Russian troops are struggling with dwindling supply lines and morale, according to the latest assessment of the Ukrainian war by British intelligence.
In a Twitter post shared on Thursday morning, the Ministry of Defense explained how the Russians moved their lines of attack.
He writes: “The advancement of offensive operations in eastern Ukraine is the main objective of the Russian military forces.
“Russian artillery and airstrikes continue along the Donbass Line of Control.”
The Donbass region is in eastern Ukraine and encompasses Donetsk and Luhansk, areas partially occupied by pro-Russian rebels since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
This renewed interest in the east comes after the withdrawal of troops from the kyiv region, which led to the discovery of the Bucha massacre.
British officials also pointed out that Russian forces were trying to impact Ukrainian supplies.
“Russian strikes against infrastructure targets inside Ukraine are likely aimed at degrading the Ukrainian military’s ability to resupply and increasing pressure on the Ukrainian government.”
However, intelligence suggests it is actually the Russians who are facing supply shortages – as well as a lack of morale among their dwindling workforce.
The Ministry of Defense tweeted: “Despite the refocusing of forces and logistical capabilities to support operations in Donbass, Russian forces are likely to continue to face morale issues and supply and personnel shortages.”
The Russian losses are certainly high. At the end of last month, NATO estimated that up to 40,000 soldiers had been killed, wounded, captured or missing in action. This number is expected to have increased in April, as the Ukrainians succeeded in driving the Russians out of various cities, including kyiv and Kharkiv.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby went even further than the Department of Defense and expressed his belief that Ukrainian troops can win the war this week.
He told reporters on Wednesday: “Mr. Putin has achieved exactly none of his goals inside Ukraine.
“He didn’t take kyiv. He did not overthrow the government. He did not abolish Ukraine as a nation-state.
“And, he only really took control of a small number of population centers and even those weren’t the ones he was really looking for.”
He pointed out that even Mariupol had not been taken – “the proof is literally in the results you see every day”.
Yet a previous Defense Ministry update, released on Wednesday, explained that the Ukrainians are still suffering, significantly, despite their various successes.
For example, Mariupol, the coastal city in eastern Ukraine, is now under siege as the Russians try to cut their ties with the outside world.
“The humanitarian situation in the city [of Mariupol] is getting worse,” officials said.
“Most of the remaining 160,000 inhabitants have no light, no communication, no medicine, no heating, no water.
“Russian forces have prevented humanitarian access, which could put pressure on defenders to surrender.”