It has been 376 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. On Monday, the fight for Bakhmut continues with heavy street-to-street fighting inside the town.
The situation in Bakhmut
The situation in Bakhmut is precarious. Supported by the mercenaries of the infamous private military company Wagner Group, the Russian military has made significant progress in and around the Ukrainian town. The Ukrainian military is now fighting in the northern suburbs of the town.
Yet, Russian progress has come at a high cost. Since Friday, the Russian military and the Wagner Group mercenaries supporting it have lost almost 4,000 troops killed and wounded, according to official Ukrainian estimates.
The Ukrainian military will likely withdraw from the town once it realizes its position is unattainable. In the meanwhile, the Ukrainian forces continue to inflict heavy manpower and materiel casualties on the advancing Russians.
In the east, the Russian forces continue with their ground offensive against Ukrainian positions on the outskirts of Kreminna.
In the south, the situation has remained fairly similar. The Russian forces continue to bolster their fortifications in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces in anticipation of a large-scale Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Every day, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is providing an update on its claimed Russian casualties. These numbers are official figures and haven’t been separately verified.
However, Western intelligence assessments and independent reporting corroborate, to a certain extent, the Ukrainian casualty claims. For example, the Oryx open-source intelligence research page has visually verified the destruction or capture of close to 1,700 Russian tanks (which amounts to more tanks than the combined armor capabilities of France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom) and more than 8,300 weapon systems of all types; this assessment has been confirmed by the British Ministry of Defense.
The same independent verification exists for most of the other Ukrainian claims. Recently, the Pentagon acknowledged that the Russian military has lost thousands of combat vehicles of all types, including over 1,000 tanks, and dozens of fighter jets and helicopters.
Related: A Ukrainian soldier took out 5 Russian tanks in a single day using US-supplied Javelin missiles, Ukraine says
In November, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley shared the U.S. military’s assessment that the Russian military has lost way more than 100,000 troops so far in the war. But U.S. officials revised this assessment in February. According to U.S. intelligence, Russia has lost almost 200,000 troops killed or wounded in the conflict so far.
Yet, proper casualty figures are still hard to compute and verify given the fog and friction of war.
As of Monday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is claiming the following Russian casualties:
- 153,770 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
- 6,703 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles destroyed
- 5,307 vehicles and fuel tanks
- 3,423 tanks
- 2.433 artillery pieces
- 2,086 tactical unmanned aerial systems
- 873 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
- 489 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
- 302 fighter, attack, and transport jets
- 288 attack and transport helicopters
- 250 anti-aircraft batteries
- 234 special equipment platforms, such as bridging equipment
- 18 boats and cutters
- four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems
On Monday, Ukrainian forces continued to inflict the heaviest in the direction of Bakhmut, which is located in the south of the Donbas, and along the Kreminna-Svatove line in the east.
The stated goal of the Russian military for the renewed offensive in the east is to establish full control over the pro-Russian breakaway territories of Donetsk and Luhansk and create and maintain a land corridor between these territories and the occupied Crimea.
Feature Image: A building in Bakhmut on fire. (NOELreports Twitter)
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The ukes aren’t retreating! They are advancing in retrograde!
I loved the part where the Russian death toll is “according to Ukrainian officials”. According to those same officials, Ukraine troops are about to enter Moscow.