It has been 363 days since the Russian invasion began. On Tuesday, the fighting in Ukraine continues with no break. The Russian forces continue to be in search of a breakthrough in the Donbas, but the Ukrainian defenses are holding up.
The fighting goes on
The Russian forces continue to concentrate their efforts against Bakhmut in the Donbas. Despite some localized gains to the north and south of the town, the Russian forces aren’t close to breaking the Ukrainian defenses.
A similar situation exists farther south in the direction of Vuhledar. The Russian forces have been trying to capture the small Ukrainian town but with little success, while suffering extremely heavy casualties. According to British Military Intelligence estimates, the Russian military has lost about two brigades in frontal assaults against the Ukrainian positions around Vuhledar.
In the east, the Russian military is trying to recapture lost territory outside Kreminna. The Ukrainian forces are holding their ground and are launching counterattacks on the outskirts of the town.
In the south, the situation remains fairly the same. The Russian forces continue to dig in 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.
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.
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Yet, proper casualty figures are still hard to compute and verify given the fog and friction of war.
As of Tuesday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is claiming the following Russian casualties:
- 144,440 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
- 6,562 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles destroyed
- 5,210 vehicles and fuel tanks
- 3,326 tanks
- 2,338 artillery pieces
- 2,023 tactical unmanned aerial systems
- 873 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
- 471 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
- 299 fighter, attack, and transport jets
- 287 attack and transport helicopters
- 243 anti-aircraft batteries
- 226 special equipment platforms, such as bridging equipment
- 18 boats and cutters
- four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems
On Tuesday, 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 during the war in the Donbas, 2015. (Ministry of Defense of Ukraine)
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Kelly Harrison says
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