Russia has probably lost half its main battle tanks and used up the majority of its precision-guided weapons in a war that has become a “massive strategic failure” for the Kremlin, Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said Tuesday.
“Putin has failed,” Kahl told a group of reporters as part of George Washington University’s Project for Media and National Security on Tuesday. “Russia will emerge from this war weaker than it went in.”
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“They’ve probably lost half of their main battle tanks in the entire Russian military,” Kahl said.
Kahl said Russia has suffered “tens of thousands of casualties” since the war began in February, which is “orders of magnitude” more than the Soviet Union suffered in Afghanistan.
They’ve bogged down more than 80% of their land force in Ukraine. They’ve spent down a majority of their precision guided munitions in Ukraine, and the sanctions and export controls will make it very difficult for them to rebuild their military to what it looked like before the war. Putin went into this war trying to extinguish Ukraine as an independent, sovereign democratic country. He’s failed, and that’s not going to change. A sovereign, independent, democratic Ukraine is going to endure.
Kahl noted that there is considerable bipartisan support for Ukraine moving forward, but what that support looks like and what Ukraine’s military needs going forward may change.