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Leaked documents show Russian special forces have been gutted in Ukraine war: report

U.S. documents included in a leak of sensitive material online show that the war in Ukraine has decimated Russia’s elite special forces, according to a new report.

The Washington Post, citing U.S. assessments it obtained that were initially leaked online through the platform Discord, reported that American officials believe it will take Moscow years to replenish the clandestine special forces’ ranks.

In making the assessment of Russia’s military status, U.S. officials pointed to Russian commanders relying too heavily on specialized units, according to the Post.

The spetsnaz forces are typically assigned to specialized, high-risk missions, but when the Ukraine war began, Moscow’s senior commanders ordered them into direct combat, according to the leaked documents reported by the Post.

The classified information did not specify how many of the elite troops are suspected to have been killed or wounded, though one spetsnaz unit was said to have “lost nearly the entire brigade with only 125 personnel active out of 900 deployed,” the Post reported.

The leak of sensitive and classified documents has roiled the U.S. government, revealing information about Ukraine’s battalion sizes, advanced weaponry and other military capabilities — dealing a blow to the Ukraine war effort.

Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was arrested Thursday in Massachusetts in connection with the leak. He was charged on Friday with unauthorized retention of classified material.

The information reported in the leaked U.S. assessments underscores the toll the Ukraine war has taken on Russian forces.

A report released in February from the Center for Strategic and International Studies detailed that the country’s death toll in its first year of the war likely surpassed the combined death toll of all of its wars since World War II.

Tags Russia-Ukraine war

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