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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin Is Sweating: U.S. HIMARS and MLRS are a Game-Changer in Ukraine

MLRS rocket system. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
MLRS rocket system. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Military Expert Stavros Atlamazoglou explains in this detailed analysis how much damage U.S. long-range rockets and artillery are doing to Russia on the battlefields of Ukraine: On day 179 day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military continues to suffer heavy casualties in Ukraine, and the situation continues to get worse as the Ukrainian military is utilizing long-range fires to take out Russian logistical functions hundreds of miles behind the frontlines.

The Russian Casualties

Moscow keeps losing men and materiel in Ukraine, and there doesn’t seem to be an end. The Ukrainian forces continue to employ their M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) to take out Russian ammunition dumps and logistical hubs.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 45,200 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 234 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 197 attack and transport helicopters, 1,912 tanks, 1,028 artillery pieces, 4,224 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 266 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,143 vehicles and fuel tanks, 141 anti-aircraft batteries, 806 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 99 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 190 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

Russian Tank Biathlons and Propaganda 

The Russian military is getting mauled in Ukraine, and yet the Kremlin seeks to pretend that all is normal. Recently, the Russian military held the International Army Games in Moscow. However, the event drew a lot of criticism from Russian military bloggers, who have considerable influence over the Russian population.

“Since the start of the invasion Igor Girkin, a Russian hard-liner and formerly an FSB officer and minister in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, has become an increasingly outspoken critic of the Kremlin’s handling of the war in Ukraine,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.

“On 19 Aug 2022, Girkin posted a grudgingly admiring critique of President Zelenskyy’s conduct during the war. He contrasted this with Russia’s situation where ‘at the end of the sixth month of the war as before [we] play tank biathlons and hold festivals of military bands,’” the British Ministry of Defense stated.

Held every year, the tank biathlon is the high-profile event that finishes the Russian International Army Games, which take place in Moscow. Despite the war in Ukraine, the Russian military held the military games as normal in an attempt to show the Russian population that all was normal.


M270 MLRS. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin.

The rift between the official Kremlin line and Russian military bloggers continues to grow, and it remains to be seen whether that division will have an effect on the course of the conflict.

“A significant proportion of Russia’s military and security professionals probably believe that it is inappropriate to continue committing forces to peace-time military ceremonial events while Russian troops continue to suffer heavy casualties in Ukraine,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.

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.