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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin Is Destroying the Russian Military in Ukraine

Ukraine TOS-1A
TOS-1A. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

On day 207 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian forces continue to push in the east while the Russian military is wasting men and energy in futile assaults in the Donbas.

The Russian Casualties in Ukraine

Russian casualties in Ukraine continue to be high, and as a result, the effectiveness of the Russian military continues to decrease over time.

For example, during the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east last week, the Russian military lost almost two brigades worth of equipment while trying to flee from the Ukrainian onslaught.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 54,480 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 251 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 217 attack and transport helicopters, 2,210 tanks, 1,309 artillery pieces, 4,718 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 312 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,578 vehicles and fuel tanks, 168 anti-aircraft batteries, 918 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 122 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 238 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

Fighting in the Donbas 

Meanwhile, the Russian military continues to conduct offensive operations in the south part of the Donbas.

Over the weekend, the Russian forces attacked Bakhmut and several settlements in the north of Donetsk City—the capital of the Donetsk province that has been in the hands of pro-Russian separatists since 2014. The Russian assaults in the Donbas continue to be fragmented and lack a joint, combined arms approach that would assist in their effectiveness.

Moreover, the Russian offensive operations in the Donbas are not contributing to the larger strategic picture. The Russian military doesn’t have the offensive capabilities to achieve a breakthrough in the Donbas right now, and wasting forces and energy there won’t counterbalance the Ukrainian counteroffensives in the east and south. Moscow continues to persist with its offensive operations in the Donbas while the other fronts are crumpling simultaneously.

“Russian forces continue to conduct meaningless offensive operations around Donetsk City and Bakhmut instead of focusing on defending against Ukrainian counteroffensives that continue to advance,” the Institute for the Study of War assessed.

Russian Long-Range Strikes 

In response to the Ukrainian successes of late, the Russian military has been lobbing ballistic and cruise missiles on Ukrainian urban centers.

“Russia has launched several thousand long-range missiles against Ukraine since 24 February 2022. However, in the last seven days, Russia has increased its targeting of civilian infrastructure even where it probably perceives no immediate military effect,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.

The Russian long-range strikes lack sufficient targeting and accuracy, and as a result, they kill and wound civilians.

“This category of mission has included strikes against the electricity grid, and a dam on the Inhulets River at Kryvyi Rih,” the British Military Intelligence stated.

“As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.

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 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.



  1. Jacksonian Libertarian

    September 18, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    The fact that Russia thinks attacks on civilians will hurt Ukrainian morale, means that is what they are suffering from. Russian morale is bad and getting worse, as their forces get routed.

    “Morale is to the material as 3 to 1” Napoléon

  2. Tsar has no clothes

    September 18, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Given Putins growing political problems, coupled with his public humiliation in Kharkiv, the West needs to continue to feed Ukraine with the tools to totally destroy RU army making sure they never have the capability to invade another country. Russia will be China’s bitch.

    Russia’s carefully cultivated myth of being a superpower has forever been dispelled. What has been reinforced to the world is the callous disregard for conventions of war: raping, killing civilians, attacking hospital and other infrastructures will cement the notion of Russia being terrorist thugs lacking leadership and discipline. Quite the legacy Putin has molded.

    I do think Ukraine is happy to accept the tanks, vehicles, radars, artillery and ammo that has been so graciously donated by Putin’s fearsome fleeing army.

    Instead of putting a Z on Russian equipment would be be more appropriate to paint them all yellow to match those fierce fighters running away?

  3. xheavy

    September 18, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    This is probably not the formal Russian Military in action per se.

    Using USA Comparison, I would call the Russian Forces some Military, some Company hired guns and lots of local militia. Or Minutemen defending their homes specifically to use a US Term from our Revolutionary War.

    Command has been in tatters in the RU side in the beginning. No one is going to tell Putin anything thats true without being fired or executed. So they pretend to tell him things that dont matter in the end. Feed him a whole lot of nothing. Then from below, the Russian Units on the ground are essentially a mob of small units. Some of their leaders, sargents so and so and captain whomever has shown initiative and daring in fights for one street corner or block. But do not possess the Units large enough or the sufficient authority, command and control to influence anything beyond their own city block as it were.

    Basically a Mob Riot, or Riot Writ Large with Military Equipment where available on hand to break stuff into rubble faster.

    In online games of 64 player teams we formed four groups. A for full attack. They just have one job. Take a objective on the map. B Group is part of the A group in attack. After the objective is taken, A group reorganizes and goes straight into the next objective B Group stays put to absorb and repel the expected and evolving attempt by the enemy team to respawn and come take their lost objective back. After being destroyed by B Group, They are now losing the second objective further up and B group is moving out to join A to take that objective. Enemy team now has lost TWO objectives and are struggling to reform.

