The Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south is taking place as the Russian military is trying hard to replenish frontline units with men.
For the past several months, the Russian forces have been struggling with force generation issues. The fierce and unexpected Ukrainian defense and the lackluster Russian war effort have taken a heavy toll on the Russian military.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 47,900 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 234 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 204 attack and transport helicopters, 1,974 tanks, 1,091 artillery pieces, 4,312 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 285 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,236 vehicles and fuel tanks, 152 anti-aircraft batteries, 849 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 103 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 196 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
The Ukraine’s Counteroffensive: Analysis
The Ukrainian forces are pushing hard with their counteroffensive in the south in the direction of Kherson, advancing in five different directions while targeting and taking out critical Russian military targets, including bridges, railways, ammunition depots, fuel dumps, artillery batteries, and command and control hubs.
“Ukrainian armoured forces have continued to assault Russia’s Southern Grouping of Forces on several axes across the south of the country since Monday. Ukrainian formations have pushed the front line back some distance in places, exploiting relatively thinly held Russian defences,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest war update.
The Russian military is pulling back in several settlements, and reports from the ground suggest that the Ukrainian forces have advanced up to six miles in certain places. The Russian military is using mobile units to plug any gaps along the contact line created by the Ukrainian advances, but it remains uncertain whether that will suffice to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The Ukrainian counteroffensive comes after months of preparation. Using its newly acquired weapon systems—especially the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)—the Ukrainian military had slowly but steadily taken out most of the Russian military’s logistical structure in the south. Thus, when the counteroffensive began, the Ukrainian forces on the ground would have a much easier job ahead of them.
Kyiv took a gamble by launching a counteroffensive in the south while the Russian military pushed hard in the Donbas in the east. But it seems that it is paying off—or at least for now.
Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive 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.