It has been 100 days since the Russian invasion began. On Friday, the Russian military continues its deliberate advance in the Donbas, making slow gains along the way.
The Ukrainian military is also persisting with its counteroffensive in the vicinity of Kherson, farther west from the Donbas, also making some gains and disrupting the Russian lines of communication and supply in the region.
Slow and deliberate advance
After the capture of most of Severodonetsk, the Russian military continues to push the Ukrainian forces out of the Donbas. Although fighting is still ongoing in the key Ukrainian city, Severodonetsk looks like a lost cause for the Ukrainians, something that Ukrainian commanders seem to have accepted as they are pulling their forces from the city.
In its latest tactical estimate of the war, the Institute for the Study of War focused on the fighting in the Donbas.
“Russian operations to advance on Slovyansk from the southeast of Izyum and west of Lyman continue to make little progress and are unlikely to do so in the coming days, as Russian forces continue to prioritize Severodonetsk at the expense of other axes of advance. Russian forces continued assaults against Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in order to claim full control of Luhansk Oblast. Russian forces made incremental advances around Avdiivka,” the institute for the Study of War assessed.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the vicinity of Kherson continues to make slow progress.
“Ukrainian counteroffensives in northwestern Kherson Oblast pushed Russian forces to the eastern bank of the Inhulets River and will likely continue to disrupt Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) along the T2207 highway,” the Institute for the Study of War added.
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.
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 more than 600 Russian tanks, a statement that has been reaffirmed by the British Ministry of Defense.
Same independent verification exists for much of the rest of the 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.
As of Friday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is claiming the following Russian casualties:
- 30,950 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
- 3,366 armored personnel carriers destroyed
- 2,329 vehicles and fuel tanks
- 1,367 tanks
- 661 artillery pieces
- 535 tactical unmanned aerial systems
- 210 fighter, attack, and transport jets
- 207 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
- 175 attack and transport helicopters
- 121 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
- 95 anti-aircraft batteries
- 51 special equipment platforms, such as bridging equipment
- 13 boats and cutters
- four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems
Over the past few days, 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.
The Ukrainian military is also more focused on withdrawing from unattainable positions around Severodonetsk, which also might be the reason why the Russian casualty rates have slowed down.
For most of the last weeks, 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 that the Russian military is trying to surround, and Lyman, where the Russian military suffered casualties.
In recent days, the location of the heaviest casualties shifted again westwards toward the area of Zaporizhzhia — where there is one of Europe’s largest nuclear plants — as a result of a Ukrainian counteroffensive there. On Friday, for the third day in a row, the Ukrainian forces inflicted the heaviest casualties in the vicinity of Bakhmut.
Read more from Sandboxx News
- What exactly is a Marine Corps Littoral Regiment?
- How the war in Ukraine is transforming how NATO would fight Russia
- Russia is losing its most elite troops thanks to ‘complacency’ by commanders and Ukrainian fightback, UK says
- Delta Force operator on how Ukrainian special forces rescued a prisoner from the Russians
- What does the invasion of Ukraine mean for China and Taiwan?