The War in Ukraine Presses On: Almost 200 days into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian forces are taking the fight to the Russians. On day 197 of the war, the Ukrainian forces are pursuing two simultaneous counteroffensives hundreds of miles apart.
In the south, the major counteroffensive is nearing Kherson, while in the northeast, an opportunistic counterattack in the vicinity of Kharkiv has pushed the Russian forces a dozen miles back and liberated more than 150 square miles of territory in Ukraine.
Unsustainable Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 51,250 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 239 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 210 attack and transport helicopters, 2,112 tanks, 1,226 artillery pieces, 4,557 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 305 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,344 vehicles and fuel tanks, 159 anti-aircraft batteries, 884 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 110 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 214 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
The Russian military is suffering significant casualties right now. The two Ukrainian counteroffensives in the northeast and south are taking their toll on the Russian forces. In the last 24 hours alone, the Ukrainian high command claimed that is had killed 650 (and wounded between 1,300 and 1,950) Russian soldiers and destroyed or captured 15 tanks, 37 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 32 artillery pieces, 5 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 2 fighter or attack jets, two helicopters, 4 unmanned aerial systems, and 24 vehicles and fuel tanks.
The Ukrainian Advance in the South
Meanwhile, in Kherson, the Ukrainian counteroffensive is pressing forward slowly but deliberately. After days of official silence with regard to ground operations, Ukrainian officials are starting to acknowledge some gains in the south that correspond to open-source intelligence reporting.
“In Kherson Oblast, Ukrainian brigades continue to conduct offensive operations. Ukraine has probably destroyed a military pontoon bridge at Darivka, which Russian forces had deployed after the nearby road bridge was severely damaged,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
The crossing in Darivka crossing serves as one of the main routes that connect the Russian forces north and south along the Dnipro River, and its destruction will further hamper the Russian military’s efforts to reinforce its frontline units on the north bank of the river or withdraw them if necessary.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military continues to target and take out Russian military logistical functions, manpower and equipment concentrations, transportation networks, and command and control hubs in and around Kherson.
“Ukraine’s systematic precision targeting of vulnerable crossing points likely continues to impose pressure on Russian forces as they attempt to contain Ukrainian attacks: it slows their ability to deploy operational reserves and resupply materiel from the east,” the British Military Intelligence added.
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.