Single photo highlights Putin's losses in Ukraine: 'Strategic blunders'

As the attempted Ukraine takeover continues at the hands of Russian troops, some experts suggest President Vladimir Putin is struggling for victory.

His forces have reportedly suffered heavy losses, including the embarrassing demise of Russia's flagship vessel, with fatality estimates ranging from around 10,000 to more than 20,000.

A recent photo captured by a Ukrainian intelligence unit highlights the extent of Putin's battlefield losses.

Spy drones have located a huge "tank graveyard" ten miles inside Russia which has become a dumping ground for damaged military hardware, The Sun reports.

Broken Russian tanks in field at at Golovchino village Russia.
Spy drones found a 'tank graveyard' ten miles inside Russia showing huge amount of damaged military vehicles. Source: The Sun

Earlier images of the field in Golovchino village, located some 10km from the Ukrainian border, confirm there were no vehicles there prior to Russia invading Ukraine in February, and only a handful on March 17th.

Now there could be as many as 57 broken and abandoned military vehicles, according to the publication.

The team commander in charge of the intelligence unit said "all the Russian vehicles that come to Ukraine will end up in a place like this".

Although the condition of the tanks has not been confirmed, defence expert Joseph Dempsey, from the London-based IISS think-tank, said the most logical conclusion is that they are "vehicles damaged in the conflict".

This is also indicated by the fact there's no crew, and how the vehicles look to have been "dumped in a hurry", Sam Cranny-Evans, from the RUSI think-tank, added.

The Ukrainian intelligence force suggested that all working vehicles would have been sent to Donbas, where it's believed Russia's medium-term objective is to control the Luhansk and Donetsk territories in eastern Ukraine.

"The fact these tanks have been left behind in Golovchino tells us they are no use to Russia," a Ukrainian intelligence source told The Sun.

Vladimir Putin sitting at desk with papers
Many officials believe Vladimir Putin is failing in his mission to take over Ukraine. Source: Getty

Russia suffers 'massive blow'

Some officials believe the Russian leader will attempt to make up for his "strategic blunders" by throwing more of his troops into fierce battles in the Donbas ahead of May 9th.

This date marks the Nazis’ surrender in WWII, and is a key date in the Russian military calendar. An annual parade is held in Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate, the Evening Standard reported.

"Russia likely desires to demonstrate significant successes ahead of their annual 9th May Victory Day celebrations. This could affect how quickly and forcefully they attempt to conduct operations in the run-up to this date," The Ministry of Defence in London said.

Officials suggest Putin will attempt to make up for his setbacks in places like Kyiv after his failed plans forced troops to retreat.

But because of the Western response to the invasion, one official said it doesn't matter what territories Russia secures in the coming weeks and months because "the Kremlin would have failed in its broader strategic objectives".

"Even in the event that it were to secure objectives you could describe as a win this has been a strategic blunder by Russia,” the official said told the Evening Standard.

Satellite images show the same field before the invasion and it is empty.
Satellite images show the same field before the invasion and there wasn't a tank in sight. Source: The Sun

Another senior Ukrainian official predicted that if the West continues to supply weapons to president Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces, Putin would fail to achieve any significant victories in the Donbas by early May.

According to Reuters, Western countries have given Ukraine military equipment worth billions of dollars, with the United States alone offering aid worth more than $2.5 billion.

"If this help continues, Putin will have nothing by 5/9. There could be mourning instead in Moscow," Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, tweeted.

Just last week, Ukraine successfully sunk a Russian warship, which was a "massive blow" for forces, Alessio Patalano, a professor of war and strategy at King's College London, told CNN.

"Ships operate away from public attention, and their activities are rarely the subject of news," he said.

"But they are large floating pieces of national territory, and when you lose one, a flagship no less, the political and symbolic message — in addition to the military loss — stands out precisely because of it."

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