Ladimir Putin’s display of military might on May 9 was undermined on Monday by British defense chiefs who said his forces had to fire “aging” ammunition into Ukraine after using many of their precision-guided weapons.
Just hours before the Russian president is due to oversee a military parade in Moscow’s Red Square, the Ministry of Defense in London has pointed to the Russian military’s “shortcomings” in carrying out “large-scale precision strikes “.
That failure meant Mr Putin’s generals resorted to indiscriminate bombing and airstrikes, killing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of civilians in Ukraine.
May 9 is a key date in the Russian military calendar as it marks the surrender of the Nazis in World War II and an annual parade takes place in Moscow’s Red Square.
Mr Putin was due to deliver a major speech in an attempt to defend his floundering invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, and seeking to rally his armed forces amid reports of low morale in some military units.
But early Monday morning, the latest MoD briefing in London gave a damning assessment of Russian operations in Ukraine.
He said: “At the start of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia publicly promoted its ability to conduct surgical strikes and limit collateral damage. He said Ukrainian cities would therefore be safe from bombardment.
However, as the conflict continues beyond Russian pre-war expectations, Russia’s stockpile of precision-guided munitions has likely been severely depleted.
“This has forced the use of readily available but aging ammunition that is less reliable, less accurate and more easily intercepted.”
He added: “Russia will probably struggle to replace the precision weapons it has already spent.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine revealed shortcomings in its ability to conduct large-scale precision strikes. Russia has subjected Ukrainian cities to intense and indiscriminate bombardment with little or no regard for civilian casualties.
After his blitz invasion plan, which included taking kyiv within days, failed, Mr Putin refocused his military campaign on the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, where the regions are located. of Donetsk and Lugansk held by Moscow-backed separatists.
But his forces failed to capture any major cities with Ukrainian fighters in the beleaguered port city of Mariupol holding out in the sprawling Azovstal steelworks. Russian forces made another attempt to capture the massive steelworks and take control of the entire city.