Ukrainian servicemen walk in a street in Bakhmut in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine


  • Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said Ukraine has more than 700,000 people in uniform
  • Hodges added that Ukraine has another 2 million men ready to fight in the war
  • Ukraine is preparing for a possible spring offensive by the Russian army

A retired U.S. army lieutenant general on Sunday said that the Ukrainian army is not struggling with manpower even as the war extends into its 12th month.

As of Sunday, Russia's military death toll reached 131,290, according to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The figure included 700 soldiers who were killed over the past day.

It is unclear how many soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been killed or wounded in the war. However, former U.S. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said he believes Kyiv is not facing any problems with its manpower.

"When you start comparing populations and logistics, Ukraine has no manpower problem. They've got over 700,000 people in uniform and another two million ready to step forward," Hodges said during an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "And of course, will power."

In comparison, Hodges said Russia may have the mass but argued that they would be defeated "with time" as Moscow continues to push its troops "into the meat grinder" without caring about the number of soldiers dying each day.

Hodges' interview comes as Ukraine is preparing for a possible brutal spring offensive by Russian forces.

"There are signs we saw on the front lines that (it) is beginning to happen already. It is the prologue to the big offensive," veteran CNN producer Tim Lister, who had just returned from the frontline in eastern Ukraine, said, adding that one Ukrainian military commander said the "real war has not even started yet."

Moscow has yet to formally confirm or announce whether it will launch another offensive. However, Russian forces may attempt to take over the besieged city of Bakhmut in Donbas Oblast, which has been the site of brutal fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops in the past three months, as per BBC.

As of Sunday, Ukrainian forces still have control of the city even as mercenaries for Russia's Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) surround the area.

Other cities that Russia might aim to capture in another ground offensive could include Vuhledar in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia city, Kharkiv and the capital city of Kyiv.

The United States has promised to provide 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers to Ukraine