Russia: Expert on ‘bringing about Putin’s downfall’
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This comes as a senior defence official with the American CIA said that Russia “can’t keep it up forever”, and that they have used up the capabilities of their more advanced weapons. They added Russian attacks are getting “dumber”, and Moscow will continue to press through Donetsk at a very high cost to its forces.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) tweeted that Ukrainian forces were fending off Russian “attempts to assault the Vuhlehirsk power plant”, and the Kremlin’s attention was still focused on “the cities of Kramatorsk and Siversk”.
The Bakhmut Raion, where the cities and the power plant are located, has come under heavy artillery fire.
The MoD then quoted the governor of the Mykolaiv region, Vitaly Kim, who reported Russia had used “seven air defence missiles to strike infrastructure, energy facilities and storage areas”.
The MoD added: “Russia has increased its use of air defence missiles in a secondary ground attack mode because of critical shortages of dedicated ground-attack missiles.
“Russia has almost certainly deployed S-300 and S-400 strategic air defence systems, designed to shoot down aircraft and missiles at long ranges, near Ukraine from the start of invasion.
“These weapons have relatively small warheads, designed to destroy aircraft.
“They could pose a significant threat against troops in the open and light buildings but are unlikely to penetrate hardened structures.
“There is a high chance of these weapons missing their intended targets and causing civilian casualties because the missiles [they] are not optimised for this role, and their crews will have little training for such missions.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced on Thursday that the UK was upping its supply of artillery guns and anti-tank defence systems to Kyiv.
The UK will donate 20 M109 155mm self-propelled guns, 36 L119 105mm artillery guns and 1,600 more anti-tank weapons, the Defence Secretary told the Commons.
The UK Government described the move as one which will “significantly step up the UK’s support” for Kyiv, bringing the UK’s total support for the country since the outbreak of the war to £2.3billion.
The MoD assessment comes just after the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service warned Russia will “run out of steam” for its invasion, deeming the war an “epic fail” for Moscow.
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Richard Moore, who heads up MI6, commented: “They will have to pause in some way.”
He added at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado that the “conservative” estimate for Russian losses hovered at around 15,000 fatalities.
A pause in the Russian advance would “give the Ukrainians the opportunity to strike back”, he said on Thursday.
Earlier this month, the MoD described Vladimir Putin’s forces as struggling with “ageing weapons” and “Soviet tactics”.
The assessment was published just after Ukrainian forces withdrew from the eastern city of Lysychansk.
The MoD posted on Twitter: “In the Donbas, Russian forces continue to conduct artillery strikes across a broad front followed by, in some areas, probing assaults by small company and platoon-sized units.
“However, they have achieved no significant territorial advances over the last 72 hours and are in danger of losing any momentum built up following the capture of Lysychansk.
“The ageing vehicles, weapons, and Soviet-era tactics used by Russian forces do not lend themselves to quickly regaining or building momentum unless used in overwhelming mass – which Russia is currently unable to bring to bear.”
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