The Russian Casualties
Meanwhile, the Russian military continues to suffer heavy casualties, losing hundreds of more troops and dozens of tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery pieces, and drones every day.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 69,700 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 272 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 251 attack and transport helicopters, 2,640 tanks, 1,698 artillery pieces, 5,378 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 379 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,088 vehicles and fuel tanks, 192 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,401 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 151 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 351 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
War Goes to Space?
On Thursday, a high-ranking official stated that the Russian military could target Western commercial satellites that are supporting the Ukrainian forces on the ground.
Russian Foreign Ministry Deputy Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Konstantin Vorontsov said during a United Nations meeting the Russian military is considering taking out civilian satellites because, he claimed, the U.S. and NATO are using them to enforce their power in the war.
Elon Musk’s Starlink has played a significant part in the Ukrainian defense. The eccentric billionaire started sending Ukraine Starlink ground units soon after the war began, and the devices have helped the Ukrainian military to communicate more effectively, even in areas of heavy electronic warfare.
The White House stated that any attack on U.S. infrastructure would be met in kind.
Who’s Threatening Whom?
October has been full of threats about a nuclear escalation from Russia. From Russian President Vladimir Putin down, Russian officials are coming out rattling the nuclear saber and threatening dire consequences for Ukraine and the West.
But the Russians have been doing more than just that. High-ranking Russian officials have been trying to sow division and doubt among the U.S.-led international coalition that is supporting Ukraine with claims of an imminent Ukrainian false flag operation aimed at detonating a “dirty bomb” and blaming Russia.
Sergei Naryshkin, the chief of the SVR, the foreign intelligence service of Russia and equivalent of the CIA, is the latest to come out with those accusations.
However, on the U.S.’s and NATO’s end, nothing has really changed in terms of nuclear force readiness.
“Again, we’re going to continue to monitor this very closely. I think, as we’ve said in the past, when we’ve seen Russian leaders use nuclear rhetoric, certainly that is concerning. It’s reckless. But it’s something we’ll continue to take seriously,” Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s Press Secretary, said in a press briefing recently.
The Pentagon spokesperson added that the U.S. military hasn’t had any indication that the Russian leadership has made a decision to deploy a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
“So, we’ll continue to keep a close look on this. And as I mentioned, we’ll also continue to keep lines of communication open,” Ryder 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.