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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.