Russia has failed to achieve a single strategic objective of its initial war plan 100 days into to the invasion of Ukraine, British intelligence suggests.
President Vladimir Putin’s army failed to take control of Kyiv in the early days of the war due to “false planning assumptions and poor tactical execution”, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said in an update on Friday.
After weeks of a stalling advance on the capital, Moscow ordered its forces to retreat from towns and villages around Kyiv and redirected resources to the eastern Donbas region.
As the invasion reached the grim milestone, the MoD said Russia was only now showing signs of “achieving tactical success” on the ground, and is likely to have the entire Luhansk region under its control within two weeks.
“Today marks the 100th day since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the MoD tweeted.
“Russian forces failed to achieve their initial objectives to seize Kyiv and Ukrainian centres of government. Staunch Ukrainian resistance and the failure to secure Hostomel airfield in the first 24 hours led to Russian offensive operations being repulsed.
“Following the failure of the initial plan, through false planning assumptions and poor tactical execution, Russia adapted its operational design to focus on the Donbas."
The ministry said Moscow's forces were "achieving tactical success" in the eastern region, where they had "generated and maintained momentum and currently appear to hold the initiative over Ukrainian opposition".
“Russia controls over 90 per cent of Luhansk Oblast and is likely to complete control in the next two weeks," the MoD said. "Russia has achieved these recent tactical successes at significant resource cost, and by concentrating force and fires on a single part of the overall campaign.
“Russia has not been able to generate manoeuvre or movement on other fronts or axes, all of which have transitioned to the defensive.
“Measured against Russia’s original plan, none of the strategic objectives have been achieved. For Russia to achieve any form of success will require continued huge investment of manpower and equipment, and is likely to take considerable further time.”
Death toll in conflict unknown
The death toll of the war in Ukraine remains unknown but it is estimated that tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers have died since President Putin launched the full-scale invasion on February 24.
In Mariupol alone, officials have reported more than 21,000 civilian deaths. Severodonetsk, a city in Luhansk which has become the focal point of Russian aggression, has seen about 1,500 casualties, regional mayor Serhiy Gaidai said.
Much of the city had fallen to Russian forces, Mr Gaidai admitted this week.
Such estimates include those killed directly by Russians and those who succumbed to secondary effects such as hunger and sickness as food supplies and health services collapsed.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week that up to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are dying in combat every day, with about 500 more being wounded.
Russia’s last publicly released figures for its own forces came on March 25, when a general told state media that 1,351 soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded. Ukraine and western observers, however, say the real number is much higher.