edge.

The report concluded: “This has led to a greater than planned weight of effort falling to ground troops, who are becoming exhausted, and on advanced cruise missiles, stocks of which are likely running low.”

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Speaking of what many believed would happen during the conflict, former Air Force pilot Andy Netherwood told The Telegraph many thought that “Russia would enjoy the kind of air superiority over Ukraine that the Western air forces have got used to enjoying over the Gulf or over Afghanistan.

“One of the most remarkable things is the fact that here we are more than 100 days in and Russia still doesn’t have control of the air over Ukraine.”

With Ukraine now seeking European Union membership, President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated his concerns over Russia escalating the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Warned other EU members about the risk, Mr Zelensky said: “Obviously, we should expect greater hostile activity from Russia.

“And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries.”

For more stories like this, follow Defence and Security Correspondent James Lee on Twitter @JamesLee_DE

On Friday, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said he has “nothing against” Ukraine’s ambitions to join the alliance, unlike Ukraine joining NATO, which Moscow sees as a red line.

However, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned any move towards accession would require “increased attention” on Moscow’s part.

He said: “We all know about the intensification of discussions in Europe on the strengthening of the defence component of the EU.

“The military, defence and security components are being discussed, and all kinds of transformations are happening there, and we are, of course, observing it all thoroughly.”



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