Image ID 2J0RWM6 pro-Russian troops atop tank during Ukraine-Russia conflict, outskirts of Mariupol 20032022 CREDIT Alexander Ermochenko/ Alamy Stock Photo
Russian troops atop a tank on the outskirts of Mariupol (Picture: Alexander Ermochenko/Alamy Stock Photo).
Ukraine

More than a quarter of Russian forces in Ukraine 'combat ineffective', MOD says

The Ministry of Defence's update also said it is some of Russia's most elite units that have been hit the hardest.

Image ID 2J0RWM6 pro-Russian troops atop tank during Ukraine-Russia conflict, outskirts of Mariupol 20032022 CREDIT Alexander Ermochenko/ Alamy Stock Photo
Russian troops atop a tank on the outskirts of Mariupol (Picture: Alexander Ermochenko/Alamy Stock Photo).

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has said it is like more than 25% of Russia's military in Ukraine is now "combat ineffective".

In an intelligence update posted on Twitter, the MOD said Russia had "committed over 120 battalion tactical groups, approximately 65% of its entire ground combat strength" to the invasion of Ukraine.

"It is likely that more than a quarter of these units have now been rendered combat ineffective," the MOD's tweet said.

Watch: Why Odessa is so important to Ukraine and Russia.

It also said some of "Russia's most elite units, including the VDV Airborne Forces, have suffered the highest levels of attrition".

"It will probably take years for Russia to reconstitute these forces," the MOD said.

It comes after civilians holed up at the Azovstal steel plant in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol started to be evacuated.

Denys Shlega, commander of the 12th Operational Brigade of Ukraine's National Guard claims that several hundred civilians remain trapped alongside nearly 500 wounded soldiers and "numerous" dead bodies at the plant.

Over the weekend, the UK's ambassador to Ukraine said she felt "comfortable" returning to Kyiv, despite Russian threats against diplomats in the city.

Melinda Simmons arrived in the city at the end of last week after the UK announced it would be reopening its embassy in a show of support for Ukraine.