It has been 350 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. On Wednesday, the Russian forces continue their assault against Bakhmut in the Donbas.
The Russian military has been trying to capture the two key highways that lead into Bakhmut in an attempt to intercept the Ukrainian lines of communication. The Ukrainian forces have been putting up a fierce resistance but have been conceding ground. This is a deadly fight with high casualties on both sides.
In the east, the situation remains fairly similar. The two sides have been fighting along the Kreminna-Svatove line for the better part of five months, with minor fluctuations on the frontline. The Ukrainians will advance slowly toward Kreminna, only for the Russian forces to launch repeated counterattacks to reclaim the lost ground. The Ukrainian military has been trying to capture Svatove, a key logistical hub that fuels Russian operations in the east and the Donbas.
In the south, there is fighting around Vuhledar, which the Russian forces have been trying to capture since January. The Ukrainian defenses are holding up.
Related: Ukraine accuses senior military officer of high treason, alleges he passed intelligence on troops’ movements to Russia
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: Old but mighty: The US is sending M109 Paladin howitzers to Ukraine
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 Wednesday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is claiming the following Russian casualties:
- 134,100 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
- 6,458 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles destroyed
- 5,112 vehicles and fuel tanks
- 3,253 tanks
- 2,236 artillery pieces
- 1,961 tactical unmanned aerial systems
- 796 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
- 461 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
- 295 fighter, attack, and transport jets
- 285 attack and transport helicopters
- 228 anti-aircraft batteries
- 211 special equipment platforms, such as bridging equipment
- 18 boats and cutters
- four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems
On Wednesday, 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 soldier on a YPR-765 armored carrier vehicle in Bakhmut. (ArmyInform.com.ua)
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