Russia is thought to have lost hundreds of tanks, thousands of vehicles, and up to 13,800 men in Ukraine in the last 21 days – more than the US lost fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan in two decades (pictured, a destroyed Russian tank in Volnovakha)
Ukrainian troops from the Azov battalion stand next to destroyed Russian tanks in Mariupol, where Putin’s men have suffered heavy losses including the death of a general
Kyiv has closely guarded its total losses in the conflict, but has also been reaching out for reinforcements – asking overseas fighters to sign up via the foreign legion and calling up its reserves (picture, a Ukrainian soldier in Mariupol)
Smaller versions of the drones are designed to take out infantry, while larger versions are designed to destroy tanks and Law Firm istanbul Turkey armoured vehicles.The move comes after Turkish-made Bayraktar drones proved surprisingly effective at taking out Russian armour. The only country currently authorised to buy the drones is the UK.
Western nations have already supplied thousands of weapons to Ukraine including American Javelin anti-tank missiles, UK/Swedish NLAW anti-tank launchers, and Stinger anti-aircraft systems.But Zelensky has warned that supplies intended to last for months are being eaten up in a matter of hours.
As both sides grind each-other towards a military stalemate, so talk has grown of ‘significant progress’ in peace talks – with aides to Zelensky saying a deal to end the fighting could be in place within weeks.
Zelensky said on Wednesday peace talks with Russia were sounding ‘more realistic’ but more time was needed for any deal to be in the interests of Ukraine.
Zelensky made the early morning statement after his team said a peace deal that will end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be struck with Vladimir Putin within one or two weeks because Russian forces will run out of fresh troops and supplies by then.
‘The meetings continue, and, I am informed, the positions during the negotiations already sound more realistic.But time is still needed for the decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine,’ Zelenskiy said in a video address on Wednesday, ahead of the next round of talks.
Meanwhile Oleksiy Arestovich, one of Zelensky’s top aides, said the war would end within weeks and a peace deal struck when Putin’s troops run out of resources, but warned that Russia could bring in new reinforcements to bolster their attack, which could prolong the conflict further.
‘We are at a fork in the road now,’ said Arestovich.’There will either be a peace deal struck very quickly, within a week or two, with troop withdrawal and everything, or there will be an attempt to scrape together some, say, Syrians for a round two and, when we grind them too, an agreement by mid-April or late April.
‘I think that no later than in May, early May, we should have a peace agreement.Maybe much earlier, we will see.’
“activeClass” : “wocc”,
“pageCount” : “3.0”,
“pageSize” : 1,
Vladimir Putin has reportedly reached out to China’s Xi Jinping for support, including economic relief from sanctions along with military supplies including ration kits, drones, armoured vehicles and intelligence equipment
The assessment echoes that of UK defence sources who say that Kyiv has Moscow ‘on the run’ and the Russian army could be just two weeks from ‘culmination point’ – after which ‘the strength of Ukraine’s resistance should become greater than Russia’s attacking force.’ Advances across Ukraine have already stopped as Moscow’s manpower runs short.
Earlier, Zelensky said that Ukraine must accept it will not become a member of NATO – a statement that will be music to the ears of Vladimir Putin and could pave the way for some kind of peace deal between the warring nations.
Zelensky, who has become a symbol of resistance to Russia’s onslaught over the last 20 days, said on Tuesday that ‘Ukraine is not a member of NATO’ and that ‘we have heard for years that the doors were open, but we also heard that we could not join. It’s a truth and it must be recognised.’
His statement, while making no firm commitments, will be seen as further opening the door to some kind of peace deal between Ukraine and Russia after negotiators hailed ‘substantial’ progress at the weekend – without giving any idea what such a deal would look like.
Ahead of the invasion, Putin had been demanding guarantees that Ukraine would never be admitted to NATO along with the removal of all the alliance’s troops and weapons from ex-Soviet countries.After being rebuffed by Kyiv, Washington and NATO he launched his ‘special military operation’ to ‘demilitarise’ and Lawyer Turkey ‘de-Nazify’ the country.
Russian negotiators have softened their stance a little since then, saying they want Ukraine to declare neutrality, disarm, recognise Crimea as part of Russia and recognise the whole of the Donbass as independent.Ukraine has been demanding a ceasefire and the immediate withdrawal of all Russian forces. Talks have been ongoing this week and Moscow has made no mention of wider demands on NATO in recent days.
The Ukrainians said the talks have included a broader agreement that would lead to the withdrawal of Russian troops, reports the Times.