The Security Service of Ukraine on Wednesday released a recording of an intercepted phone call between a Russian soldier and his family. The soldier in the phone call was heard telling his relatives that Russian soldiers were losing in Ukraine.
“We’re losing now,” the soldier told his family over the phone, receiving an “indignant” response from a female relative on the other end of the line, according to a translation by The Daily Beast.
“Well it’s you guys who are losing there, but they are winning everywhere [else],” the female relative said, according to The Daily Beast.
“That’s the picture they paint for you on television, but in reality it’s drastically different here,” the man said, according to the outlet. “They will never show you this on television, they will never tell you the truth. We’re losing.”
When the woman asked him how exactly were the Russian soldiers losing, the man replied, “We should have about 90 tanks left, and you know how many we have left? We have probably 14 tanks left.”
“You don’t have artillery?” the woman asked, to which the man replied, “We do, but it’s so curved you can measure the [target] misses in kilometers,” adding, “Everything’s sad.”
Speaking to Reuters, a senior U.S. defense official said Friday that Russia was facing hundreds of casualties daily. Thus far, since the start of its invasion into Ukraine, Russia has lost thousands of lieutenants and captains, the official told the wire service.
“The chain of command is still struggling,” the official said, Reuters reported.
Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns said Wednesday at the Aspen Security Forum that Russia has already reached an estimated casualty rate of nearly 15,000 killed and around 45,000 wounded.
“The latest estimates from the U.S. intelligence community would be something in the vicinity of 15,000 (Russian forces) killed and maybe three times that wounded. So a quite significant set of losses,” Burns said, according to Reuters.
“And, the Ukrainians have suffered as well – probably a little less than that. But, you know, significant casualties,” he added.
Thanks to American-provided M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, the Ukrainians were able to shift the balance against Russia’s favor in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
Since mid-June, when Ukraine started deploying HIMARS, according to reporting from France24, Ukraine has been able to take out several Russian ammunition depots in Lugansk, Nova Kakhovka and elsewhere, draining Russia of the ammunition it needs to continue fighting in Ukraine.
The system was so effective that it became part of Ukrainian wartime popular culture, with singer Taras Borovok singing a song in its honor.
“The occupiers have already felt very well what modern artillery is. They will not have a safe rear anywhere on our land,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, according to France24.
“HIMARS is changing the character of the fight in Ukraine. It is allowing the Ukrainians to target the Russians at greater distance and in areas that have been denied to them because of Russian air defense systems,” Retired Australian General Mick Ryan said in a July 13 post on Twitter.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley on Wednesday told reporters that Ukraine was “degrading” Russia’s capabilities with HIMARS, Newsweek reported.
“To date, those systems have not been eliminated by the Russians, and I knock on wood every time I say something like that,” Milley told reporters. “And they’re [Ukrainians are] being very effective at using them, employing precision weapons against targets.”
This week, the U.S. pledged to send Ukraine four more of the artillery systems, according to Newsweek.
“These strikes are steadily degrading the Russian ability to supply their troops, command and control of their forces, and carry out their illegal war of aggression,” Milley said, according to The National Interest.
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