On day 222 of the war, the Ukrainian military has been making gains in the south after its recent successes in the east.
The Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Meanwhile, the Russian military continues to suffer heavy losses in Ukraine. The past week has been the deadliest for the Russian military since the start of the war, with more than 2,000 troops killed and hundreds of tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, and artillery pieces destroyed or abandoned.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Monday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 60,430 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 265 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 228 attack and transport helicopters, 2,380 tanks, 1,405 artillery pieces, 4,991 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 338 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,811 vehicles and fuel tanks, 176 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,026 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 131 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 246 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
The Battle of Lyman
Last week, the Ukrainian forces liberated Lyman in the Donbas. More information is becoming available on the Battle of Lyman. The Russian forces defending the strategic city were a hodgepodge of battered Russian units that had survived the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east, pro-Russian separatists, and contingents of voluntarily mobilized reservists.
The Ukrainian forces had encircled the city completely but for one road that was still in Russian hands. However, that road was within range of Ukrainian artillery as well as ideal for ambushes by Ukrainian special operations teams.
Instead of surrendering, the Russian defenders decided to make a run for it through the only available road. But the Ukrainian forces were waiting, and it seems that they inflicted heavy casualties on the retreating Russians.
The Ukrainian city is important because it commands a key road crossing over the Siverskyi Donets River. After the rapid Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east, the Russian military has tried to create a new line of defense on the east bank of the Oskil and Siverskyi Donets Rivers. The liberation of Lyman, however, gives the Ukrainian forces an opportunity to breach these defenses.
“The withdrawal has led to a further wave of public criticism of Russia’s military leadership by senior officials. Further losses of territory in illegally occupied territories will almost certainly lead to an intensification of this public criticism and increase the pressure on senior commanders,” 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 Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.