    C Group is simply a problem solver. Fix it Charlies. THERES A TANK COMING. C group is already all over it. Tank is dead. next problem.

    D Group are the deplorables. They dont like people barking in their ears to do this do that fix this attack here, blah blah blah. What D group does do is simply go deep into the enemy team’s main home area and raise holy hell disrupting, destroying assets and totally essentially spawn raping the enemy team of 64 trying to regenerate to try and retake the lost map. The D group gets to enjoy their own wit, daring and bravery getting into the enemy commander’s tent and taking him or her out. Enemy commander becomes self absorbed into self security for which there is none to be had for love or money. Becomes a football quarter back that gets sacked over and over and over.

    My team operating under a ABC and D system generally leaves me with nothing to do for them unless they need resupply or some very special help. If the Commander does it right he or she has hardly anything to do while the battle resolves itself in due time with the expected results.

    Against a random public mob of 64 strangers it clears the server out as all of them quit. Total victory. Over and over again until you find 64 organized people joining in and then the resulting battle takes on a totally different and really lethal dimension. It could be a week before that resolves.

    Thats where UKR comes in. RU Generals barking on a cell phone. Gets detected in real time 50 miles back. HIMARS or some other asset such as Excalibur (Good for 6 feet or less) is on the way. Poof no more General.

    Putin has to get another General now. Or bossyman with big enough brass to try and fix everything. Hes been going through a awful lot of commanders the entire war.

    Putin is going to have to either mobilize Russia Formally and apply the iron fist to Ukraine directly and stop pretending or playing at special ops which isnt working. OR let go of all Ukraine and pack it up and get out.

    Since no one is telling Putin anything correctly then the whole mess will grind on and on and on in the grist mill until UKR cleans the whole nation up. One block at a time.

    Thats going to last as long as Putin can tolerate the current form of theater and illusions presented to him by commanders unable to do anything. When he finally understands that the whole thing is a huge waste and has become a make workshop existing for its own bread and butter in terms of human lives without any concrete result while bleeding RU white…. hes going to choose.

    The third dimension would be a war with NATO and USA. I am getting almost to where most of the RU military is simply junk. Tin cans to shoot at on land, air and sea manned by people become apathetic and no longer gives a tinkers damn for being on station in wartime.

    Its a shame to watch RU bled white by a little Nation that had to spool from Peacetime to war overnight. I recall distinctly one image taken from downtown Kiev the night before the invasion, about 4 hours prior. A teen couple sparking and being human in love while several others played traditional music and had some drinks nearby enjoying the moon and stars above.

    To go from that to a total war for their own futures in a few hours and make it stick for months almost a year is really outstanding. How they had to do it implies a variety of situations that united Ukraine as a people. For example No one talks about current near real time place of UKR Units. Not until a week or more later when it no longer means anything. So…

    I could go on. But frankly I typed enough for this post. Until next time. So long.

  4. Yrral

    September 18, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    How do Putin eat an Ukrainain elephant,one bite at a time, whether you like it or not Ukraine is being systematic demolished,to the point,it will be uninhibited for the citizens of Ukraine,you have 100 of thousands pound of Asbestos,that is floating in the air ,that will lead to death of 10 of thousands of people,that inhale with lung cancer ,and know way to mitigate it Google Ukraine Asbestos War

  5. CPT K

    September 18, 2022 at 9:13 pm


    Do you ever tire of regurgitating the same pro-Ukrainian intervention article over and over for months on end? You’ve been spewing this same nonsense for six (6) months—none of which will change the fundamentals on the ground. The longer the war grinds on, the more the fundamentals matter, and they favor Russia. Simultaneously we’re seeing precisely what you’ve ignored for months and which I’ve repeatedly commented upon-the creation of a Sino-Indo—Russo economic pact aimed at overthrowing the USD global reserve currency hegemony—the basis for American ability to intervene abroad and project military power. As usual, amateurs opine about strategy, experts, logistics.

  6. magneto

    September 18, 2022 at 10:07 pm

    Putin, methinks, is may be a reincarnation of the famous Roman emperor Nero. The story goes that Nero fiddled, while Rome burned.

  7. 403Forbidden

    September 18, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    It is not Putin who’s responsible, but monstrous supplies of US & NATO weapons and munitions to the neo-nazi forces in Ukraine, AT THE EXPENSE of european arms reserve stockpiles and the American public who have to put up with hyper inflation.

    Around the world, people are helpless against the over eagerness of US & NATO to wage total war in Ukraine, with prices of goods rising into the stratosphere, and 345 million people now facing food shortages and possibly hunger or even famine.

