Ukraine War Update: On day 137 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military is conducting limited offensive operations in the Donbas while it is replenishing and refitting the majority of its combat formations.
Russian Artillery Action in Ukraine
The use of artillery has been key in the recent successes of the Russian military in the Donbas. Although when it comes to long-range fires and artillery, the Russian forces don’t have a technological advantage anymore after the West has supplied the Ukrainian military with hundreds of artillery pieces, they do have the numerical advantage.
Reporting from the ground assesses that the Russians are firing approximately 20,000 artillery rounds every day. In comparison, the Ukrainians can afford to fire about 6,000 artillery rounds, less than one-third of the Russian shells. Moreover, the Ukrainians rely on a constant stream of artillery pieces and ammunition from the West to maintain their operations. Thus far, the U.S. military alone has committed 411,000 155mm artillery rounds for the M-777 155mm howitzers and 36,000 105mm artillery rounds for other weapon systems. Conversely, the Russians have years’ worth of ammunition, regardless of how modern it is.
“Russian artillery continues to strike the Sloviansk area of the Donbas from around Izium to the north and near Lysychansk to the east. Russian forces have likely made some further small territorial advances around Popasna,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.
“Fires from Izium continue to focus along the axis of the E40 main road. Control of the E40, which links Donetsk to Kharkiv, is likely to be an important objective for Russia as it attempts to advance through Donetsk Oblast,” the British Ministry of Defense stated.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Russian military continues to suffer heavy casualties in Ukraine. The Kremlin has been trying to find ways to recruit new troops for the war without declaring war on Kyiv and upending the narrative it has sold to the Russian people thus far about a “special military operation” that is limited in scope and won’t take too long.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 37,300 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 217 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 188 attack and transport helicopters, 1,641 tanks, 834 artillery pieces, 3,823 armored personnel carriers, 247 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 2,694 vehicles and fuel tanks, 108 anti-aircraft batteries, 676 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 66 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 155 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.