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Leaked documents detail dire assessments of Ukrainian army: reports

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The classified documents apparently leaked last week detail the weaknesses in the Ukrainian army, specifically shortfalls of ammunition and air defense, according to reports.

The Washington Post reported that one of the leaked Pentagon documents detailed that Ukraine’s air defense may not be able to protect the front lines through the end of May. One of the documents included an assessment from February from the Defense Department’s Joint Staff, which said Ukraine’s “ability to provide medium range air defense to protect the [front lines] will be completely reduced by May 23,” according to the Post. 

The reported classified document also says once Ukraine’s first layer of defense munitions run out, the “2nd and 3rd Layer expenditure rates will increase, reducing the ability to defend against Russian aerial attacks from all altitudes.”

Both the Justice Department and the Defense Department are investigating the apparent leak of classified documents after Russian sources posted them to online websites, like Twitter. The documents are dated from March or earlier of this year, and appear to include information on Ukrainian training, munition expenditures and estimated casualties from both Ukraine and Russia. The documents do not appear to have plans for a Ukrainian counter offensive expected for this spring.

The Post also reported that another document shows how quickly the Ukraine’s air defense projectiles will deplete, saying that  SA-11 systems will be depleted by April 13, NASAMs, made by the U.S., will be expended by April 15 and SA-8s will be gone by May. Another chart appears to suggest that Ukrainian air defense focus on Russian jets and helicopters and ignore smaller threats, like drones, in light of the expected shortfalls, according to the Post.

The New York Times reported that the trove of documents includes an assessment on the state of fighting in Bakhmut, a city in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region that has been under siege for seven months. The Times said that the documents appear to show that the U.S. is spying on Ukraine’s top military and political leaders.

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The document outlined how Ukrainian forces “were almost operationally encircled by Russian forces in Bakhmut,” as of Feb. 25, the Times reported. The documents show top Ukraine leaders offering grim assessments in the ongoing fight for Bakhmut, with General Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s director of military intelligence, saying that the situation was “catastrophic” at the time of the report.

The Times also reported that Roman Mashovets, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak, said that Ukrainian forces esteem was low in Bakhmut.

“Mashovets reported that, for those reasons, the morale in Bakhmut was low, with the Ukrainian forces under the impression that they were almost operationally encircled,” the assessment read.

Tags russia Russia-Ukraine war ukraine

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