Russian military expert says Ukrainian Marines are 'very strong'
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While Moscow’s men are now ramping up their assault on the east of Ukraine, an expert has explained how the numerical advantage on the ground has shifted in the favour of Kyiv. Dr Neil Melvin, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, told Express.co.uk: “Now they have regrouped, it is clear the Russian forces are fighting better now. “They are fighting in a way we thought they would, linking up all of the components such as infantry, the armoured units, the air force and the artillery.
“But what has happened is [that] Russia is now attacking with a force that’s smaller than the Ukrainian force.
“They had nearly 200,000 soldiers at the beginning of the war, but now Ukraine has mobilised 900,000 or so.
“So suddenly the numbers game is shifting in Ukraine’s favour. Russia had a big advantage at the beginning, but gradually that advantage is shifting away from them.
“Although they are fighting better, the Russians just don’t have the troops to prosecute an expansive war unless they mobilise the whole country.”
The Ministry of Defence said earlier this month that Russia is likely to have lost a third of its invasion force.
The intelligence claimed said that the Russian offensive in the east of Ukraine had “lost momentum” and was now “significantly behind schedule”.
And the NATO deputy secretary general, Mircea Geoană, said: “The brutal invasion of Russia is losing momentum.
“With significant support from allies and partners in billions of dollars, in military support, in financial support, humanitarian support, we know that with the bravery of the Ukrainian people and army and with our help, Ukraine can win this war.”
One sign that Putin is concerned about the losses his army has taken is a recent change in Russian law.
Lawmakers in Moscow have scrapped an upper age limit for people signing up to join the army – a sign they are looking for more recruits.
The parliament’s speaker, Viacheslav Volodin, said: “We need to strengthen the Armed Forces, help the Defence Ministry.”
The Kremlin also faces challenges from the perspective of military vehicles, according to experts.
Janes, the global defence and security intelligence agency, says Russia has 3,600 main battle tanks (MBTs) in active service with about 500 lost so far.
Some reports even claim that Russia had 2,800 tanks in action when the invasion was commenced – the lowest estimates now say they have lost at least 695.
Dr Melvin explained to Express.co.uk why Russia has endured such a military disaster.
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He said: “I think initially they made a bit of a mess of the war, the Russian military wasn’t actually involved in the planning of the invasion.
“The decision and planning process was taken by the Russian intelligence community, with Putin at the head.
“So when the Russian army was sent in, they hadn’t really made military preparations for plans and logistics, so the battle of Kyiv went so badly wrong for Russia because they were not ready for it.”
At the start of the conflict, many feared Russia could take control of Kyiv in a matter of days.
Now, three months later, Russian troops have given up on that goal, instead focusing efforts in the east.
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