It has been 102 days since the Russian invasion began. On Sunday, the Ukrainian forces are mounting a counterattack on Severodonetsk trying to wrestle control of the key urban centers from the Russian military.
Fierce fighting in Severodonetsk
Over the past few days, there has been furious fighting in and around the strategic Ukrainian city. Initially, there were indications that the Russian forces had captured the majority of Severodonetsk and that the Ukrainian military was pulling out. But additional reports in the following days suggested that the Ukrainian forces were still fighting for the city.
In its latest estimate of the war, the Institute for the Study of War stated that “Ukrainian forces are successfully slowing down Russian operations to encircle Ukrainian positions in Luhansk Oblast as well as Russian frontal assaults in Severodonetsk through prudent and effective local counterattacks in Severodonetsk and their defense of the western Siverskyi Donets riverbank.”
The Russian military continues to make progress in the region, but the Ukrainian counterattacks are frustrating Russian attempts at a sweeping advance.
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. To a certain extent, that goal is advancing, with Russian forces in control of most of Luhansk.
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 Sunday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is claiming the following Russian casualties:
- 31,150 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
- 3,392 armored personnel carriers destroyed
- 2,360 vehicles and fuel tanks
- 1,381 tanks
- 686 artillery pieces
- 548 tactical unmanned aerial systems
- 210 fighter, attack, and transport jets
- 207 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
- 175 attack and transport helicopters
- 122 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
- 95 anti-aircraft batteries
- 53 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, and Lyman.
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. But on Sunday, Ukrainian forces inflicted the heaviest casualties in the vicinity of Bakhmut, reflecting their heavy fighting in the region.
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Marlo Daives says
Hello my names Marlo,
I want to thank each and everyone of you troops for putting your life’s on line keep me and every American save!I highly respect all of you!Please stay safe and Remember,I’m just one of the American’s that Appericate you all so much!