© Reuters. Members of Ukraine’s National Guard Omega Special Purpose unit fire a mortar toward Russian troops in the front line town of Avdiivka, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine November 8, 2023. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuz
By Jonathan Landay
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A declassified U.S. intelligence report assessed that the Ukraine war has cost Russia 315,000 dead and injured troops, or nearly 90% of the personnel it had when the conflict began, a source familiar with the intelligence said on Tuesday.
The report also assessed that Moscow’s losses in personnel and armored vehicles to Ukraine’s military have set back Russia’s military modernization by 18 years, the source said.
The Russian embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Russian defense ministry and Kremlin officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The source spoke as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a last-ditch plea to U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill to keep U.S. military aid flowing to Ukraine, first meeting behind closed doors with U.S. senators.
The source said the recently declassified U.S. intelligence report assessed that Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 with 360,000 personnel.
Since then, the report found, 315,000 Russian troops, or about 87% of the total with which it started the war, have been killed or injured, the source said.
The source said those losses are the reason Russia has been forced to loosen recruitment standards and draft convicts and older civilians to deploy in Ukraine.
“The scale of losses has forced Russia to take extraordinary measures to sustain its ability to fight. Russia declared a partial mobilization of 300,000 personnel in late 2022, and has relaxed standards to allow recruitment of convicts and older civilians,” the assessment said, according to the source.
The Russian army has been left with 1,300 armored vehicles on the battlefield and is having to bolster those forces with T62 tanks produced in the 1970s, the source said.