Military analysts said the documents appear to have been altered in parts from their original format, raising US estimates of Ukrainian military casualties and lowering estimates of Russian losses.
The documents state that 16,000-17,500 Russian soldiers were killed, while Ukraine lost up to 71,500 paramilitary. The Pentagon and other analysts estimated that Russia suffered far more casualties, at nearly 200,000 dead and wounded, and Ukraine at more than 100,000 dead and wounded.
The changes could indicate a disinformation effort by Moscow, analysts said. But the revelations in the original documents, which appear in the form of photographs of charts of anticipated arms deliveries, troop strength, battalion strength and other plans, represent a significant breach in US intelligence efforts to help Ukraine.
The documents do not provide specific battle plans, such as how, when and where Ukraine plans to launch its offensive that US officials say will take place over the next month. The documents date back five weeks.
However, to the trained eye of a Russian field general or intelligence analyst, the documents undoubtedly offer many tantalizing clues and insights. They mention, for example, how many missiles are needed for HIMARS – the US-supplied high-mobility artillery system that can launch attacks against targets such as ammunition depots, infrastructure and troop concentrations from a distance. The Pentagon has not publicly said how quickly Ukrainian troops use HIMARS ammunition, and the documents – yes.
Analysts said it could be difficult to gauge the impact of the leak on front-line fighting now and in the coming months. Russia’s own recent offensive has struggled to win victories in eastern Ukraine, and Western analysts debate whether the Russian military, having suffered staggering losses, is capable of mounting another counteroffensive or resisting a Ukrainian attack.
For now, it is not clear how the documents ended up on social media. But pro-Russian government channels shared and circulated the intelligence slides.
The information leak is the first since the beginning of the war, and according to analysts, it will inevitably harm the exchange of information between Ukraine and the United States of America.
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