How Putin destroyed Russia’s army in Ukraine

For Putin’s Russia, the war in Ukraine is already a strategic defeat, according to military experts. That’s because Moscow has rolled back two decades of military modernisation.

Six months into the war in Ukraine, Russia’s armed forces are a shadow of what they were earlier this year. Russia may never recover militarily after this war, analysts say.

The Russian Federation lost tens of thousands of troops, thousands of tanks and military vehicles in the conflict. Most of this equipment, however, was old.

The Russians also lost modern weaponry, in which they had invested hundreds of billions of dollars. Examples of destroyed equipment are: an Il-76 Illyushin heavy transport aircraft, dozens of Su-35 and Su-34 aircraft, dozens of Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters and many Pantsir or Tor anti-aircraft systems. Add to this a marine destroyer and even a cruiser.

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Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter (Photo: Wikimedia)

For example, a Su-34 aircraft costs at least $40 million and a Pantsir-S2 system about $13 million. The Moskva cruiser was estimated at $750 million.

Also read: Su-34 plane reportedly shot down by Ukrainian pensioner with fighter gun

Replacing these assets will be almost impossible with Russia’s sanctions- imposed lack of access to modern technology, especially state-of-the-art semiconductors produced in the West or in allied states such as Taiwan. What’s more, the Russian Federation is facing a brain drain and foreign technology companies have pulled out of the market or suspended their activities.

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Pantsir-S2 anti-aircraft system (Photo: Wikimedia)

“The invasion of Ukraine was a strategic defeat for Russia. So far, the Kremlin has failed to achieve its goals at the strategic level and has suffered significant losses. The Russian military will have to be rebuilt,” George Barros, a military analyst at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), told Insider.

Over the past two decades Russia has invested heavily in building a modern military. “This force has been largely destroyed in the last six months of war in Ukraine,” the expert added.

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