As Russia continues its invasion in Ukraine, the heavy toll taken by Russia’s economy could be felt for years to come.
Russia’s invasion is now in its third month, and sustaining the military offensive requires approximately $900 million a day, Sean Spoonts, editor-in-chief of SOFREP, a media outlet focused on military news, told Newsweek.
Several factors play into that heavy price, according to SOFREP’s estimate. That includes paying the Russian soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine; providing them with munitions, bullets and rockets; and the cost to repair lost or damaged military equipment. Russia also must pay for the thousands of critical weapons and cruise missiles that have been fired during the war, which run about $1.5 million apiece, according to Spoonts.
Those figures don’t take into consideration how much Russia may have lost financially because of the severe economic sanctions imposed on it after launching the invasion in late February. Those sanctions may remain in place even if Russia withdraws its troops, according to the White House.
Many believed Russia would quickly rout Ukraine soon after the invasion, given its military superiority. However, Russia has not had much military success up to this point. Forces have failed to take control of the capital city of Kyiv and struggled in other major cities. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby has pointed out that every move by Russian forces has been met with strong resistance by the Ukrainians.
“All I can tell you is that the Russians have not made the kind of progress in the Donbas and the south that we believe they wanted to make. We do believe they’re behind schedule,” Kirby said.
Russia’s failures come at a great cost to Russia both financially and in terms of loss of life, although the Kremlin has been hesitant to release numbers about military casualties. A study released two weeks after Putin’s announcement found that direct losses from the war has cost Russia about $7 billion.
The economic sanctions imposed on the country as a result of their invasion has had devastating impacts on the country, likely to be felt by Russian citizens for decades to come, according to a March 14 report from CNBC.
The Russian economy could be set back by as much as 30 years as the Russian ruble has collapsed, according to CNBC’s report, with some believing that Russia’s standard of living could be lowered for the next five years.
The Institute for International Finance, a financial think-tank representing firms in over 70 countries, states that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will likely fall by 15 percent this year, according to Business Insider.
Ukraine also dealt a difficult blow to Russia in April with the sinking of the Moskva, a Russian warship and flagship of the navy, and an estimated $750 million loss, according to Forbes Ukraine.
The publication reported in April that Ukraine destroyed more than 5,000 pieces of Russian equipment since the war began, but that the Moskva was by far the most expensive target.
Despite the massive cost of weaponry, Kirby said there is evidence that Russian forces have not been hitting their intended targets with precision-guided missiles. He said a multitude of factors could be responsible, including possible incompetence on behalf of operators.