    And yet US & NATO expect success. But they’ll fail, because if pushed against the wall, Russia will employ nukes to finish off the neo-nazis. Once and for all.

    Biden has been informed by his handlers about that possibilty and he has made an audible noise about it. But would Putin care about any noise made by a 80-yr-old dementia president.

    What did trump said in Dec 2018 when visiting a US base in Iraq.

    Trump said “We’re no longer suckers of the world.We ain’t no more acting as the (crooked) world police.”

    Seems Biden has taken US back in time when US was gungho about wars here, there, and everywhere. Biden has learned nothing useful from ‘nam, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, somalia and many others.

    Ukraine will just be another addition to list of US failures. Nothing more.

  8. pagar

    September 18, 2022 at 11:48 pm

    The russians will let the ukros get fully drunk with fleeting initial or brief success, and then, whammo, a mushroom cloud appears over ukros’ main headquarters and zelenskiyy’s lair.

    End of ukros and end of neo-nazism experiment in ukraine. Biden will not dare exchange washington dc or dallas or miami for kyiv.

    But ukros don’t get it. When himars push comes to (nuclear) shove, Biden won’t give a strand of his hair to save ukro cannon fodder.

  9. Commentar

    September 19, 2022 at 3:21 am

    Ukraine is a true real-time lesson that unfolds each day for countries that have no desire to become satellite allies, tributary dominions or client states of Washington.

    Now is the time for such countries that still cherish freedom from the inescapable grip of uncle Sam to arm themselves (in both conventional and nuclear weaponry) TO THE TEETH !!!

    Putin & Russia can help by sharing novel technologies such as Poseidon underwater drone, Topol M, Topol MR, RS-28, KALINA laser cannon, avangard glider, kinzhal hyper missile, tsirkon hyper ship-busting missile, cobalt bomb, neutron bomb, and all types of NATO-eliminating bombs !!!

    Share them OR lose them.

  10. Peace-keeping nukes of US arsenal

    September 19, 2022 at 6:30 am

    US-NATO combination poses the greatest threat to peace and global prosperity today.

    US-NATO is the carpophorus of our time, the multi-headed hydra, or beast that protects Babylon on the Potomac.

    But Babylon is destined for the lake of fire, meaning the only way to defeat it is via nuclear struggle or nuclear war. An all-out nuclear war.

  11. xheavy

    September 19, 2022 at 8:40 am

    NATO by it’s own construct is something I consider obsolete.

    Back in Desert Storm we were gifted 6 months to spool up everything and scrape the bottom of the barrel to send to war. With the exception of one Village in Saudi Territory and a few other spots Saddam did nothing. It would take me years to understand we will never have 6 days to get everything to Europe if RU should storm the entire European Continent. NATO simply does not have it.

    Fast forward to now. NATO has had 6 months or more to put formations on the Frontier up and down. However People do not understand just how thin those Formations really are. Germany possesses a few hundred main battle tanks. Half of which probably need shop work. Forget the armor that goes with the tanks.

    UK transferred the main bulk of their finest armor to the British Army in Europe from the UK. They are beautiful tanks and have a combat record to date having lost no one roughly speaking. But those numbers are a few hundred at best.

    In America a place called Lima Ohio is a big factory that built tanks. To date we have a minimum of 15000 M1 tanks. Most are parked and quietly baking in the sun. It will take a time to get them dusted off, provisioned and loaded onto trains and ships to Europe. It will still be ten days across the Atlantic. Some of that wont make it.

    RU had tens of thousands of tanks. Most of which are still museum items. But they are still tanks. Idiot proof out of necessity. Hardly anything fancy or electronic in them. If they put together 5 tank armies and sent say 15000 into Europe from Poland on down there is going to be a month of war and EU will relearn what it is to be destroyed in the process of defending themselves.

    On the other hand there is much that can be done to fix it. Part of that involves Nuclear. At that point none of this matters anymore. It will be a show for those looking at Earth from the deep space.

    Or worse, we can have a full nuclear war and then continue the same throwing stones at one another. There would be no law or society at that point. If you are fat, medicated, sick, obese and cannot function for a variety of reasons they will stick a fork into you.

    I dont worry about any old Nuclear War. It simply isnt that scary anymore. I survived a cold war time where one was alive 30 minutes from heaven or hell by missile. Meh. What nuclear? Big deal

    And there lies the danger for all of us. I rather not. The Word of God tells us in the end days there will be wars, alarms and so forth so on. God knows and allows all things to happen. Good bad or in between. Nothing new under the sun as it were.

