Since the start of Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” on February 24, Russian troops have killed more than 14,000 Ukrainians, according to the United Nations. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence claims 21,900 Russian troops have been killed as of Monday.
Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in recent years Russia had produced around 250 tanks and 150 aircraft annually.
Based on estimates for Russian equipment lost so far, Ukrainian forces have destroyed the equivalent of at least two years of Russian tank production.
Mr Cancian also estimated one year’s supply of aircraft was also lost during two months of conflict.
He is still analysing data for Russia’s missiles, but estimated the Kremlin may already have used several years worth of production against Ukrainian targets.
Speaking to The Times, Mr Cancian said: “It will take years for Russia to rebuild its inventories and be ready for any further adventures or operations after this conflict ends.”
Addressing impact from the conflict in the eastern Donbas region, Mr Cancian added he believes at some point Russia will have to curb its use of long-range precision missiles because its “inventories are getting low”.
Bellingcat, the investigative website, reported on April 24 that Russia had probably used 70 percent of its stockpile of precision missiles.
Despite alleged low supplies of missiles, Russia hit critical transport infrastructure in Vinnytsia, Poltava, Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, and Zhytomyr districts in the space of an hour on Monday.
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The UK’s Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday Russian forces are believed to be attempting to encircle areas in the east of Ukraine.
They said: “Russian forces are likely attempting to encircle heavily fortified Ukrainian positions in the east of Ukraine.
“The city of Kreminna has reportedly fallen and heavy fighting is reported south of Izium, as Russian forces attempt to advance towards the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk from the north and east.
“Ukrainian forces have been preparing defences in Zaporizhzhia in preparation for a potential Russian attack from the south.”
James Heappey, a UK Defence Minister, said it would be acceptable for Ukrainian forces to use Western weapons to attack military targets on Russian soil.
He said strikes on supply lines were a “legitimate” part of war as the UK announced it will give Ukraine a small number of anti-aircraft vehicles.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Heappey said: “The question is, is it acceptable for our weapons to be used against legitimate Russian military targets by the Ukrainians?
“Firstly, it’s Ukrainians that take the targeting decision, not the people who manufacture or export the kit in the first place.
“And secondly, it is entirely legitimate to go after targets in the depth of your opponents to disrupt their logistics and supply lines.”
It comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday Moscow is effectively at war with NATO, and warned that Western weapons are inflaming the conflict in Ukraine.
Mr Lavrov said continual deliveries of supplies and weaponry to Ukraine means the NATO alliance has positioned itself as “in essence engaged in war with Russia” and accused the organisation of “pouring oil on the fire”.
The diplomat also warned against provoking World War Three and said the threat of a nuclear conflict “should not be underestimated”.
In an interview on Russian TV, Mr Lavrov added: “Everyone is reciting incantations that in no case can we allow World War Three.
“NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.”