The British Defense Ministry has reported a series of unexpected incidents involving Russia inadvertently bombing its own territory. This marks the fourth such incident within a month, a stark contrast to the single occurrence documented throughout 2023. The increase in frequency of these self-attacks suggests a concerning trend in the Russian military's operational capabilities.
January alone witnessed four incidents of Russian forces mistakenly targeting their own land. One notable episode occurred in the Belgorod region, close to the Ukrainian border, where a Russian combat aircraft accidentally launched two projectiles.
These missiles landed in civilian areas, with one striking a farm and another hitting a city street, resulting in the evacuation of up to 150 individuals.
The British intelligence report extends beyond these self-inflicted incidents, shedding light on the broader implications for the Russian military.
It estimates that Russia could suffer enormous losses by the end of the year. The daily Russian casualties in January reached approximately 700, indicating a potential total loss of half a million personnel by the end of 2024. This is a significant increase from the average daily losses in 2023, which saw nearly a 300-person rise.
The British Defense Ministry attributes these incidents to a combination of fatigue among Russian air and ground personnel and inadequate training. The ministry emphasizes that if the current trend continues, Russia's military losses in Ukraine could exceed half a million. Moreover, the report speculates that it might take Russia between five to ten years to rebuild a combat-ready military force, considering the extent of these losses.