The war in Ukraine is about to enter its seventh month, but the fighting continues for its 212 day with fighting all across the battlefield.
Fighting in the East and the Donbas
The war in the east continues with the Ukrainian forces pressing the Russian military along the Oskil River. Following the rapid Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Russian troops hastily turned the Oskil River, a natural barrier well-suited for defense, into a defensive line to hold the onrushing Ukrainians.
However, the Ukrainian forces have managed to secure several bridgeheads on the east bank of the river, thus jeopardizing the cohesion of the Russian defense line.
A few miles to the south, in the Donbas, the Ukrainian forces are pushing the Russians in and around Lyman in an attempt to liberate the city.
“To the south, in Donetsk Oblast, fighting is ongoing as Ukrainian forces assault the town of Lyman, east of the Siverskyy Donets River, which Russia captured in May. The battlefield situation remains complex, but Ukraine is now putting pressure on territory Russia considers essential to its war aims,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
In the south, the Ukrainian forces maintain good operational security and try not to publicize anything from the ground. On that front, the Ukrainian military continues to conduct an operational-level interdiction campaign, using long-range strikes to take out key Russian war functions, including logistics and command and control hubs.
The Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 56,060 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 254 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 219 attack and transport helicopters, 2,254 tanks, 1,355 artillery pieces, 4,796 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 326 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,659 vehicles and fuel tanks, 170 anti-aircraft batteries, 950 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 126 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 240 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
On the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin was announcing the partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists, Ukrainian and Russian negotiators were conducting a prisoner swap. The majority of the 215 prisoners of war that Ukraine received back had fought in the epic battle of Mariupol and were part of the Azov Regiment.
Among the 215 prisoners of war were 10 foreigners, including five Brits, two Americans, one Moroccan, one Swede, and one Croatian, who was transported to Saudi Arabia.
“The garrison of Mariupol had orders to hold the city as long as possible. Then, they were ordered to save their lives,” the Ukrainian government stated, adding that 215 Azov defenders are now free. “Their new task: to undergo rehabilitation and tell their story to the world,” the statement added.
Five officers of the Azov Regiment who were released will remain in Turkey until the end of the war, according to the agreements reached by the two negotiating parties.
The Russian side got back 55 prisoners of war, including former Ukrainian member of parliament Viktor Medvedchuk, who led the pro-Russian party and was slotted to play a major part in a pro-Russia puppet government had the Kremlin’s plan worked out.
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.