  12. Gary Jacobs

    September 19, 2022 at 10:42 am

    The Russian trolls on this site are becoming increasingly desperate, and it kind of makes me laugh to see them blaming everyone except Russia for Russia’s failings. Haha.

    -Ukraine isnt run by Nazis
    -Ukraine isnt going to surrender to Russian aggression again.
    -Russia and China are not going to cause the fall the dollar as reserve currency. [notice how India and China both just rebuked Putin over the war in Ukraine]
    -Russia has awakened the sleeping giant of NATO and democratic societies around the world.

    Watching you trolls flail and fail in the face of that is ‘must see TV’.

    The unfolding Russian failure in Kherson is not going to make you any happier. I am ordering some more popcorn to watch the next episodes. Russia is combat depleted, and near defeated in Ukraine. All it has left is to lash out at civilian infrastructure like a spoiled child breaking a toy that belonged to someone else… because if Russia cant have it than no one can.

    In the meantime Russia’s biggest oil&gas customers are finding replacements. Between floating LNG terminals in Germany, upcoming hydrogen switch for major industry, and Russia’s inability to quickly switch NatGas customers due to direction of their pipelines… time is not on Putin’s side.

    Have a nice day.

  13. jens holm

    September 19, 2022 at 10:52 am

    These numbers are grotesquely inflated of course…

  14. magneto

    September 19, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    The Russian eastern alliance made me laugh, since India, China, and Russia have serious corruption according to the global index of perceived corruption, it seems more appropriate to give it the name of the “alliance of most corrupt countries”. Corruption is a bit like rust, in a vehicle, it reduces economic growth, because serious growth requires a foundation of trust.

    The neo Nazi excuse, also is laughable, since the Russian neo Nazi hunters in Ukraine decided that stealing grain, farm machinery and sunflower seeds, was more profitable than hunting non existent neo nazis.

    Russian nuclear arsenal is slightly bigger than the American arsenal yet, Russia spends almost 1/6th of the amount the usa spends on maintenance. This means since the Russian arsenal largely dated from Soviet times, like their conventional armoury, that the likelihood of Russian nuclear weapons being in a dilapidated condition, is probable. They could blow themselves up, if they tried to use those weapons.

  15. Yrral

    September 19, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    The Ukrainian and Russian are not fighting a war like the US , thousands of Ukrainain are dying in trenches,while many ever encountered a Russian,they never fight street battle,every street battle for Ukraine has been a lost cause,they have natural barrier of water separates them, Google Ukrainain Trench Death

  16. TheDon

    September 19, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    Of course everyone here supports their side.
    The best solution for Russia is end this.
    Russias long term interest is becoming a solid yrade partner with the European countries.
    Poland, Slovenia, Croatia etc are not a threat. Putins losing it.
    Russias security lands with Eu and US. Not NK or China.

  17. Bender

    September 19, 2022 at 3:25 pm

    Putin master strategist:

    – screwed RU economy for the next decade or two.
    – fully attrited his own military.
    – pushed SWE and FIN to join Nato.
    – unified Ukranian population against Russia.
    – Kazakistan is seizing the opportunity and leaving CTSO and renouncing cirillic.
    – CTSO itself is showing to be useless (see CTSO not doing anything for Armenia, etc)
    – One would imagine that Russian arms exports will not be so hot anymore (difficulty to produce due to sanctions and have shown to be unreliable).
    – lost militar credibility all around, including with China.

  18. Illurion

    September 19, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    I’ve said it before, and I will say it again.

    Ukraine will win this war.

    Putin will be executed by his own people.

    Russia will cease to exist when China attacks Russia and absorbs it.

  19. Roger Bacon

    September 19, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    It seems the Russian paid trolls are reduced to making nuclear threats, just like Putin. Laughable. I wonder who will be in charge of Russia once Putin is overthrown.

  20. Steven

    September 19, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    Tsar, paint them yellow, love it.

  21. KB

    September 19, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    Very telling comment:

    “Putin & Russia can help by sharing novel technologies such as Poseidon underwater drone, Topol M, Topol MR, RS-28, KALINA laser cannon, avangard glider, kinzhal hyper missile, tsirkon hyper ship-busting missile, cobalt bomb, neutron bomb, and all types of NATO-eliminating bombs !!!”

    Notice that there’s nothing in that list that actually helps people live better lives, like washing machines, and cars that don’t rust away in a couple of years. Why is Russia so singularly obsessed by killing? No wonder other peoples don’t want to be part of it and want to be protected from it.

    At the same time that Henry Ford produced the automobile assembly line, Russia perfected the small-caliber bullet in the back of the neck. It created an assembly line of another sort.

    And even the military technology Russia has is backwards and relies on foreign technology. Also, the money allotted to perfect and produce it was stolen long ago.

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