RUSSIA has lost 15,000 troops in its botched Ukraine invasion, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed today as he announced Britain would send new weapons to Kyiv.
The minister said a number of armoured vehicles fitted with launchers for anti-air missiles will be gifted to Ukraine by the UK to help push back Moscow. He warned the "next three weeks are key" in thwarting Vladimir Putin's plans after Volodymyr Zelensky's success in holding off Russia to date.
"I can now announce to the House that we shall be gifting a small number of armoured vehicles fitted with launchers for those anti-air missiles.
"The Stormer vehicles will give Ukrainian forces enhanced, short-range anti-air capabilities both day and night," Mr Wallace told MPs.
Last week Ukrainian personnel received training in the UK on how to use 120 British armoured vehicles.
The military hardware was then returned to eastern Europe with the troops in order to help fight Putin's forces on the ground.
Mr Wallace added that as well as the extra defensive capabilities, further non-lethal aid was also being donated by Britain.
He said: "Not all the aid is lethal, we have also sent significant quantities of non-lethal equipment to Ukraine.
"To date we've sent over 90,000 ration packs, over 10 pallets of medical equipment, more than 3,000 pieces of body armour, nearly 77,000 helmets and 3,000 pairs of boots and much more, including communications equipment and ear defence."
Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, the Defence Secretary listed the extent of Russia's losses in the conflict so far.
He outlined how Moscow has been humiliated on the world stage with its army devastated in its bid to seize control of Ukraine.
Mr Wallace said: "It is our assessment that approximately 15,000 Russian personnel have been killed during their offensive.
"Alongside the death toll are the equipment losses and in total a number of sources suggest that to date, over 2,000 armoured vehicles have been destroyed or captured, this includes at least 530 tanks, 530 armoured personnel carriers, and 560 infantry fighting vehicles.
"Russia has also lost over 60 helicopters and fighter jets.
"The offensive that was supposed to take a maximum of a week, has now taken weeks."
Putin has been forced to reconsider his plans in Ukraine over the past fortnight following his abysmal failure to storm the country.
He is now understood to be focusing his efforts on securing the east and the south rather than planning to take full control.
Moscow has redeployed forces to the area as it seeks to secure a victory from the bloody conflict.
The Government says Russia has made minor advances since shifting its forces to fully occupying the eastern region.
However, a number of units have struggled to make advances in the city of Mariupol where there continues to be heavy fighting around the Azovstal steel plant.