On day 25 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the advance of the Russian forces has almost stalled on all fronts. The exceptionally fierce Ukrainian resistance coupled with the incredible failure of the Russian supply lines has created a stalemate. In an attempt to break through this deadlock, the Russian forces are shelling Ukrainian cities indiscriminately in an attempt to break the will of the defenders and capture them.
Stalemate and Shelling
In its latest estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense assessed that the Russian military is still trying to encircle key Ukrainian cities but that it is also failing to do so and thus resulting in indiscriminate shelling.
“Russian forces are continuing to encircle a number of cities across eastern Ukraine. Over the past week Russian forces have made limited progress in capturing these cities; instead, Russia has increased its indiscriminate shelling of urban areas resulting in widespread destruction and large numbers of civilian casualties. It is likely Russia will continue to use its heavy firepower to support assaults on urban areas as it looks to limit its own already considerable losses, at the cost of further civilian casualties,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.
Meanwhile, the U.S. remains committed to the integrity of the NATO alliance.
“Our commitment to Article V is iron clad. And now Putin’s war of choice against Ukraine has been tragic. Russia’s invasion has taken a terrible toll on Ukrainian lives including brave soldiers and far too many innocent civilians. Yet Russia’s aggression has galvanized the Ukrainian people, NATO and the free world. . . They [Ukrainian people] are fighting are against huge odds to defend their country,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a joint press statement with the Bulgarian Prime Minister.
The Low and Highs of Russia’s Casualties
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 14,700 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 96 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 118 helicopters, 476 tanks, 230 artillery pieces, 1,487 armored personnel carriers, 74 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), three boats, 947 vehicles, 60 fuel tanks, 44 anti-aircraft batteries, 21 unmanned aerial systems, and 12 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles.
So heavy casualties are unsustainable and they raise serious questions about the ability of the Russian military to achieve any of its initial objectives.
Ukrainian officials are also claiming that their forces killed a fifth Russian flag officer. Thus far, four Russian generals have been confirmed killed in action on the ground in Ukraine. The deaths of so many high level officers could have occurred because they had to go to the frontlines in order to inspire or organize their troops or because the Ukrainians were able to identify them via signals or electronic intelligence. Reports indicate a major breakdown in the secure communications of Russian troops, which in instances are resulting in using unsecure local phone lines or mobiles.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.