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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Russia Has Lost 1,393 Tanks in Ukraine and 703 Artillery Pieces in Ukraine

Ukraine's Snake Island
A view shows fire on Zmiinyi (Snake) Island, Ukraine, in this screengrab taken from a drone video obtained by Reuters on May 8, 2022. Ukrainian Ground Forces/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT

Military expert and in-house Defense Columnist  Stavros Atlamazoglou breaks down the latest war updates in Ukraine – On day 105 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military is still trying to capture Severodonetsk. Over the past days, the Russian forces have made considerable gains, but Ukraine’s defenders are still holding positions in and around the strategic city.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military continues with its counteroffensive in the direction of Kherson and has been pushing back Russian forces there.

Ukraine Update: The War in Severodonetsk and Beyond 

In its daily estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense focused not just on the situation in Severodonetsk but on the Donbas in general and Kherson, where Ukraine is mounting a credible counteroffensive.

“Russia continues to attempt assaults against the Sieverodonetsk pocket from three directions although Ukrainian defences are holding. It is unlikely that either side has gained significant ground in the last 24 hours,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.

The Russian military has dedicated the majority of its combat power in the Donbas and especially the central part in and around Severodonetsk. As a result, the Ukrainian forces are able to take advantage of that and reclaim lost territory elsewhere through limited counteroffensives. The Ukrainian advance toward Kherson is the most important of those counterattacks.

“While Russia is concentrating its offensive on the central Donbas sector, it has remained on the defensive on its flanks. Ukrainian forces have recently achieved some success by counter-attacking in the south-western Kherson region, including regaining a foothold on the eastern bank of the Ingulets River,” the British Ministry of Defense stated.

“Russian forces have likely established control over the majority of the residential sector of Severodonetsk and conducted assaults against Ukrainian positions in the industrial zone in the past 24 hours. The operational environment within the city remains fluid,” the Institute for the Study of War assessed in its latest update on the war.

Further northwest, the Russian forces are trying to break through the Ukrainian defenses and encircle Severodonetsk from the rear. But that effort and the southern attempt in the direction of Bakhmut have thus far failed miserably.

“Russian forces continued efforts to advance on Slovyansk southeast from the Izyum area and west from Lyman, attempting to break through Ukrainian defenses that have halted most direct frontal assaults from Izyum,” the Institute for the Study of War added.

Now, it is all a matter of balancing. Both sides have offensive and defensive demands. And the national strategy should dictate where they commit their forces. For example, Russian President Vladimir Putin is looking for a victory in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces—of which Severodonetsk is the last largest urban center not in Russian hands.

“With the frontage of the occupied zone stretching for over 500km, both Russia and Ukraine face similar challenges in maintaining a defensive line while freeing up capable combat units for offensive operations,” the British Military Intelligence added.

“In the occupied Kherson region, Russia is forcibly aligning its administration with that of the Russian Federation by introducing the Russian rouble as legal tender and employing Russian teachers to introduce the Russian curriculum and language to schools. Russia will highly likely claim its occupation of Kherson as evidence of delivering improved governance and living standards to the Ukrainian people,” the British Ministry of Defense said.

Russian Casualties in Ukraine

Russian casualties continue to mount up in Ukraine at high levels.

Although the rate has slowed down significantly, the Russian military is suffering an unsustainable amount of casualties, both in men and materiel. Western sanctions further hamstring Moscow’s ability to put advanced and capable military hardware on the ground. However, the Russian forces maintain a long-range fires advantage, which they have been employing with relative tactical success in the Donbas.


Ukraine’s 93rd Mechanized Brigade reportedly targeted a column from Russia’s 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade, including multiple T-80BV tanks, a BTR-82A, and trucks, with artillery fire in Kharkiv Oblast. Image: Screengrab VIA Twitter.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 31,500 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 212 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 178 attack and transport helicopters, 1,393 tanks, 703 artillery pieces, 3,429 armored personnel carriers, 213 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 13 boats and cutters, 2,406 vehicles and fuel tanks, 96 anti-aircraft batteries, 559 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 53 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 125 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

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 InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise 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.