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Putin’s Next Ukraine Crisis: The Russian Military Is Simply Exhausted

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M777. Marines with India Battery, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, prepare to receive a fire mission during MEU Exercise 14 aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 20, 2014. The purpose of MEUEX is to train the different elements of the 15th MEU to work together to complete a wide variety of missions. (U.S. Marine Corps HDR photo by Sgt. Jamean R. Berry/Released)

On day 150 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military is still looking for a breakthrough in the Donbas as the Ukrainian forces are preparing to recapture a major city in the south.

Donbas 

In its daily estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense briefly touched on the Russian military’s lack of progress in eastern Ukraine.

“In the Donbas, small-scale Russian offensive action remains focused on the Bakhmut axis, but it is making minimal progress,” the British Military Intelligence stated.

The Russian military has failed to achieve anything of significance in eastern Ukraine since the end of the operational pause about a week ago. There are a couple of possible explanations for the lack of Russian progress.

First, the Russian military is simply running out of steam after five months of brutal fighting. This explanation is even credible if the lack of preparedness of the Russian military is taken into account. A war that was supposed to last two weeks at the most, has dragged on for 20.

Second, the Ukrainians are using the weapons systems they have received, particularly the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), to great effect, targeting and taking out the Russian ammunition depots and logistical hubs that fuel the Russian war machine.

Annexations in Ukraine? 

But the British Ministry of Defense mainly focused on the statements of senior Russian officials with respect to possible future annexations.

“On 20 July 2022, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia had expanded the scope of its ‘special military operation’ beyond the self-declared Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. Lavrov claimed that the operation now included new additional areas, including the Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, as a result of Western countries supplying longer range weapons to Ukraine,” the British Ministry of Defense stated.

“This is almost certainly not true. Russia has not ‘expanded’ its war; maintaining long-term control of these areas was almost certainly an original goal of the invasion. Russia invaded these areas in February and the occupation authorities have been publicly discussing the prospects for legal independent referendums since at least mid-March,” the British Ministry of Defense added.

“There is a realistic possibility that Lavrov made the comments to pave the way for referenda to take place in occupied territories beyond Luhansk and Donetsk,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.

Russian Casualties in Ukraine

The Russian military continues to suffer heavy casualties in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 39,520 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 221 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 188 attack and transport helicopters, 1,722 tanks, 869 artillery pieces, 3,942 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 255 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 2,823 vehicles and fuel tanks, 113 anti-aircraft batteries, 714 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 73 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 170 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.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Eugene

    July 25, 2022 at 2:06 am

    Ukraine as a state was created only 100 years ago by Vladimir Lenin. The entire eastern, southern and central part of present-day Ukraine is the lands of the Russian Empire donated to it. Russian decided to close the Ukraine project after the Ukrainian government began to transfer these lands under the control of Western countries and take back the donated native Russian lands. As for the losses of the Russian army, there are only 120,000 Russian soldiers involved. Consider for yourself what fairy tales the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine tells

    • Bobby

      July 25, 2022 at 8:09 am

      Two things strike me: first, clearly you aren’t a historian and second, you’re an idiot to think anyone believe your propaganda. BTW, how does it feel to be humiliated by Ukraine Army? Putin is a loser.

      • from Russia with love

        July 25, 2022 at 10:21 am

        Bobby, you are a fabulous idiot! 🙂
        Eugene may not be a historian, but he is stating historical facts. before the Bolsheviks, this territory had never been a state. it was always part of some other country. there were Tatars and Lithuanians and Poles and Russians.
        BUT! of course, you can not believe in it and continue to amuse others with your nonsense and fairy tales about 1000 years of Ukrainian history and that Columbus was Ukrainian and the Egyptians were Ukrainians 🙂
        about what it’s like to be humiliated by the Ukrainian army, you better ask the Ukrainians;) they are now filming a lot of whining stories about how they were abandoned by the command. about how they ended up with machine guns against Russian tanks, artillery and aircraft. that they have no food and ammunition. that they lost 70-80% of their personnel under fire. and in the end, that they are not to blame for the fact that they fled from their positions 🙂 today a new episode of this funny series was released. this time the main “heroes” are the 54th brigade defending the Uglegorsk CHPP. they abandoned their positions and now this fortified area is being cleared by the troops of the Russian Federation.

    • mcswell

      July 25, 2022 at 7:47 pm

      I don’t know about that, but I do know that the United States was created as a country only a few hundred years ago. So what? We are a country now, and Ukraine is as well, and by your admission has been for a century. I hope they continue as a country for centuries more.

  2. David W Burgess

    July 25, 2022 at 9:54 am

    I personally think Ukraine should occasionally launch a few of its weapons into Russia. It’s too bad they don’t have any long range stuff that would reach Moscow, about 500 – 700 miles away depending where they were launched from. Let the Russians “feel” the war.

  3. prague 1968

    July 25, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    First, the author has no idea of what the “original goal of the invasion” was, unless he has a direct hot line to the Kremlin. Second, most of the Russian military is at home taking a break, as the most recent brutal shelling of the former fortified Ukranian strongholds has been done by the local military forces of the Donbas. NATO, EU, and the US will never succeed in Ukraine, as the people of Donbas are on the side of Russia. You are a fool if you think otherwise. If you do not have the support of the locals, all the bombs on the planet won’t do you any good, as you will have to kill everyone to reach your objective. US, EU, and NATO will never be perceived as liberators in Eastern Ukraine. Pouring billions of dollars on that dumpster fire is a fools errand. Much of the US hardware that does not get destroyed by the Russians winds up on the black market, or becomes available for sale to anyone willing to pay for it, including the Russians. My guess is that the US will eventually capitulate, and they will settle for the meager accomplishment of at least being able to damage the economic ties between the EU and Russia. US will go find some other poor bastard that needs “foreign aid”, and the EU will be left holding the bag.

    In the immortal words of Victoria Nuland “F*** the EU”.

    Semper Fi

  4. Supershann

    July 25, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    In Soviet Russia, tank fires YOU!

  5. Pavel

    August 8, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    You have it infested with Russian trolls, I’m from the Czech Republic and it’s been going on intensively here for several years. Glory to Ukraine

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