On day 28 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian forces largely continued to be stalled across Ukraine. The fierce fighting in Mariupol continues as Russian troops are trying to enter the city.
Ukrainian Counterattacks and Diminishing Russian Combat Power
In its daily estimate of the conflict, the British Ministry of Defense assessed that almost all Russian advances have stalled, with Ukrainian units even mounting counterattacks at places.
“Despite heavy fighting, Ukrainian forces continue to repulse Russian attempts to occupy the southern city of Mariupol. Russian forces elsewhere in Ukraine have endured yet another day of limited progress with most forces largely stalled in place. Several Ukrainian cities continue to suffer heavy Russian air and artillery bombardment with the UN reporting that more than 10 million Ukrainians are now internally displaced as a result of Russia’s invasion,” British Military Intelligence assessed.
Furthermore, for the first time in the war, the Russian combat power seems to be falling, a result of the high casualties that the Russian troops have been suffering since the start of the war.
“We have assessed that for the first time that the Russians may be slightly below a 90 percent level of assessed available combat power. Again, let me remind, that s of the combat power that they assembled in Belarus and in the western part of their country prior to the invasion. It is not an assessment of all Russian military power. But we assess that for the first time, they may be just a little bit below 90 percent on that,” a senior U.S. Defense official said in a background press briefing.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 15,600 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 101 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 124 helicopters, 517 tanks, 267 artillery pieces, 1,578 armored personnel carriers, 80 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), four boats, 1,008 vehicles, 70 fuel tanks, 45 anti-aircraft batteries, 47 unmanned aerial systems, and 15 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles.
Acts of Defiance
Officials at the Ukrainian Railways claimed that there is no railway connection between Ukraine and Belarus in the north. The reason seems to be several acts of sabotage on the part of Belarussian railway workers, who have disrupted their country’s railway system to prevent Russian reinforcements and supplies from reaching Ukraine.
Belarus has been the staging point for the Russian fronts on the north of the battlespace. Belarus is only 200 miles from Kyiv, and the Russian forces that have been trying to capture the Ukrainian capital have used the Russian client state extensively.
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.