The US assesses Ukraine “has taken out more than a hundred high-value targets,” according to a senior US defense official. Most of the targets have been in the east in recent weeks as the Ukrainians have been able to improve their precision targeting with the use of US provided artillery.
“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,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters on Wednesday.
The Ukrainians are “attacking Russian command posts, ammunition depots, air-defense sites, radar and communications nodes, and long-range artillery positions,” the official said. This is contributing to the broader assessment that Ukraine has been able to make progress against Russian forces. However, the US also assesses that Russia still is launching “tens of thousands” of artillery rounds per day.
“They can’t keep it up forever,” the Russians “have expended a lot of smarter munitions …their capabilities are getting dumber,” the official noted, adding that Russia has not taken out a single HIMARS system yet, but it is likely they will “get lucky” and do so at some point.
The fight for Donetsk is “likely last through the summer” with Russia achieving slow gains at a high cost, the official said.
Russian fatalities include “thousands” of lieutenants and captains, “hundreds” of colonels, and “many” generals, the official said. “The chain of command is still struggling.”
The US estimates Russia has committed nearly 85% of its army to the invasion of Ukraine.
The chief of Britain’s foreign intelligence service said he believes that Russia could be “about to run out of steam” in Ukraine. “I think our assessment is that the Russians will increasingly find it difficult to supply manpower material over the next few weeks,” Richard Moore, the head of MI6 told CNN on Thursday. “They will have to pause some way and that will give the Ukrainians opportunities to strike back,” he said.