VLADIMIR PUTIN has been dealt a major blow, as a Russian weapons reserve has been bombed by Ukrainian forces for the 22nd time since the start of the war.
According to Volodymyr Zelensky’s aide Alexei Arestovich, the Ukrainian army struck a Russian arms depot in Chornobaivka, a suburb in the Kherson region. Mr Arestovich told Ukrainian journalist and former armed forces officer Viktor Kovalenko that this is the 22nd time the depot has been hit since the start of the invasion on February 24, 2022. The weapons were exploding for “about an hour”, the journalist reported.
Just a week ago, chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon told Express.co.uk that Russian weapon supplies are likely to be “down to low stocks”.
He said that Russian weapons are “being decimated by the Ukrainians.”
Mr de Bretton-Gordon said: “The challenge is going to be that the most sophisticated weaponry requires some pretty high-tech and high-tech is sanctioned.
“I think it’s very interesting because apart from the early days of the war, we haven’t seen many high-tech [weapons].
“The precision strike missiles, the cruise missiles, all this – they’re getting fewer and far between.
“I think on this sophisticated weaponry, he’s probably down to low stocks.
“He will have a lot of artillery shells and a lot of tank shells, but those tanks and artillery are just being decimated by the Ukrainians.
“He can have as many tank shells as he likes but if he’s got no tanks to fire them that’s a fat lot of good.”
Russia appears to be sustaining heavy losses in Ukraine.
Since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, a total of 25,100 Russian soldiers have been killed, according to Ukrainian estimates.
The UK Ministry of Defence’s more conservative estimate puts Russian casualties at around 15,000.
This is the same number of soldiers that were killed in the Afghanistan war, which lasted for nine years.
Ukrainian forces have also claimed to have destroyed 199 Russian aircraft, 155 helicopters and 341 unmanned aerial vehicles.
A total of 1,122 tanks, 2,713 armoured vehicles and 509 artillery systems are also thought to have been destroyed.
The UK Ministry of Defence has also said that Putin appears to have taken “devastating losses” among lower ranks of the army.
In an intelligence update posted to Twitter, it said: “Russia has likely suffered devastating losses amongst its mid and junior ranking officers in the conflict.
“Brigade and battalion commanders likely deploy forwards into harm’s way because they are held to an uncompromising level of responsibility for their units’ performance.
“Similarly, junior officers have had to lead the lowest level tactical actions, as the army lacks the cadre of highly trained and empowered non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who fulfil that role in Western forces.”
It added: “With multiple credible reports of localised mutinies amongst Russia’s forces in Ukraine, a lack of experienced and credible platoon and company commanders is likely to result (in) a further decrease in morale and continued poor discipline.”