Russia Bets on 'Medieval Attrition Approach' as Ukraine Losses Mount

Russia is using a "medieval attrition approach" in Ukraine, as Ukrainian forces face heavy casualties, according to a former U.S. general.

Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges told the Associated Press in an interview published Saturday that the losses in Ukraine would continue until the country receives additional weapons from the West.

"This battlefield is so much more lethal than what we all became accustomed to over the 20 years of Iraq and Afghanistan, where we didn't have numbers like this," Hodges, who formerly commanded U.S. Army forces in Europe, told the news outlet. "That level of attrition would include leaders, sergeants."

"They are a lot of the brunt of casualties because they are the more exposed, constantly moving around trying to do things," he added.

Putin Uses ‘Medieval Attrition Approach’ in Ukraine
Russia is using a "medieval attrition approach" in Ukraine as Ukrainian forces face heavy losses, according to a former U.S. general. Above, a woman walks in front of damaged apartment building after a missile strike in the Donbas region on Saturday. Aris Messinis

In recent weeks, Russia has focused its offensive on Ukraine's eastern Donbas region after being defeated north of Kyiv, the country's capital.

In an interview with Newsmax earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the "most difficult situation" in the war is "in the east of Ukraine and southern Donetsk and Luhansk."

"The situation is very difficult; we're losing 60-100 soldiers per day as killed in action and something around 500 people as wounded in action. So we are holding our defensive perimeters," he stated.

General Viktor Muzhenko, who previously served as chief of general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, told the AP that the Russia-Ukraine war is "the most significant conflict in Europe since World War II."

"That explains why the losses are so great. In order to reduce losses, Ukraine now needs powerful weapons that match or even surpass Russian weaponry. This would enable Ukraine to respond in kind," Muzhenko said.

White House Announces More Military Aid for Ukraine

On Tuesday, the White House announced a new $700 million package of Ukrainian military assistance that includes rocket systems. The package came after Ukrainian officials had requested long-range rockets to help slow the Russian offensive in Eastern Ukraine.

In a piece he wrote in The New York Times this week, President Joe Biden detailed his decision to provide the weapons.

"We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table," the president wrote. "That's why I've decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine."

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries for comment.