But officially “everything is going according to plan”.
Putin’s forces lost the size of Denmark
Russia has suffered several setbacks in Ukraine in recent months. Researchers have now determined how large an area Putin’s forces lost.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, the initial territorial gains were enormous.
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the entire world was shocked. Putin’s military used the momentum to quickly make large territorial gains in the south. The invasion stalled only at Kiev. But after that things took a different direction.
Since March 21 — the estimated date of the advance deep into Ukraine — Russian forces have lost about 45,000 square kilometers of territory, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). It is roughly the size of Denmark.
However, the report did not specify how much territory the Russians had gained since the invasion began. Instead, a comparative figure is given showing that the Russians are making little progress at the moment: since July 16 – before a slight lull in the fighting – the Russians have gained only 450.84 square kilometers of territory. It corresponds to the size of the dwarf state of Andorra. In other words, in the last 40 days, the Russians have recovered only 1 percent of the area lost since March 21.
Shoigu defends the strategy
“As ISW has already stated, the Russian Armed Forces are not in a position to convert limited tactical gains into greater operational successes,” the agency said in a statement. Additionally, their offensive activities will peak in eastern Ukraine.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, 67, also commented on the progress of his forces. On Wednesday, he said the pace of offensive operations had been slowed to minimize civilian casualties. Meanwhile, operations in Ukraine will continue according to plan and all goals will be achieved.
ISW considers Shoigu’s explanation an attempt to whitewash the loss of territory. (of)
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