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Putin’s 200 Days of Ukraine Hell: Russia Is Fighting an ‘Unsustainable’ War

Putin Russia
Russian President Putin testing a new sniper rifle. Image Credit: Russian State Media.

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.

M777 Artillery Like in Ukraine

Soldiers, with team Deadpool, B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, Division Artillery, 1st Armored Division, fire a M777 Howitzer, during the Two Gun Raid September 20 at Oro Grande Range Complex, N.M. 2-3 FA conducts the Two Gun Raid and table VI qualification annually. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Michael Eaddy). This is similar to the artillery engaged in Ukraine.

“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 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.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Roger Bacon

    September 8, 2022 at 2:32 pm

    We always get reports from Ukraine on their estimation of Russian losses. To put it in context we really need to know Ukrainian losses. Even if they are abject lies from Russia it would still be usefull (just multiply the numbers by 0.25 or 0.2 to get probably real numbers)

  2. Scooter Van Neuter

    September 8, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    This is what happens when you have a group that is fanatically motivated versus one that is morally and physically depleted, not being paid, and poorly commanded.

  3. Russian thugs

    September 8, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Ukraine suckered Putin into a trap that everyone, except Russia, knew that they were being trolled and now decimated. Hey Vlad, send more body bags…HIMARS.

  4. Jacksonian Libertarian

    September 8, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    In the “fog of war” the only truth is the “front lines”.

    You can think of it as the “Market Price” of the competition between Supply and Demand.

    Clausewitz’s “Culmination Point of an Offensive” has been reached, and Ukraine is now winning.

  5. H.R. Holm

    September 9, 2022 at 1:12 am

    The old Red Army Group of Soviet Forces Germany (GSFG) and air force units of the cold war would have had this all wrapped up within two weeks. That was the force trained and equipped to cross West Germany to the Rhine within around 8 days, with a massive multi-pronged conventional blitzkrieg designed to smash thru at least a somewhat surprised NATO, eventually poised to continue into France if need be. Soviet military doctrine evolved to the point, by the early-to-mid 1980s, of aiming to be able to do this almost from a standing start with forces carefully prepared to deploy quickly from garrison to jump-off areas not far from the then-inter-German border, within several hours. Instead of one large collective mass of troops mobilized more slowly over a week to 10 days (giving NATO some warning), their forces were slimmed down and reorganized into concentrated but still powerful ‘Operational Maneuver Groups’ operating more independently (and speedily against projected limited resistance) toward separate geographic objectives, and more on the prinicpal of slice-and-dice rather than on cumbersome sheer mass pushing across a wider front. Obviously the current Russian army has not employed this doctrine in the Ukraine, and it is rather curious that they have not, as it could have still been a testbed for a future conflict with NATO. NATO aid to Ukraine seems to have helped to an extent, and now the Russian honchos must soon decide whether to seriously seek and engage in peace negociations, or ramp things up further by seriously concentrating on interdicting the military supply lines into Ukraine, something that could well ratchet up the conflict into a military confrontation beyond the Ukranian frontiers.

  6. MortenHJ

    September 9, 2022 at 5:58 am

    We sat and wondered wheather the loud pre-annoncement of the Ukrainian Kherson offensive was just a way to distract the russians away from Kharkiv…..

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