It has been 355 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. On Monday, the Russian forces are suffering heavy losses around Bakhmut and Vuhledar in the Donbas.
Over the past few days, the Russian forces have sustained horrible losses on the ground. Specifically, last week, the Russian military experienced its three costlier days of the war since the early days of the invasion. The Russian military and infamous private military company Wagner Group are losing as many as 5,000 men killed and wounded every week. The past three months have also successively been the deadliest in the war.
The Russian forces continue to pressure in the Donbas in the direction of Bakhmut and Vuhledar. There has been some progress in Bakhmut with Russian troops capturing a small settlement to the north of the town. Russian commanders are trying to encircle Bakhmut from the north and the south and cut off the Ukrainian defenders.
In the east, the back-and-forth along the Svatove-Kreminna line of contact continues. After repeated attacks and counterattacks from both sides, the Ukrainian forces are at the edge of Kreminna. Capturing the town would open the way to Svatove, a key logistical hub in the area.
In the south, the Russian forces continue to bolster their defenses in anticipation of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
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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.
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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:
- 138,340 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
- 6,492 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles destroyed
- 5,150 vehicles and fuel tanks
- 3,283 tanks
- 2,290 artillery pieces
- 2,007 tactical unmanned aerial systems
- 857 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
- 465 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
- 296 fighter, attack, and transport jets
- 286 attack and transport helicopters
- 234 anti-aircraft batteries
- 217 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: Ukrainian military with destroyed weapons of Luhansk separatists, September 23, 2022 (Ministry of Defense of Ukraine)
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