It has been 378 days since the Russian invasion began. On Wednesday, the fighting in and around the town of Bakhmut continues.
The fighting goes on
The Russian forces continue to launch human wave assaults against the Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut. There is heavy fighting on the northern suburbs of the town, where the Ukrainians have been forced into a salient that is vulnerable to attacks from three sides. Ukrainian reinforcements, however, have stabilized the situation and there is no immediate concern for a Russian breakthrough. Russian forces have advanced to the south and north of the two in an attempt to cut off the lines of communication and supply that lead into Bakhmut.
In the east, the Russian forces are conducting limited ground attacks against Ukrainian positions along the Kreminna-Svatove line of contact. The wooded terrain doesn’t allow for large-scale mechanized warfare, and so the two sides have been stuck into small unit fighting.
In the south, the Russians continue to fortify their positions in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces.
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 1,800 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.
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:
- 155,530 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
- 6,723 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles destroyed
- 5,330 vehicles and fuel tanks
- 3,436 tanks
- 2,463 artillery pieces
- 2,098 tactical unmanned aerial systems
- 873 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
- 488 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
- 303 fighter, attack, and transport jets
- 288 attack and transport helicopters
- 253 anti-aircraft batteries
- 236 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.
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