The Situation in the Donbas, Ukraine
In its daily estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense focused on the fighting in the Donbas and how the current situation favors the Ukrainian military.
“Russian offensive operations remain reduced in scope and scale, with fighting west of Lysychansk focussed on Siversk and Bakhmut. This is despite Russian claims to have entered the outskirts of Siversk town earlier in the week,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.
“Russia has previously made premature and false claims of success. This is likely at least in part aimed at demonstrating success to domestic audiences and to reinforce the morale of the fighting forces,” the British Ministry of Defense added.
Something that we have covered before here at 19FortyFive is that despite the Russian advances of the past couple of weeks, the current situation actually favors the Ukrainian defenders before the frontlines have shrunk and straightened. Whereas before, during the battles for Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the Russian forces were attacking from five and six directions, now they can only do so from three, thus making it easier for the Ukrainian forces to defend.
“Ukrainian defence has been successful in repulsing Russian attacks since Lysychansk was ceded and the Ukrainian defensive line was shortened and straightened. This has allowed for the concentration of force and fires against reduced Russian attacks and has been instrumental in reducing Russia’s momentum,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Russian military continues to suffer heavy casualties in Ukraine, and the Kremlin is hard to put to replace the men it has lost. Moscow is increasingly relying on ad hoc measures to bolster its combat forces on the frontlines. The Kremlin has been providing financial incentives in order to attract more volunteers to the military and has even gone as far as to declare civilians who have fought in the war as veterans, giving them prestige and benefits. Of course, no ordinary civilian would find himself in a warzone. So, this new legislation is aimed at mercenaries who are fighting with Russian private military companies.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Saturday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 38,140 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 220 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 188 attack and transport helicopters, 1,677 tanks, 846 artillery pieces, 3,874 armored personnel carriers, 247 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 2,735 vehicles and fuel tanks, 109 anti-aircraft batteries, 687 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 68 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 162 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 Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.