Myths about the exhaustion of the Ukrainian army


Another story about the sad prospects of the Ukrainian army: this time — from the Financial Times with reference to an unnamed Western expert and adviser on defense issues.

The source of the British publication claims: «Ukrainian forces (…) are facing their own problems. They have high casualties, many of them are not trained enough, some units are clearly suffering from severe fatigue, they need more weapons and ammunition.»

Regarding the last thesis, it is difficult to argue. In fact, Ukrainians have repeatedly appealed to Western countries not to stop supplying them with weapons. This especially applies to modern tanks and long-range missiles, which could become a guarantee of further offensive success of the Armed Forces. It was this type of weapon that Ukraine was denied by Western partners last year.

The team of reviewers of Politico magazine notes that 2023 will show how far the West is ready to go to the end in the supply of weapons to Ukraine, and the authors also remind us that the «red lines» for the US and its partners in this matter have changed many times over the past year thanks to the persistence of Ukrainian diplomacy.

I will remind you that in the spring of last year, Javelin portable anti-tank missile complexes and Turkish Bayraktar UAVs were iconic weapons for Ukraine, after which children were even named.


«Large losses, poor training, and exhaustion» of the Armed Forces

Let’s return to other theses of the anonymous source of the Financial Times.

Regarding the losses, the parties mostly try to keep the information secret, but some figures sometimes get into the public domain.

Mykhailo Podolyak, Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine. Source:

The latest data from the Ukrainian side was announced by the adviser to the head of the Office of President Mykhailo Podolyak on December 2, 2022.

According to his information, the defense forces of Ukraine lost 10,000 to 13,000 dead at that time.

Sergei Shoigu, minister of defence of Russia

On the other hand, the Russian side, represented by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, announced simply fantastic numbers back in September.

Ukraine apparently lost more than half of its army: 61,000 killed and 49,000 wounded. According to Shoigu, less than 6,000 Russians died in Ukraine during that period.

Actually, after such amazing «successes» in Russia, a mobilization was announced to recruit an additional 300,000 military personnel, most of whom were thrown without proper preparation to the East of Ukraine, where the fiercest battles are taking place. Considering that Russia has been storming the city of Bakhmut for several months and is unable to take it, and the Armed Forces are successfully holding the defense, one can roughly understand the situation in terms of losses without manipulating official figures.


Military expert: the situation is exhausting Russia more than Ukraine

For example, according to the forecast of British Defense intelligence, based on the received data, the situation will only worsen for the Russians in the near future, because the Armed Forces have received serious reinforcements.

It is obvious that the Ukrainian military, which received the best training in Western countries, which is better armed, and which currently occupies a defensive position, is in much more favorable conditions than the Russians, which continue to try to realize a quantitative advantage.

Oleh Zhdanov, military expert, reserve colonel of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Source:

In a conversation military expert Oleg Zhdanov noted:

«We spend certain reserves on rotation in the most difficult areas of defense: these are the Bakhmut direction, the Avdiivka direction. Therefore, we are still limited in counter-offensive actions — this is what concerns the big operation. At the same time, we have enough effort to advance in the direction of Kryminnaya.»

«We are not exhausted, despite certain losses. As General Zaluzhnyi said, we have enough forces to conduct a defensive operation, but we need additional weapons in order to assemble a large counter-offensive group,» Zhdanov noted.

Information from the Financial Times source regarding the fatigue of some units of the Armed Forces can be confirmed without being a military expert. If you hold off the overwhelmingly superior forces of the enemy for a long time, of course, there will be fatigue.

At the same time, the Ukrainian military command, unlike the Russian one, has already shown that it feels the situation at the front very sensitively. At the same time, throughout the war, Ukraine has been carrying out gradual planned mobilization without any intensification.

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian losses as of January 4 look like this. 

Igor Girkin (Strelkov), a terrorist, a participant in the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas

Perhaps this table can be viewed with skepticism, considering it as an element of informational pressure on the enemy. Then let’s turn to the opinion of the former «Minister of Defense of the DPR» Igor Girkin, who, although he criticizes the current military command of the Russian Federation, is a consistent supporter of the occupation of Ukraine.

Girkin, who constantly publishes insiders from the front, describes the situation in his TG channel as follows:

«In one of the closed chats where I am present, literally today the question: «what to do?» was discussed. And there, smart people came to the conclusion that in the current situation, the Russian Federation is in a complete zugzwang: it is impossible to stand on the defensive because it quickly worsens the strategic position of Russia, and it is impossible to advance, because it can lead to a quick military disaster — the fighting capacity and fighting spirit of the army strongly resemble the same ones before Kerensky’s July offensive of 1917 (the last strategic offensive of the Russian army in the war of 1914-1918, which turned into a complete collapse — ed.)».



Some authors representing influential Western publications continue to spread Russian narratives about the exhaustion of the Ukrainian army and the heavy losses of the Armed Forces, although objectively everyone understands that the Russians are suffering much greater losses. Otherwise, the situation at the front would have changed long ago in favor of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, Ukraine now really lacks heavy weapons and long-range missiles for further offensive and final liberation of its territories. And here the ball is already in the half of the field of our Western partners.

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