Top US official says Ukraine has suffered significant losses in the ongoing counter offensive as Russian troops show off destroyed American Bradleys
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has claimed it is too early to judge the results of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, insisting that despite losing a “significant” number of troops, Kiev still has “substantial” reserves.
When asked whether “the real counteroffensive is yet to come” at the Aspen Security Forum in Washington, DC on Friday, Sullivan insisted that the counteroffensive began on “the day the first Ukrainian put their life on the line.”
“There have already been significant amounts of casualties and deaths of Ukrainian fighters in this counteroffensive, so it is well underway. And it is hard going. And we said it would be hard going,” the White House adviser told the forum’s moderator, Edward Luce.
However, Ukraine has a “substantial amount of combat power that it has not yet committed to the fight,” and according to Sullivan, is now trying to choose the right moment “when it will have the maximum impact on the battlefield.”
“It is at that moment when they make that commitment that we will really see what the likely results of that counteroffensive will be,” Sullivan stated, noting that Washington is in “close consultation with the Ukrainians on the conditions for that.”
Speaking on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the West is evidently disappointed that despite “colossal amounts of resources” sent to Kiev, its much-lauded counteroffensive has failed to produce any results and has led to high rates of Ukrainian casualties.
On Saturday, several Telegram channels shared an undated 12-second clip, which could not be independently verified, showing a Russian tank driving past an alleged “graveyard” of Ukrainian heavy military equipment. The video was purportedly filmed near the settlement of Rabotino in Russia’s Zaporozhye Region, some 50km east of the Dnepr River.
The video features what appears to be a tightly packed group of four heavily damaged and abandoned Bradleys on flat terrain, with another vehicle – apparently a crippled Ukrainian Soviet-designed tank – visible in the distance. It is unclear how exactly the armored group was destroyed.
According to the Pentagon, the US has supplied Ukraine with almost 200 Bradleys, several Western media reports have suggested that Ukraine has suffered significant armour losses during the push, with Business Insider reporting last week that at least 34 Bradleys “have now been visually confirmed as having been abandoned, damaged or destroyed”.
Top Pentagon officials insisted earlier this week that it was too early to call the counteroffensive a “failure,” saying Washington had expected all along that the operation would be bloody and protracted. The New York Times reported last week that after losing up to 20% of the weaponry deployed in the counteroffensive in just two weeks, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had paused the operation to shore up ammunition.