A former high-ranking military official from Russia has recently shed light on the beleaguered state of the country's armed forces, following the contested occupation of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. Vladimir Putin's military, he claims, is significantly strained and grappling with a serious shortage of ammunition.
Igor Girkin, an ex-commander in the Russian army, took to the social media platform Telegram to expose the concerning status of Putin's forces post-Bakhmut siege. According to Girkin, the troops are not only fatigued but also considerably weakened and depleted.
Girkin's insights hint at the probability of Ukraine's success, should the country decide to retaliate against the Russian military presence in Bakhmut. His opinion? "Why do I think the enemy will attack soon? Precisely because they have the best chance to succeed now," wrote Girkin, as reported by Daily Star. "The best strike units of the Russian Armed Forces are exhausted from months of fighting. Stocks of ammunition are minimal."
Moreover, Girkin strongly criticized Putin's decision to capture Bakhmut, asserting that the cost in lives and resources far outweighed the benefits. "Not even approximately worth the effort and money spent on it," was Girkin's assessment of the brutal conflict that lasted from August until recently.
His lament extended to the unnecessary sacrifices borne by frontline soldiers and officers in an operation he deemed strategically senseless. He stated, "Unfortunately, not those who planned and directed these operations from large headquarters, but the blood of front-line soldiers and officers, mobilized and volunteers," were the ones who suffered.
As per previous reports, Russia claimed a victory in Bakhmut after an estimated 300-day battle. Ukrainian sources suggest that the fierce and protracted conflict claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Russian soldiers, with an average advancement of a mere 60 feet per day.
Ukraine is anticipated to mount a counter-offensive to reclaim the city, with sources suggesting that Volodymyr Zelenskyy's forces are likely to succeed in repelling Putin's weakened military. Phillips O'Brien, a strategic studies expert, commented, "It was almost like the Ukrainians just took advantage of the fact that, actually, the Russian lines were weak."
He added, "The Russian army has suffered such high losses and is so worn out around Bakhmut that it cannot go forward anymore."