London : Russian troops are being ‘ritually humiliated’ in Ukraine, but they are still in a position to win the war, Western officials cautioned, Daily Mail reported.
In their bleakest assessment of the campaign since the very first days, they admitted that Vladimir Putin’s forces were gaining territory and presently outnumber the defenders by three soldiers to one.
Moscow’s troops failed in their initial invasion objectives, with Ukraine inflicting a series of humiliating defeats on them.
The turnaround has come after a general known as ‘The Butcher’, who is a veteran of the Syrian campaign, overhauled the performance of the Russian advance, Daily Mail reported.
Western officials credited the reversal in Russia’s fortunes to General Aleksandr Dvornikov, who was made overall commander a fortnight ago.
His takeover followed Russia’s failure to seize any major cities, its retreat from Kiev, and the loss of 30,000 troops and hundreds of aircraft and tanks.
Since then its use of drones, rocket systems and electronic warfare has been transformed — potentially providing Putin with a platform to claim victory.
“This is a new chapter of the campaign, and despite his previous failures, Putin is still in a position to win,” an official said, adding: “Russia has concentrated sufficient force, which, if used intelligently, should be able to destroy a large part of Ukraine’s forces.”
Officials now believe that with such a numerical advantage, and more effective leadership, the Russians will be difficult to dislodge from the territory they have won, Daily Mail reported.