Russian attackers have three days’ supplies left, Ukraine’s military | Ukraine

Russian forces have only three more days of fuel, food and ammunition left to wage war after a collapse in their supply chains, Ukrainian military leaders have claimed.

The allegations of greater deficiency were described as “plausible” by Western officials, although they said they were unable to confirm the analysis.

The report of the General Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is said to be consistent with evidence that the Russian advance had stalled and that they had returned to using “arbitrary and destructive” artillery attacks on civilians.

“We believe that the Russian forces have used a lot of material, including special categories of weapons, and we have seen isolated reports of certain units missing supplies of one kind or another,” the official said.

“It is in line with a stalemate in progress. Errors in the logistics chain have been one of the reasons why they have not been as efficient as they had hoped.”

A Pentagon official added that there were continuing moral problems among Russian troops, with a shortage of food and fuel, as well as frostbite due to a lack of appropriate clothing.

“They are fighting on many fronts,” the US official said.

The Ukrainian military said a major problem for the Russian advance was a failure to lay a fuel pipe down to the front, although the claim could not be verified independently.

On Monday, Komsomolskaya Pravda, the pro-Kremlin tabloid, reported that according to figures from the Russian Ministry of Defense, 9,861 Russian soldiers had been killed in Ukraine and 16,153 wounded. The death toll was quickly removed from the newspaper’s website.

Western officials said they believed the figures quoted by the newspaper were a “reasonable estimate”. The official said: “It is a level of casualties that has not been experienced [by Russia] really since World War II. It still continues… it is a conflict on a different scale. ”

While Vladimir Putin’s forces have been fighting around Kiev, a senior US official said the fighting had taken place on the streets of Mariupol, where many civilians are still trapped among rotting corpses and flat buildings.

Two “super-powerful bombs” hit the city on Tuesday, though rescue efforts were underway, local authorities said. The port city is said to be under naval shelling from ships in the Azov Sea.

The Russians are said to be able to declare Mariupol a first strategic victory. The city is seen as the key to securing a Russian corridor between the separatist Donbas region and the illegally annexed Crimea.

It is also home to the largest trading port in the Azov Sea, from which Ukraine exports grain, iron and steel and heavy machinery. The U.S. military said in a statement that it had not seen any evidence that chemical weapons were being prepared for use.

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