It has been 124 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. On Monday, the Russian forces are pushing hard in the Donbas trying to take advantage of their success in Severodonetsk.
The push for Lysychansk
After capturing Severodonetsk, the Russian forces are now pushing hard toward Lysychansk in an attempt to capitalize on their success. However, the Ukrainians are putting up a strong defense, making any quick Russian advances unlikely. The fighting is now mainly taking place in the southern outskirts of Lysychansk.
“Russian forces continued attacks against the southern outskirts of Lysychansk and consolidated control of Severodonetsk and surrounding settlements. Russian forces are conducting operations to the east of Bakhmut to maintain control of the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway,” the Institute for the Study of War assessed.
The Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south has slowed down considerably, while the Russian forces in the region have been reinforcing their positions and receiving more men and hardware. Over the past few days, the Russian forces in and around Kherson increased their long-range fires attacks against the Ukrainian positions in an attempt to further slow down the counteroffensive.
A threat that the Russian forces face in occupied areas of Ukraine is partisans. The Ukrainians have been conducting unconventional warfare behind enemy lines, trying to make the life of the Russian forces difficult. Their attempts have had a certain degree of success, with numerous instances of attacks against Russian troops and facilities throughout occupied Ukraine.
Every day, the Ukrainian military is providing an update on their 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 almost 800 Russian tanks; this assessment has been confirmed by the British Ministry of Defense.
The same independent verification exists for most of the other Ukrainian claims. Only 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.
Furthermore, more recent reports that are citing Western intelligence officials indicate that the Russian military has suffered up to 20,000 fatalities in the war so far.
It is very hard to verify the actual numbers unless one is on the ground. However, after adjusting for the fog of war and other factors the Western official numbers are fairly close to the Ukrainian claims.
As of Monday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is claiming the following Russian casualties:
- 35,000 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
- 3,687 armored personnel carriers destroyed
- 2,575 vehicles and fuel tanks
- 1,552 tanks
- 771 artillery pieces
- 636 tactical unmanned aerial systems
- 217 fighter, attack, and transport jets
- 243 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
- 184 attack and transport helicopters
- 139 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
- 101 anti-aircraft batteries
- 60 special equipment platforms, such as bridging equipment
- 14 boats and cutters
- four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems
Over the past weeks, the rate of Russian casualties has slowed down significantly despite continuous pressure and offensive operations in the Donbas. This suggests two things: First, the Russian commanders are taking a more cautious approach to their offensive operations, fully utilizing combined arms warfare to achieve their goals; and second, the Ukrainian forces are running out of combat power or ammunition — and this is expected after over three months of war against the Russian military. Recent reports from the ground suggest that both of these factors are true, and that the fatigue of warfare is catching up on both sides.
For most of the last month, the Russian military suffered the greatest casualties around the Slovyansk, Kryvyi Rih, and Zaporizhzhia areas, reflecting the heavy fighting that was going on there. As the days went on, most of the heavy fighting shifted toward the direction of Bakhmut, southeast of Slovyansk, around Severodonetsk, a key Ukrainian town, and Lyman.
Then the location of the heaviest casualties shifted again westwards toward the area of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia — where one of Europe’s largest nuclear plants is located — as a result of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in and around the area.
On Monday, Ukrainian forces inflicted the heaviest casualties in the vicinity of Bakhmut, where the Russian forces are trying to advance and cut off Severodonetsk from the rear, and Kurakhove, near Donetsk.
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.
Read more from Sandboxx News
- Russian officer fears American rocket launchers supplied to Ukraine
- Is the famous TB2 Bayraktar the best drone in Ukraine?
- HIMARS and other high-tech weapons in Ukraine
- Letters to Loretta: A series into the power of humanity to persevere during war
- The case for universal military or civilian service in America